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Spring is Here? Signs of a Budding Economy?

February 10, 2011

I have been remiss in not blogging, the cardinal sin in the blogosphere.  However thankfully it is because I have been very busy with a better economy!  That is today’s topic.  I recently gave a talk in San Francisco, and for it I researched economic conditions.  What I found, aside from lots and lots of positive indicators, is that the improvement in the economy is in the eye of the beholder.  There is a large group of pundits who can twist the positive news into negative news for their own ends, just as there are plenty of pundits who enhance and embellish even the tiniest uptick to show exhuberant potential growth.  So, what are we to believe?  Using the luxury home furnishings industry (a proven lagging indicator) as a measure, here is what I believe.

Traffic is up in our showrooms.  Traffic was way up at Maison et Objet and Deco-Off in Paris this January, especially among American designers!  Traffic was way up at the San Francisco Market two weeks ago.  Our corporate business is rebounding, not incredibly but steadily.  Our clients are busy again, with one even telling me she is starting to turn work down.  Things are not the same as they were, to be sure, but they are getting better, even in the decorative interiors business!  In our Washington DC and New York Showrooms (where I have been this week) there is often more traffic than we have staff.  Other showrooms report the same trend!  However, some report declining traffic and “the end is near” sorts of prophecies.  And, that is what I mean by people fitting the facts to their particular agendas or circumstances.

Things are not as they were.  They are different, and we all have to adapt.  If we do not, we may not enjoy a prosperous recovery.  A lot of companies remain in trouble, but equally a lot are emerging with strength and a renewed energy.  So, it is easy to say that there is no recovery happening if:  A- it does not suit a person’s particular political bent, or B- this is not true about the person or company in question.  I guess that it is easier to say things are bad rather than admit that things are bad- for them.  Recovery seems to be in the eye of the beholder, and I am happy to report that our little group of companies is recovering.  Donghia and Bergamo honor our client’s deposits, pay our bills, launch collections, redo our showrooms, and are focused on growth once again.  So, from our point of view, spring is coming, and so is a stable recovery!  I hope that it is for your business.  Lots of designers are really busy.  I am also honored to report that a few have used ideas contained in this blog in their successful adaptation to this new economy.  Thank you for telling me!

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 17, 2011 2:22 pm

    Hi Crans!

    It was a pleasure meeting you yesterday in Philadelphia. I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation. I have to agree with you on this post. Depending on who you ask, the economy is different for all. My line of business is designing and fabricating couture window fashions and I have been busy straight for over a year and a half and I think that the attitude of having a glass half full has a lot to do with it. If you walk around thinking and projecting that things will not get better, guess what? They probably won’t. Finding new ways to do business and reinventing yourself keeps you fresh!

    Tammi Le Nair

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