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Hardwood floors for puppies

Welcome to the end of the tunnel

Doge’ Palace in Venice, Italy is not a palace for Dogs…Is your home dog-friendly?

 

Welcome to the end of the tunnel, the place where we kept seeing the light, but never quite reaching it. We are there now and it’s the best feeling to bask in the warmth of the light and be thankful for having made it. While you’re basking in the warmth of the light, let me ask you a question or two. Did you move or stay in your existing home? If so, did you build a new home? Did you adopt a pet this past year? If so, what did you get, dog or cat? What prompted you to get this pet? Now that our states are opening back up, do you plan to go back to work-life as you once practiced it, traveling every week, going to shows across the globe, meeting with other business people in person rather than virtually? I can only speak for my family and myself, we are traveling significantly less, corresponding with customers virtually more times than not and (drum roll please)…we brought home a new puppy. We had already been on a waiting list for two years and so the timing seemed just right when we heard that a litter of puppies had been born and one would be available to us. Our first dog Donatella (#Donatellathetruffledog) is six years old, (wouldn’t she like a new little sister?) and we decided on the name for our new puppy, “Baci” (the Italian word for kisses). We had visions of cuddling with the furry little thing and imagined it couldn’t be too hard to go from one dog to two dogs (LOL). Across Dalton, my sister and her family have adopted several baby goats, peacocks, ducks, donkeys and chickens, all of which is ideal since they live on our family’s farm and have the space. In our own neighborhood we have been noticing some new things any time we go for a walk. Besides the few new homes under construction, we also noticed several homes get new roofs, and smaller additions like fire pits, outdoor kitchens, raised beds and fences being built for those who now have time to garden or get a new dog. It seems we all discovered extra time on our hands and wanted to add more of “nature” to enhance lifestyle and improve our health. In making this transition to having a more “nature-inspired” and harmonious lifestyle, we are adjusting our interior finishes…considering moving a velvet sofa or an oushak rug into a less-often used room, then you’re in good company. Are you looking at the color of your dog’s hair (on your pants) and wondering to yourself “what color of flooring would disguise the daily dog hair I’m cleaning up?”…then you’re thinking like a designer thinks, looking at how we live in a new light. We are universally feeling the desire to expand our walls of our home to the great outdoors. Transitioning to more time living outdoors does require planning. Are your floors protected just inside your doorway? What are you stepping onto as you go outside? Do the colors and finishes inside and out “harmonize” aesthetically? Is that important? Yes, of course! If not, you’ll not find yourself drawn to the space, you’ll not feel compelled to invite your family and friends to join you outside unless it is pleasing to you. Pro tips: add a great “scrubby” walk-off mat outside your door way; kick off your shoes inside your door; and look at where the sunlight is coming in through the windows and move around rugs or furniture so your floors don’t get a “tan line”.

 

My little visitor one day at EMILY MORROW HOME was the GOAT of all goats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going beyond “Milled Naturals” Color Family of the Year, several mega-trends have emerged that will help explain why so many people are asking for performance hardwood flooring (and other types) that looks “natural” not “plastic”. Slow living has taken precedences and the element of “time” and sharing it with others offers us rejuvenating solace. Imagine finding a place to enjoy hot tea with a cozy blanket that says “I’ve got you covered”, let’s take the time to enjoy what has always been in front of us, with new-found profound appreciation. The cozy, calm, and comfort of things like being at home, surrounded with soft fibers, natural materials, sueded and velvet textures help soothe the senses. Things like healthy living, values like “real wood” and “natural materials” influence us viscerally, without thought. Why this matters is that it guides homeowners decisions and choices for what they bring into their lives. Recent reports from NAHB indicate that new home construction is slowing due to increasing material costs and slowly rising interest rates. (See more housing economics data on nahb.org)

 

Performance features for hardwood flooring has included the scratch-resistance since its introduction a few decades ago. Even today, after all these years, people really are amazed when they see the difference between hardwood with scratch-resistance and hardwood without it. Test it for yourself (videos provided in the highlighted links). Simply get a green abrasive cleaning pad and rub it vigorously on two samples of hardwood, noting which one is which. Immediately you’ll see how easy it is to get right past the finish if it isn’t scratch resistant and just imagine how quickly it would “ugly” out in an entire interior of unprotected flooring. Today we now have many manufacturers who are making performance hardwood flooring that really do resist water, spills, scratches and scuffs, and it’s affordable. The feedback I hear is that most people cannot tell the difference between samples unless you hold a sample up to the light and maybe then there’s a very slight difference. The fact that it doesn’t scratch, scuff, warp or swell far outweighs the nearly indiscernible visual difference, makes “our new normal”, “life as we know it” easier and more enjoyable.

Baci, our newest addition to the family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what happened with this new fur baby, Baci? First of all, we have worked our way through many rolls of paper towels, sanitizing wipes to clean up her little “OMG” accidents just inside the door, under the sofa, as well as the pantry. Only part of our home has the hardwood floors that we manufacture since the majority of square footage was already done in a lovely pine (previous homeowner) which we loved when we moved in. What has happened since is not a pretty sight. In some of the areas where both dogs have a habit of relieving themselves, the finish of the pine is delaminating badly. It should be the picture next to the definition of the term in the handbook of hardwood terminology. Additionally, there are several claw marks where Donatella skidded across the soft wood of the pine floors (she is only twenty six pounds). I wish daily for our own OMG Proof Protected hardwood floors to magically appear throughout the entire house, but in the meantime it’s fodder for my blog and articles. Our puppy Baci is now five months old and she is not 100% potty trained yet, but based on the amount of training treats we’ve bought and used, we must be getting close. My point in all this sharing of personal experience is this, hardwood flooring that is made with performance protection really does make life easier for the end-users, residentially and commercially.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MILLED NATURALS – EMH COLOR FAMILY OF 2021

EMILY MORROW HOME RELEASES The ENTIRE 2021 COLOR FAMILY OF THE YEAR and our hardwood flooring styles which fall into the color families. 

