Welcome to the Explore Home podcast brought to you by Universal Furniture. Hosted by Universal’s Marketing Director Neil MacKenzie, Explore Home navigates all of the latest happenings within the furniture industry, from design trends to changing marketing strategies. Featuring a new guest every episode, Neil delves into their unique skillset and knowledge as it relates to furniture in a warm, casual, conversational tone. Expect to hear from a range of top authorities, including furniture business professionals, interior designers, design bloggers and influencers.
Explore Home with Ericka Saurit of Saurit Creative
Welcome to the Explore Home Podcast! This week we invite you to Explore Home with Ericka Saurit of Saurit Creative, a digital marketing firm for the home industry. Listen as Neil and Ericka start with a brief history of Ericka’s professional career, including her years spent living and working in China. They then touch on Ericka’s involvement with Airbnb to build their Airbnb Plus division along with Universal Furniture. She then elaborates more on opening her own business and details how she helps her clients with one of their biggest requests: social storytelling. Neil and Ericka then wrap up by talking about their favorite aspects of market opening back up as well as sharing more on how to use social outlets like Instagram to benefit your business.
For more on Ericka and Saurit Creative, you can visit her
website at sauritcreative.com or follow them on Instagram at @sauritcreative.
Explore Home with Don Ricardo Massenburg of Design Incredible and Sharon Savage of Lancaster as we discuss HPXD
Welcome to the Explore Home Podcast! This week we invite you to Explore Home with Sharon Savage of Lancaster Custom Crafted Upholstery and Don Massenburg of Design Inkredible. Listen as they begin by discussing the various challenges and opportunities that COVID-19 has presented within the design industry in the last year. Then, Neil, Sharon and Don discuss HPxD (High Point by Design) — what it is, what its mission is and how it is a prime and exciting new resource for interior designers all year round. With HPxD, designers now have access to view product and meet with brands outside of the traditional High Point market times. The three then share their favorite parts of this new initiative and how they have already experienced a positive impact from HPxD.
For more on Sharon Savage, please visit https://www.lancasterccu.com. For more on Don Massenburg, please visit http://www.designinkredible.com. For more on HPxD and to sign up please visit https://hpxd.org.
Explore Home with Danny Seo, Publisher and Co-Principal of RUE Magazine
Welcome to Explore Home Podcast! This week we explore home with Danny Seo,
Publisher and Co-Principal of RUE Magazine.
Danny is the epitome of a modern-day Renaissance man, he is the author of 14 books, has run a non-profit organization, worked with Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, and produced and starred on an Emmy award winning lifestyle show.
Neil and Danny discuss his unusual and inspiring childhood. On his 12th birthday, which happens to be Earth Day, Danny decided he wanted to start an environmental organization. It became the largest non-profit organization for teenagers for environmental advocacy in the US.
Danny then focuses on his desire to combine his passions: the environment, eating well, entertaining, and traveling. This led to writing books on home renovation, entertaining, charities, and philanthropy. 7 years ago, Danny launched the Naturally Danny Seo brand. His magazine, Naturally Danny Seo, hit the shelves and immediately flew off of them. This success launched him into the world of television, including his own show on NBC and countless guest spots on daytime talk shows.
Neil and Danny then talk about his latest endeavor, RUE Magazine, now on newsstands. Danny is a firm believer that consumers favor quality, from the paper that the magazine is printed on, to the content, Danny oversees it all. Danny and RUE magazine are bring the publication to life at the Universal showroom during High Point Furniture Market. Designers will have 5 minutes to showcase their work to Kelli Lamb, Editorial Designer of RUE magazine. To learn more about Danny and RUE magazine visit ruemag.com
Explore Home with Kyla Herbes, Creator of House of Hipsters
Welcome to Explore Home Podcast! This week we explore home with Kyla Herbes, creator of the House of Hipsters blog.
