Dispatch From...The Design Social: Denver

The Design Social Denver, Quittner, Photo by Sabrina Hounshell

This week we flew to Denver — two exhausted adults and a toddler — to do our first ever 'trade' show. We've done dozens of markets over the years where we set up for a day, or three, to sell mostly smalls. A print, a tablecloth, a tea towel, a bar of tallow soap or a set of notecards offer a taste of Quittner. Shoppers on the hunt for something new to them or special in feeling, and ideally both, have learned about Quittner through these small objects for years. Sometimes we've brought our lighting, other times The Palatine Collection.

The Design Social required us, though, to radically rethink how we connect with a new audience. Instead of selling smalls as a gateway into the world of Quittner, we would be spending a full day simply talking about what we do and why we do it. The idea was daunting, but also exhilarating. Working with interior designers and architects is one of our favorite parts of what we do. Now, we'd get to meet dozens of them in a market (Colorado) that we've barely touched as of yet. 

Started by Brooks Morrison, the Design Social began as a way of connecting independent textile and wall covering designers with interior designers hungry for new designs to specify. Over the past few years, it's mostly stayed true to that original model, and 80+% of the designers at any Design Social are textile and wall-covering focused, but Brooks is always looking for brands that show well alongside these cornerstones and was enthusiastic when we reached out to ask if Quittner may be a good fit. 

So we packed up two big boxes with our lighting collection, from the Porcelain Pendant to the Lex, and shipped it off to Denver with a hope and a prayer that everything would make it ok. 

And it did! 

Setting up our table at the Denver Design Social


Our first Design Social was a blast, and we'll update this post with more professional pictures from the event when they are available, but our biggest takeaway was that connecting with people in the business of interiors is jet fuel for what we do. Our experience in Denver definitely underlined the importance of our Trade Program, which offers members of the Trade our best pricing. We also loved the opportunity to connect with other designers, and even did a special Surface Lamp shade in the Kantha print by Maresca Textiles, another line showing at the event.  

The Design Social Denver, Quittner, Photo by Sabrina Hounshell

It was also an affirming experience. We were next to Farrow & Ball. Founded in 1946, Farrow & Ball is best known today for outstanding water-based paints and traditionally-made wallpapers. Once upon a time, though, it was a small family-owned company started by two friends, John Farrow and Richard Maurice Ball. We do not know if they envisioned building what their small company has become, but to present our work alongside another dream that developed into a formidable brand was inspiring to say the least. Conversations featuring other designers, interior designer Brad Ford, and Ellen McGauley, Executive Editor of Veranda, brought more inspiration. 

Brad Ford and Ellen McGauley conversation at the Design Social

We'll be doing another Design Social in just a few weeks, this time in East Hampton. If you're based near the Hamptons, or are simply looking for an excuse to get away, we hope you'll join. 

Learn more about the Design Social and future events in Darien, CT and Charlotte, NC.

The Design Social Denver, Quittner, Photo by Sabrina Hounshell
Professional images by Sabrina Hounshell
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