ENJOY OUR NEWEST VIDEO SHOWCASING  ALL OF THE NINE COLORS

 

MILLED NATURALS COLOR FAMILY AND OUR HARDWOOD FLOORING THAT BEST EXEMPLIFIES THESE STUNNING VISUALS!

Dalton, GA, FEBRUARY 11, 2021 – Emily Morrow Finkell, founder and CEO of Emily Morrow Home, is pleased to announce the release of the 2021 Color Family of the Year, MILLED NATURALS.

Please find below our press release outlining the color stories behind the 2021 Color of the Year, also the supporting images and linked here is the EMH Milled Naturals Video which tells the story in a little more than one minute. 
Because great design does not cease during a pandemic, our “travel” to research the market trends has been ongoing. 
We hope you enjoy our color story and if you have an interest in learning more  about our “GOAT-inspired” Color family, we’d love to share it!

 

 

 

 

Gold’s warming influence sets the stage for a brown-based color story

Dalton, GA – February 12, 2021 – Color is Relational. For COTY 2021, Emily Morrow Home sees a bigger picture of how color reflects a Healthy living lifestyle… one of being “At home” with family. We are all on the journey of change…yearning for comfort and community. This sense of community influenced us to choose a different path for the Color of the Year 2021. Rather than highlighting 1 color, EMH to choose to highlight a Color Family…of 9!

Introducing the EMH 2021 Color Family of the YearMilled Naturals

Milled Naturals is a universal, must-have color family that emits an elevated level of luxurious tones for 2021.Gold’s warming influence gives this color family a seasonless and timeless appeal. When paired with each other, all 9 colors in the Milled Naturals family work together, harmoniously. They are also quietly confident when standing on their own. The lighter, luxurious Milled Naturals have a graceful subtlety that is tranquil and soothing.

This family has strong roots of yellow and red that provide balance to the more saturated Milled Naturals. This brown-based story has long-lasting relevance and is a fresh new direction from the market saturated grey influence of recent years. Like freshly tilled earth from which nature springs, Good Earth is the first color in our color family, followed by the ever-nurturing Goat’s Milk. Good Earth is best represented by two deep brown hardwood styles, William & Mary and Handmade Harvest. Goat’s Milk can be found in our Cosmopolitan Coast and Surf Shack.

We believe that when you experience the warmth of the Milled Naturals, they will influence a conversation of grounding words, ripe for our life-stretching moments.

EMH BUZZ WORDS:

Universal | Seasonless | Authentic | Flexible | Artisanal | Heirloom | Legacy

Tranquil | Community | Regenerate | Cocoon | Comfort | Tactile |Confident

Expect our natural hardwood flooring to show its natural beauty… listening to its inherent design and texture that nature calls us to appreciate.

By adding bold, organic accent colors, the pairing of Milled Naturals offers endless color combinations that have universal application. Refresh with vibrant trending Greens, powdered and chalked tints, rich jewel tones, and orange- based color combinations.

As we continue to search for support, comfort, trust, and interactive touch, the time has come for the universal warmth of the 2021 EMH Milled Naturals color family.

Stay tuned, monthly, for more in-depth stories of each of the 9 EMH 2021 Milled Naturals to be released throughout the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister’s baby goat visited my offices and I was smitten…to the point of shifting our color story to GOAT’S MILK.

About Emily Morrow Home

Emily Morrow Home is a leader in the American hardwood flooring industry. Founded by Emily Morrow Finkell, the company offers high-quality, luxury hardwoods to retailers through select distributors and buying groups. All flooring products are sustainably harvested, constructed, and finished in the USA. Finkell is a member of the NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association); NWFA Verified from U.S. Renewing Forests; California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board; Allied Member ASID; CMG; and SCS Certified Indoor Advantage Gold For more information, visit emilymorrowhome.com or Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube or Vimeo.

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In memory of Evelyn Myers | WOMEN INSPIRING OTHERS 

February 22, 2021 —Honoring the memory and legacy of Evelyn Myers

If you aren’t from our part of the country (Dalton, Ga) I’ll let you in on a little secret… we are surrounded by some very strong and smart women. Case in point is Evelyn Myers, who co-founded Myers Flooring in 1957 with her husband Gene Myers. Myers Flooring grew over the years with stores in Atlanta, Nashville as well as the first one in Dalton. Myers has always had that extra something that feels stylish, classy and a cut above. This was somewhat radical when compared to the stereotypical carpet retailers of the 1960’s-1970’s. Myers was known for going the extra mile in marketing by staging live photo shoots inside real home interiors (lovely homes) in order to show floor covering in the most aspirational light. To this day, Mrs. Myers and the influence of her sons Rick and Ray is ever-present. Anytime you walk into one of the three Myers locations, you’ll know and feel you are in very capable hands, and if you walk into the Nashville store, you will see it personified in the form of third generation Sinclair Myers.  My interaction with Mrs. Myers was unique in that we would run into each other from time to time in Dalton or Chattanooga, and she would ask me about my interior design business, asking if I was ever moving back to Dalton, et cetera. If you’ve ever been in the presence of someone whose smile radiates light and warmth, then you’d know what it felt like for me as a young interior designer, Mrs. Myers had that gift and made me feel special.