Neil and Kyla begin by talking about the birth of House of Hipster, which started as a hobby after her second child was born. Kyla knew it was special and was willing to put in the time and effort to turn it into one of the top blogs in the country. Today, House of Hipsters is a consistent award-winning blog and launched Kyla into the limelight.
Kyla details how when she featured Pinterest on her blog, the SEO would go through the roof, so she started creating tons of Pinterest content. One day, the call came from Pinterest themselves, asking Kyla to join their “Pin Factory.” Kyla notes that the Pinterest community likes more of an “I can do it look.” She had a knack for following brand standards while knowing how to create an eye-catching graphic.
Kyla and Neil finish by noting her favorite Universal pieces and how her perception of a “home” has changed over the past year. To learn more visit Kayla’s blog at houseofhipsters.com.
Explore Home with Sara Serarle, Account Director at Promoboxx
Welcome to Explore Home Podcast! This week we explore home with Sara Serarle with Promoboxx.
Neil and Sara discuss her time spent on the account management team at Snapchat.
While there, Sara took note of how the platform fostered conversations between friends using Snapchat integrated content, allowing people to interact with brands in a personal way. Out of this experience grew a passion for advertising and social media.
Sara then describes the challenges her multi-generational small family business faced when trying to implement social media into their marketing strategy. The time it takes to develop a cohesive social media strategy and the education needed to learn how to implement it, is often not feasible for a small business. This is what drew her to Promoboxx.
Promoboxx is a platform that connects brands to retailers and their consumers through organic and paid social media, e-mail marketing and downloadable content. Brands go into the Promoboxx platform and invite their retailer network to join and share their branded content through their social pages. You do not have to be a social expert to set-up this tool, it makes relevant social media content accessible and easy for even the most inexperienced user.
Sara notes that because society is obsessed with social media, it is important for brands to have a presence on as many social media outlets as possible to stay relevant. Promoboxx is a tool that can level the playing field for all types, and sizes, of retailers.
To learn more about Promoboxx visit promoboxx.com and to sign up with PromoBoxx and Universal go here.
Explore Home with Benno Duenkelsbuehler, (re)ALIGN CEO and Chief Growth Sherpa
Welcome to the Explore Home Podcast! This week explore home with Benno Duenkelsbuehler, (re)ALIGN CEO and Chief Growth Sherpa.
Neil and Benno discuss his background as a buyer and a seller. First, a buyer for Ikea and Pottery Barn for over a decade. He then changed careers to sell to exhibitors in High Point and Atlanta. This background inspired him to start his own company to help others start and grow their brands. His company, (re)ALIGN, lives at the intersection of growth and execution. Benno can help new brands grow and take their products to market. He guides his clients on how to create an experience that makes people fall in love with, and purchase, their products.
Benno details how “disruptive” brands like rh (Restoration Hardware) and Apple have changed how people think about shopping. They make consumers fall in love with their products and remain loyal to their brand. This is the goal he hopes to achieve when working with a client.
Benno and Neil talk about how furniture consumers often struggle with confidence in their style choices. Companies need to help them envision how the product will fit into their home and boldly claim “this is what we love and you will too.”
Benno shares his favorite quote from Thomas Edison, “Vision without execution is hallucination” and discusses how if a person or company doesn’t have the resources to execute an idea at a consistently high level, that idea may not be a good fit. He relishes helping clients discover their perfect fit.
Benno finishes with speaking about his podcast that he started during Covid-19, “The Third Growth Option.” It has provided him the opportunity to re-connect with friends and colleagues to share growth experiences. Learning from others has provided tremendous insight and inspiration for Benno to use in his personal and professional life.
To discover more about Benno and (re)ALIGN, visit realignforresults.com.
Love the open, conversational nature of this podcast and all of their guests have been super informative! A fun and easy listen.
Listened to this podcast while waiting on some friends. It was an easy listen and made the time pass quickly. Some cool antecdotes and stories.
Fun Conversations About the Furniture Industry
Such a great podcast that focuses on the furniture industry. Can’t wait to hear more!