Prior to the opening of the Judd House, I asked for a special favor, and that was to be able to use the frame picture of Evelyn Myers (elegantly perched on the wing of an airplane) in one the of rooms I’d designed in the “upstairs guest bedroom”. Everyone who entered would go immediately to the framed portrait and remark at how beautiful she was…and she truly was beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gene Myers, with the help of his wife Evelyn, and later sons Rick and Ray, opened Dalton’s first carpet store

As quoted at Myers Carpet About Us: The company was founded in 1957 by Gene Myers, who started buying scraps of carpet from local mills and reworking them into stair treads and small rugs which he then sold through area chenille stores on “Peacock Alley” on Georgia Highway 41. Gene Myers, with the help of his wife Evelyn, and later sons Rick and Ray, opened Dalton’s first carpet store and began offering carpet from Dalton’s local mills. Patcraft was first. Later, Art Black, founder of Evans and Black Carpet of Arlington, Texas, gave Myers his first line. Gene Myers passed away in 1981 at age 53 and the company was then managed by sons, Rick and Ray Myers. In 1987, Myers Carpet opened a 3000 square-foot showroom on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia. Six years later they purchased and moved into a 35,000 square-foot showroom and warehouse at 1500 Northside Drive. That location quickly became the flagship store for Myers. In 1998, Myers Flooring was opened in Nashville, Tennessee, followed by the purchase in 2001 of the showroom and warehouse of Division Street Carpets at 641 Division Street in downtown Nashville. Myers Flooring of Nashville then purchased the assets of Van Gilmore’s Nashville Carpet Center in 2016 and combined the two businesses and employees at our current location at 2919 Sidco Drive in Nashville.

“Myers Carpet Company was the first and remains the oldest carpet store in Dalton, Georgia, “The Carpet Capital of the World.

Below is an article about “women inspiring others” in National Wood Flooring Association’s Hardwood Floors Magazine | WOMEN INSPIRING OTHERS

Emily Morrow Featured in Atlanta Magazine November 2001 The Judd House owned by Evelyn Myers and the Myers Family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I look back on my career path, I am grateful to the incredible women who so generously opened doors and encouraged me to go further and do do better. One such women was Evelyn Myers. In 2001 I had moved back to my hometown of Dalton from Carrollton, Georgia where I’d practiced interior design for 12 years. Although I was known in Dalton as Emily Kiker, I was not known by most as Emily Morrow, the interior designer. I did however know Mrs. Myers through my own mother and in some of our exchanges, she shared some of her upcoming “design-related” endeavors. It was that same year, 2001, Evelyn Myers invited me to be a guest designer in her “Judd House Designer Showhouse”, which would provide valuable networking opportunities with our local community, other designers and architects. If not for her invitation, I might not have had the change to meet the many contacts who later became my colleagues and bosses at Shaw Industries.

The February March 2020 issue of Hardwood Floors celebrates the talented and dynamic women in our industry who have gone before us and worked amongst us. They smoothed the path, opened doors, and showed other women the way forward. I am so inspired by these women and would not be where I am today without their wisdom and guidance. Looking back on the lessons I’ve learned, and taking stock of how many influential and passionate women have inspired me never to stop growing, I hope what I do today will inspire others in the same way. While my career has gone through a series of changes, I know my journey would not have been possible with the support given to me by women in the industry.

THE VITAL ROLE OF WOMEN IN FLOOR COVERING

I’m fortunate to have a unique perspective on the power of women in flooring history, starting at a very early age. Growing up in Dalton, Georgia, I’ve witnessed generation after generation of women entrepreneurs acting as trailblazers and role models. If you’re familiar with the history of carpet, you’ll know it all started in Dalton along “Peacock Alley” with the crafting of hand-tufted chenille bedspreads, an industry started by extraordinary women like Dicksie Bradley Bandy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the great depression, Dicksie and her husband’s country store had given credit to their customers who had no money to pay for the goods they needed, only their possessions, what they could make or grow themselves. The country store eventually became indebted to their suppliers and although there was no way to recoup the money from their customers, Dicksie and her husband were determined to repay every dollar. Determined to find a way to raise the funds, she boarded a train to Washington, D.C., carrying a suitcase filled with hand-tufted chenille bedspreads to sell to large department stores. She came home with enough money to repay her suppliers AND with enough orders to give several families an income for their craft. That simple cottage industry grew and evolved to the point where Dalton is now known not just the “carpet capital” but as the “floor covering capital of the world”. 

In this industry, not only are many of my peers women, but the majority of our customers are as well. We speak of “Ms. Consumer” as making more than 91% of the purchasing decisions for the home. With the purchasing power of women in the United States ranging from $5 trillion annually, we certainly MUST consider “her” in our business decisions, and we certainly MUST consult women on what goes into a new product launch. 

LESSONS IN RESILIENCE AND PAYING DUES

Looking back, some of my early jobs were excruciating. One example was working for a family-owned women’s wear manufacturer whose owners would inadvertently exhale their cigarette smoke into my eyes causing me to leave work many days in tears. At the same time, they also gave me the chance to work with fabrics, color-ways, and the people that would be selling the apparel across the U.S. That experience was priceless. Soon I found myself training sales persons about the designs and colors of the coming collections.

Along the way, I learned about perseverance, resilience and the importance of hard work – even when it it seemed at the time like I was being pulled in the wrong direction. Balancing competing priorities had been modeled by my mother, a fantastic entrepreneur in her own right. As I began my own journey into motherhood as an interior designer, I carried with me the power of the examples and lessons that only magnified in importance over time. 

While I loved the work I was doing, after the arrival of my firstborn William, I was inspired to take a huge leap. The result was that my own interior design business was born. It was the culmination of all that I had learned and experienced up until then – and just when I thought I had it all “balanced” along comes Mary. Juggling motherhood to two small children with an interior design business taught me how to put first things first. My first design business operated in the West Georgia area for nearly 12 years, doing both commercial and residential design projects. 

Those years allowed me the experience of putting family first. It’s a lesson I’ve tried to live by since. I learned to be a mother first and foremost, and I had the flexibility and freedom to schedule design appointments around the schedules of babysitters, mothers’ mornings out, and my children’s own evolving schedules. 

ANSWERING THE OPPORTUNITY

The women in my life have taught me so many powerful lessons that I try to pass on to those who I have had the good fortune of knowing. One of the most important things I was taught is that like doors, opportunities can open and close quickly. Recognizing the opportunities requires a certain kind of “sixth sense” to know when to take them. Unfortunately, too often opportunities can seem daunting and present themselves as “risk”.

This lesson became a huge blessing as I faced a professional crossroads in 2002. Having just become a single mother, and after operating my own interior design business for many years, I was encouraged to move into the corporate world to provide the benefits my children and I would need. While there was some risk involved (would I be able to work the corporate hours? What if my kids needed me? How could I juggle my children’s activities with my travel schedule?…and much more) it was a leap that I was well-prepared to take for my family. 

So when asked if I could direct a large group of corporate professionals and juggle continually changing business priorities, I actually laughed out loud. That had become second nature to me. For years, at any given time, I had teams of painters, carpenters, flooring installers or other tradespeople going in and out of the businesses and homes of my clients, on time and budget, all while being a mother of two. Speaking of juggling priorities, one very important project, a medical arts building was being installed the very day I was in labor with the birth of my daughter. Needless to say, both “projects” demanded my attention that day but in the end, my family was only thing that truly mattered.

THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY

I hope that my experience demonstrates to other women – and men – in the industry that you can prioritize family and still have an enriching and successful career. That is perhaps the most important lesson of all, and one I hope to be remembered for, the same way I remember all of the incredible wisdom and support that was shared with me.

I encourage all of us to prioritize family and to allow everything else to fall into place. Following my own advice, I opted to leave a life of constant travel while working for a massive company, to instead revel in family. I chose to instead take a moment to savor my time being a new wife, a mother, and an empty nester.

When the time was right, I again took another risk, following my instinct, and formed a new enterprise, one that would eventually become relevant to husband’s own company. Who encouraged me to take that step? It was the same woman who inspired me nearly thirty years prior, my mother.

 

 

 

 

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MILLED NATURALS – EMH COLOR FAMILY OF 2021

EMILY MORROW HOME RELEASES The 2021 COLOR FAMILY OF THE YEAR and our hardwood flooring styles which fall into the color families. 

Dalton, GA, FEBRUARY 11, 2021 – Emily Morrow Finkell, founder and CEO of Emily Morrow Home, is pleased to announce the release of the 2021 Color Family of the Year, MILLED NATURALS.

Please find below our press release outlining the color stories behind the 2021 Color of the Year, also the supporting images and linked here is the EMH Milled Naturals Video which tells the story in less than a minute. 
Because great design does not cease during a pandemic, our “travel” to research the market trends has been ongoing. 
We hope you enjoy our color story and if you have an interest in learning more  about our “GOAT-inspired” Color family, we’d love to share it!

 

 

 

 

Gold’s warming influence sets the stage for a brown-based color story

Dalton, GA – February 12, 2021 – Color is Relational. For COTY 2021, Emily Morrow Home sees a bigger picture of how color reflects a Healthy living lifestyle… one of being “At home” with family. We are all on the journey of change…yearning for comfort and community. This sense of community influenced us to choose a different path for the Color of the Year 2021. Rather than highlighting 1 color, EMH to choose to highlight a Color Family…of 9!

Introducing the EMH 2021 Color Family of the YearMilled Naturals

Milled Naturals is a universal, must-have color family that emits an elevated level of luxurious tones for 2021.Gold’s warming influence gives this color family a seasonless and timeless appeal. When paired with each other, all 9 colors in the Milled Naturals family work together, harmoniously. They are also quietly confident when standing on their own. The lighter, luxurious Milled Naturals have a graceful subtlety that is tranquil and soothing.

This family has strong roots of yellow and red that provide balance to the more saturated Milled Naturals. This brown-based story has long-lasting relevance and is a fresh new direction from the market saturated grey influence of recent years. Like freshly tilled earth from which nature springs, Good Earth is the first color in our color family, followed by the ever-nurturing Goat’s Milk. Good Earth is best represented by two deep brown hardwood styles, William & Mary and Handmade Harvest. Goat’s Milk can be found in our Cosmopolitan Coast and Surf Shack.

We believe that when you experience the warmth of the Milled Naturals, they will influence a conversation of grounding words, ripe for our life-stretching moments.

EMH BUZZ WORDS:

Universal | Seasonless | Authentic | Flexible | Artisanal | Heirloom | Legacy

Tranquil | Community | Regenerate | Cocoon | Comfort | Tactile |Confident

Expect our natural hardwood flooring to show its natural beauty… listening to its inherent design and texture that nature calls us to appreciate.

By adding bold, organic accent colors, the pairing of Milled Naturals offers endless color combinations that have universal application. Refresh with vibrant trending Greens, powdered and chalked tints, rich jewel tones, and orange- based color combinations.

As we continue to search for support, comfort, trust, and interactive touch, the time has come for the universal warmth of the 2021 EMH Milled Naturals color family.

Stay tuned, monthly, for more in-depth stories of each of the 9 EMH 2021 Milled Naturals to be released throughout the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister’s baby goat visited my offices and I was smitten…to the point of shifting our color story to GOAT’S MILK.

About Emily Morrow Home

Emily Morrow Home is a leader in the American hardwood flooring industry. Founded by Emily Morrow Finkell, the company offers high-quality, luxury hardwoods to retailers through select distributors and buying groups. All flooring products are sustainably harvested, constructed, and finished in the USA. Finkell is a member of the NWFA (National Wood Flooring Association); NWFA Verified from U.S. Renewing Forests; California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board; Allied Member ASID; CMG; and SCS Certified Indoor Advantage Gold For more information, visit emilymorrowhome.com or Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube or Vimeo.

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From Hiving to Nesting: EVOLVING WITH AN ERA OF CHANGE

EVOLVING WITH AN ERA OF CHANGE by Emily Morrow Finkell for Hardwood Floors Magazine

Just when we think we have things all figured out, the world changes, we are forced to adjust our compasses in order to move ahead. Undoubtedly our lives have been permanently changed by the 2020 pandemic as it wreaked havoc around the world, and we have racked our brains to determine the best path forward to avoid becoming stymied by it all. Looking back at the eras of major change, we can pin down points in history when color palettes and design trends evolved and with hindsight as our teacher, we can understand “why” those changes came about and predict what’s to come in the present.

 

 

 

 

FROM HIVING TO NESTING

One of those times was following the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the US and we saw a huge surge of interest in colors and textures that calmed and soothed the human spirit. Today, similarly we are seeing a similar shift towards colors that calm and soothe, and the home has become the center of work and rest. Only a few years ago, we were writing about the “hiving” of the millennials as they were moving into the city, driving the development of mixed use developments, and purchasing what many would call “disposable furnishings” from places like Wayfair or IKEA. We now find the same demographic groups migrating to the suburbs, snatching up fixer upper homes and shopping for second-hand items that can be painted or reupholstered. Once “hiving” seemed like a hub of social opportunities, it now looks like an opportunity to become infected by a virus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION

I’ve always found that “necessity is the mother of invention” and have almost always made my most creative decisions when hardest pressed. Supply chain disruption has become an unexpected hurdle in 2020, as raw materials are taking longer to source, stores have been indefinitely closed indefinitely in various parts of the country. When one can find furniture at resale shops, it benefits more than just the homeowner. It’s an immediate “sale” by the local business where it was sold, it brings “instant character” to a space, and generally offers a nice “story” of where or how it was “found”. Clearly our foundation of color has been shifting from gray-based to brown-based, it is essential to understand what else those changes lead us to and how those changes make us feel. But there are aspects beyond our color preferences that are shifting. The very materials we choose are also at play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIOPHILIC DESIGN CALMS THE SENSES

Bringing nature and sunlight indoors promotes a feeling of wellness. Brown, tan, green and yellow gold are all colors from nature, and integrating those same colors in the home mimics the feeling of nature while simultaneously solving the design challenge of merging the “second-hand” furnishings within the spaces. Natural materials in their own natural colors are long-accepted healthier options over their synthetic counterparts. Hardwood species like white oak has intrinsic properties that are “naturally” antibacterial as do metals like copper, brass, and bronze. Leather and performance fabrics are easier to clean and stand up to the daily wear that cleaning entails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRADING PLACES WITH SPACES

Anytime we endure a hardship of some kind, we learn something about ourselves and this time is no exception. If you’ve ever had physical ailments that required crutches or a wheelchair, it can be assured that you forever-after consider the “universal” design needs or , and saw steps as a challenge to someone on crutches. Those of us who have quarantined at home will forever consider things like: how to live in one home while another member “quarantines”, how to sanitize surfaces, types of air filtration, and the importance of quality interior design. Recently I pointed to the fact that many are now working from home, “commuting” from the bedroom to the family room for things like online classes, virtual meetings, and many have adapted to working this new way, and might prefer it over the previous break-neck pace of constant meetings and travel. With increasing time spent at home, there comes a need to examine how much square footage to allocate for the specific activities and how to use each space. It only takes a few design shows on cable TV to hear the words “open concept” come up frequently. Open concept has been the status quo for well over a decade. From Fixer Uppers’ Chip and Joanna Gaines to Property Brothers’ Drew and Jonathan Scott, tearing down walls has become an expected first step when refurbishing old homes. We can’t help but enjoy seeing the dramatic transformation on TV. All the “tear down that wall” drama is changing as we have identified the need for “specific” spaces for “specific” purposes and seeing the down-side of wide open spaces in a home. The future of interiors includes very specifically purposed spaces: a home office, a ready-made guest suite for quarantining, a media room, a game room, and most importantly a specific room with a well-designed backdrop for Zoom meetings.

 

 

FROM LUXURY TO NECESSITY

We are going to see previously accepted “norms” change in more ways than just people moving from urban spaces to rural places. The norms of where our walls go, or don’t go, or the purpose of a room change the very fabric of our lives. Specific purposed rooms are going to be needed. Once considered a luxury, we now find that home office, home gym, outdoor kitchens, outdoor living rooms each bring with them very specific furnishings are more essential than we could have predicted. Master bedrooms now need quiet and comfortable seating and internet connection to host virtual conference calls. Outdoor living spaces offer a place where a family can congregate safely. Outdoor spaces bring with them the need for smokeless fire pits, frost-proof/water-proof finishes, and performance fabrics for seating. Home gyms are another example of a space that has shifted from a “luxury” to a “necessity” in order to stay fit without going into public gyms, many of which might not be open depending on the state in which someone lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT THIS MEANS

If you’re currently living in a home with an “open concept” design, how can you make changes without moving or remodeling completely? Consider the addition of pocket or sliding doors to separate spaces “ad hoc”.  What does this look like for those of us in the floor covering world? We can certainly state the colors are NOT going to change so much that they’ll make our recent furnishings look obsolete but rather slow down in their shift from cool gray neutrals to warmer gray, taupe, tan and brown neutrals. Hardwood flooring is coming to the forefront with this renewed focus on health and wellness and that benefits us all.

Home gyms and natural materials are among the most sought after design trends (Featured flooring: FIRST LEAF by Emily Morrow Home, MADE IN USA)

 

 

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LIVING BETTER THROUGH HEALTHY DESIGN

 

HANDMADE HARVEST BY EMILY MORROW HOME LUXURY HARDWOOD

LIVING BETTER THROUGH HEALTHY DESIGN

Do you find yourself drawn to natural materials because of their beauty? Have you ever considered that it’s your most basic of instincts guiding you to choose something that is better for you. We spend a good portion of our lives in our homes, even more if you’re working from home, and can either choose to have healthy natural materials that make us feel good and look beautiful, or the alternative option of high VOCs, products laden with chemicals the likes of which we are only beginning to discover. As a survivor of breast cancer and an interior designer I’d like to help you see the many ways you can attain a healthy home for you and your loved ones.

 

Click to view Emily Morrow Home’s Holistic Living Video

 

CAN YOUR DECISIONS HELP YOU STAY HEALTHY?

Decorators and designers are experts at choosing what’s going to work best for their clients. We do continual research into what’s new, what’s going on in the materials world, whether something is going to last and look beautiful for a long time or wear out quickly. Designers want your decisions to be “investments” making your homes become more valuable, not necessarily so you can sell it for more money than you have in it, but so you can enjoy the value of it while you are living there. If you’ve ever prepared a home to sell by repainting the walls, installing new carpet or hardwood floors only to find yourself loving the transformation and wondering “Why didn’t I do this years ago?”.

WHY DIDN’T I DO THIS SOONER?

We are now looking ahead into what is even more important than aesthetics, health and wellness. If something is beautiful but makes you feel sick, can you really enjoy it? Oftentimes it takes time to discover the hidden costs of certain decisions and we find ourselves at a crossroads, between “cheaper” flooring, furniture and other products that are made with elevated levels of chemicals that have compromised the health of our homes and offices. If you’re not in the space for long periods of time, no big worry; however if you are quarantined at home and working from home, then you’re finding that the materials you want around you are made of the most simple ingredients. Natural hardwood is one of my areas of expertise and I have learned and seen the best and the worst in this specific industry over the past 30 years. What I hope to do is help you with finding not only beautiful hardwood flooring, but also flooring that is made in the United States, of the most natural of ingredients, that will last a lifetime if treated with a little love.

 

INCREASED SCRUTINY OVER INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Not to be too much of an infomercial, but it’s important to start by stating that all Emily Morrow Home hardwood flooring exceeds (and in some certifications are exempt) all the indoor air certifications because we do not add any formaldehyde, our manufacturing process is incredibly simple, using UV lights on our finish line, essentially “baking” in the stains and protection of aluminum oxide that in the end make it possible for the end users to install the flooring products and walk on them the same day. There is no need to allow them to cure, or sit for days and ours have zero VOCs or indoor air allergens to be concerned with. I think it’s important to design a space that, yes is beautiful, and even more importantly to be a space that everyone can relax and enjoy without worry or fear that it’s easily damaged or even worse, bad for our health.

Think about it~ Let me know what YOU are doing to stay healthy!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Definition of Luxury Hardwood: Emily Morrow Home

Don’t mistakenly equate “luxury” with “expensive”. It’s more about a customized look… and it’s currently what Emily Morrow Home’s customers desire and designers demand. “Interior designers work with demographic groups that generally are higher earning households, and their clients generally are hiring the designers to help create an interior that adds to their overall quality of life and pleasure,” said CEO Emily Morrow Finkell. She explained those clients are hungry to create a space that’s completely unlike the interior next door. These custom options, from cut to color, help differentiate high-end hardwood. Morrow Finkell says that having a range of format offerings is essential to curating a luxury line. “Having a variety of options,” she echoed, “either custom or herringbone are essential.”

Below is the interview recently conducted between Emily Morrow Finkell and Floor Covering Weekly for their 2020 FCW Luxury Issue

Q1) What defines high-end hardwood: the cut, finish, design, etc.? Please explain. Why are these attributes important? 

A1) The definition of high-end hardwood certainly should be looked upon in the same light as diamonds since they both begin with the “cut”… the more precious the part of wood that is revealed by the cut, the harder it is to achieve that particular cut, the more desirable it is. Quarter-sawn veneers and select grades of North American white oak are among the most timeless requests in the world of luxury hardwood especially if it’s domestically-grown and domestically-harvested, it leaves no doubt of its origins. Today’s consumers insist on knowing how it’s made, if it is “safe” for the end-user as much as it is for those in the factories, think of this material almost like the entire “clean eating, farm to table, organically grown” version of hardwood flooring. Colors and finishes for the flooring need not hide or disguise the beautiful flecks, grain and medullary rays of the material but rather allow the natural eye see and appreciate it for its natural beauty. Some of the color influences are also drawn from other natural materials like “limestone”, salt, plaster, natural linen, jute, hemp and the natural-neutral colors of wool. The colorations, although subtle are critical that they are “just right”, not too gray, not too yellow, not too pink, not too green…but “just right’ in almost every light source. Beyond the cut of course is the size (thickness, width and stability) of the plank…keeping in mind that having a variety of options, either “custom” or “herringbone” coordinates are essential. 

Q2) Why does wood sell well at the upper end? 

A2) Wellness, holistic homes and “healthy” living are major catalysts. Although it may sound like I’m repeating the same thing if you listened in to my presentation on Thursday for NWFA’s “Changing Market Trends”…you’ll begin to understand that it is a BIG TREND…and no one else seems to be talking about it, except me…so that is an indication that our industry is focusing on other things that they perceive as a higher priority. “Hipsturibia” and “holistic residential ares” are designed and constructed with the natural materials, although the per square foot price tag is on the high end, it is a trade off for what these consumers’ value over those from 20 years ago, who wanted the maximum square footage “McMansion”. Those who wanted “McMansions” probably loved their “Big Macs” while today’s homes are “conspicuously comfortable and natural” just like the uber-organic “Whole Foods” deliveries brought to their doors. 

Q3) What are the benefits of choosing a luxury wood?   

A3) Key themes for my brand and products have been “custom options”, premium cuts as well as timeless designs and colors. Knowing the higher end consumer’s desires and design styles has proven to be beneficial in curating the collection. Knowing the “whys” certain colors and finishes were trending upwards, and understanding that I didn’t want to be everything to everyone, but my particular segment of consumers.”Tendencies” and behaviors are the key, like in playing doubles tennis, when you see your opponent at the net reaching overhead with their tennis racquet, you should expect there to be a tennis ball coming at you right away.  Interior designers work with demographic groups that generally are higher earning households, and their clients generally are hiring the designers to help create an interior that adds to their overall quality of life and pleasure which includes what can be best described as the “spiritual” need to have a place that exudes who they are, unlike the interior of the space next door, unique. “Customization” and “experiential” both helped craft and define the collections of EMH hardwood. A love of travel, having a curiousity about the world and a desire to bring the most natural and healthful materials into a space, are at the heart of EMH and EMH for Louis A. Dabbieri. Without seeing some of the places I was inspired by, it’s still possible to imagine the colors of the Serengeti or the cloud of gray dust and blur of zebras and wildebeests when clicking on the videos showing the “Design Journey” for styles named “Tusker”, “Great Migration”, “Serengeti Spirit” …just to name a few. Taking those experiences and translating them into colors and finishes that leave no doubt that when looking at the flooring you are indeed seeing those very things in your minds’ eye. 

Wellness has been a huge priority in the Morrow-Finkell household as you already know, I’m a breast cancer survivor with now a daughter who’s a Covid-19 survivor and it goes without saying that everything we have touched, everything we have brought into our home has to pass a series of criteria: where did it come from? Who all has been in contact with it? What are the ingredients? How long would a virus or bacteria last on it? Where does this go when its useful life is over? Knowing that viruses live longer on plastic than they do on wood is one statistic many consumers will not forget after this pandemic is over. Living better, living longer are a priority over living “large” and brandishing designer handbags. Today’s consumers are living with health and wellness foremost in their minds. It isn’t your imagination that it’s the millennials, Gen-Y and Gen X’ers who have been the most outspoken for the “more senior” family members to “stay home and wear a mask”, while standing outside their windows or delivering their groceries to them. It’s the same consumers who are the recipients or soon to be on the receiving end of the ‘“transfer of wealth” already documented in various reports. 

 

RESEARCH EXCERPTS FROM ARTICLES CITED BELOW:

The researchers behind the new study tested the virus’ life span in a 71-degree-Fahrenheit room at 65% relative humidity. After three hours, the virus had disappeared from printing and tissue paper. It took two days for it to leave wood and cloth fabric. After four days, it was no longer detectable on glass or paper money. It lasted the longest, seven days, on stainless steel and plastic. https://www.businessinsider.com/how-long-can-coronavirus-live-on-surfaces-how-to-disinfect-2020-3

According to Rachel Graham, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, smooth, nonporous surfaces like doorknobs and tabletops are better at carrying viruses in general. Porous surfaces — like money, hair, and cloth fabric — don’t allow viruses to survive as long because the small spaces or holes in them can trap the virus and prevent its transfer, Graham told Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/how-long-can-coronavirus-live-on-surfaces-how-to-disinfect-2020-3

Wellbeing

The health of individuals – mental and physical – society as a whole, and the wider natural environ- ment. Growth in demand for a healthy outcome is driving innovation across the real estate sector.

Environmental, social & governance (ESG) criteria

A generic term used by investors to evaluate corpo- rate behaviour against a set of non-financial perfor- mance indicators including sustainable, ethical and corporate governance issues such as managing the company’s carbon footprint and ensuring there are systems in place to ensure accountability.

COLDWELL-BANKER-REPORT

Watch for housing developments focused around wellness, “hipsturbia” neighborhoods, and communities catering to active seniors, millennials, and LGBTQ. When it comes to luxury condos in big cities, we are already seeing more buildings offering unique hospitality and services for pets and children, as well as five-star hotel-condo models. New definitions of luxury are emerging, creating greater diversity within the marketplace. A one-size-fits- all approach to connecting with tomorrow’s affluent consumers is not the future of our business!

Tax law changes in 2018 that limited deductions for state and local taxes provide further fuel for buyers to move from places like New York and California to Florida and Arizona.

Another recurrent theme is the broad concept of wellness, which has come to mean much more than spas, pools, and exercise rooms to include everything related to holistic well-being. Increasing focus on green design is giving rise to rating systems that certify buildings as eco-friendly, while similar certifications are taking root to score buildings’ wellness.

Finally, there is a widening recognition of the increasing influence of several demographic groups in the luxury home market. 

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) estimates the worldwide wellness market to be worth $4.5 trillion, with the strongest growth coming from the spa industry, wellness tourism, and the emerging industry of wellness real estate,1 which has taken flight by responding to rising demand for buildings that support the holistic health and well-being of people who live and work in them.

“Luxury is the trend leader in wellness, but developers are starting to leverage the benefits to create more affordable smart-healthy homes and neighborhoods,” says Scialla, noting the sharpening focus on wellness at the center of new home conception, design, and creation.

With luxury goods, the craft origins, high-quality materials and small production runs that characterise the industry, assist audit trails. We can see who and how things are put together and the possible side effects during the manufacturing or distribution process.

The total number of luxury consumers is expected to reach 480 million in 2022, a 20% increase from 2015. As opposed to conspicuous consumption, social status today

is signaled through the consumption of experiences rather than material goods. By 2023, the experiential segment is forecast to account for nearly two-thirds of the total $1.2 billion luxury market.

Universalis Rift and Quartersawn White Oak Herringbone Floors are representative of timeless materials that never go out of style and are built to last a lifetime
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Emily Morrow Home | NWFA and FCW | Adapting to Changing Demands

Adapting to changing demands as featured in Floor Covering Weekly
Monday, May 4, 2020
By Morgan Bulman

[Chesterfield, Mo.] The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t the only disruptive challenge the hardwood floor industry has faced. For the second day of the NWFA’s first-ever virtual Expo, a session tag-teamed by Emily Morrow Home CEO Emily Morrow Finkell and Anderson Tuftex’s director of brand strategy Katie Ford outlined how to stay steady with wood in an unpredictable marketplace.

Define your business
“Our industry is continually being disrupted,” shared Morrow Finkell during the online webinar. “We have to accept that change is constant and that it really is up to us to adapt and evolve.”

Some of the biggest complaints listed by Morrow Finkell included internet sales, fake wood, cheap imports and the uncertainty of a post-coronavirus retail market.

“Ask yourself some tough questions: What is unique to your business? Who are you hoping will buy your products? Do you know how others see you? What types of products best fit your business and your customers?” she posed, while offering listeners to review and define their value disposition.

Elevate wood’s qualities
Authenticity as a business is key, especially in order to sell an authentic product. Morrow Finkell revealed one of the most important qualities of wood is its natural authenticity, especially considering the current wellness culture consumers are living in, particularly in light of COVID-19.

And although industry professionals have a tendency to get hung up on who to sell to, whether its Baby Boomers or Millennials, “the wellness initiative is huge for every one of these demographics and will continue to expand,” she said.

In fact, Morrow Finkell referred to the Global Wellness Institute, which reported “health and wellness” is now a 4.5 trillion-dollar market and that 134 billion of that amount is devoted to holistic-oriented real estate. This can include anything from available exercise equipment to sustainable building materials like flooring.

“Designers almost always advise their clients to go with natural materials, nine times out of 10,” she noted. Wood has always been the top, coveted flooring visual, but as the market becomes oversaturated with lookalikes, Morrow Finkell believes there’s untapped potential in offering premium, high quality products consumers are starved for.

“Wood is synonymous with wellness,” she stressed.

“Hardwood is truly timeless,” but a great way to stay on top of changing market demands is to keep tabs on what customers are looking for. And, right now, there are three aspects to keep tabs on:

1. Light and neutral colors: Plaster, jute, wool, linen and muslin – this is what has inspired the light and ultra-matte colors of Emily Morrow Home. “Organic is a huge buzz word,” shared Morrow Finkell. Natural, organic and plaster-inspired color palettes are trending.
2. Dark statement stains: Interiors in general are trending light – white cabinetry, light fixtures, fabrics. For these home choices, dark woods offer a great deal of contrast, revealed Morrow Finkell.
3. Premium cuts and graining: When it comes to wood, quality sells well. “If you have a premium brand, you need to have a premium sample experience,”. To receive free samples of Emily Morrow Home Hardwood, simply text EMILY2 to 900900.

 

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Sharing Her Story by Burt Bollinger for NWFA Magazine

SHARING HER STORY BY BURT BOLLINGER

Published February 3, 2020 NWFA Magazine
Emily Morrow Home

Emily Morrow Finkell is providing her customers with American-made hardwood flooring with a very personal touch. With the launch of Emily Morrow Home, she has infused her life-long love of interior design into a series of made-to-order flooring collections that both tell stories and bring her unique life experiences into customers’ homes. This life experience includes more than three decades as an interior designer and flooring expert, including serving as Shaw Industries’ Director of Color, Style, and Design. “I’ve worked with a lot of wonderful people who taught me so much. Beyond interior design, I’ve learned so much about curating products into a collection as well as creating and launching a brand. I’ve learned the importance of knowing how to tell a story and how to make it easy to understand,” explains Morrow. Morrow’s first step to build her story outline was in-depth research. To do this, Morrow traveled the country, visiting with friends and flooring experts to seek out their input on what they wanted to see. She came away from those conversations knowing that they wanted something unique…something that could not be found at big box locations. “Those I reached out to wanted a brand that spoke to quality. However, they also wanted something they did not have to inventory, but rather work with sources that know the art of working with the design trade,” says Morrow. In addition to a brand that met these criteria, Morrow says she knew she wanted to speak to the idea of social responsibility and giving back. It’s a story that she has been able to tell through Emily Morrow Home’s manufacturer, American OEM’s unique set up, where the hardwood flooring is made-to-order in a plant located inside of a medium-security prison in Tennessee.

“Working with American OEM not only helps these men become reformed citizens, but they also become trained skilled craftsmen,” says Morrow. “By the time they are released, not only have they been paid, but they are frequently able to get jobs with us after they are released. It’s a program my husband, Don Finkell, developed in eight plants during his career in manufacturing hardwood flooring.” From a practical perspective, Morrow also believes this unique manufacturing process leads to stunning visuals. “It gives us so much design flexibility, and when so many dedicated hands can come together on a product, it allows us to do amazing things with wood. For example, some of our designs feature heavy scrapes, with black rubbed into the scrape. That said, for customers who have refined tastes, we also provide more traditional looks,” says Morrow. The unique manufacturing approach provides her collection to designers in a somewhat non-traditional way. “Rather than having to inventory all of this in their warehouses, because the team can turn orders quickly, buyers don’t have to commit a lot of capital for truckloads or freighters,” explains Morrow. As another way to make her brand unique and stand apart from others on the market, Morrow says it was vital that she told personal stories with color, style, and design.“It’s important that every style has a personal story behind it,” says Morrow. As one example, she was even able to gain color inspiration from her family trip to Kenya. “We were enjoying being unplugged, in the middle of the Serengeti plain, and while there I was completely filled with inspiration by the great migration of wildebeests. From the two weeks on safari came our EMH Color of theYear for 2019, Tusker Taupe, as well as our other newest colors, Great Migration, Moon River, and Serengeti Spirit.”

SPREADING THE WORD

Following Emily on Instagram yet? If not perhaps you are on Facebook? How about Twitter?  For Morrow, the final piece of her brand’s puzzle would be how she communicates her brand’s story to the world. In addition to creativity and finding inspiration from life experiences, Emily Morrow stresses the importance of digital marketing as a way to share her brand’s unique story. “Social media is essential, and everyone should be engaging with consumers through it. My advice with digital marketing is that we should make it personal if at all possible,” explains Morrow. “Today, there are so many ways to reach out to not just retailers and designers, but end-users to create demand and brand recognition. Ultimately, everyone has to do it their way and do what makes the most sense for their customer base, but everyone should try to find a way to tell their brand’s own unique story in as personal a way as possible.”

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Emily Morrow Finkell for NWFA | WOMEN INSPIRING OTHERS 

Emily Morrow Finkell for Hardwood Floors Magazine NWFA | WOMEN INSPIRING OTHERS 

The February March 2020 issue of Hardwood Floors celebrates the talented and dynamic women in our industry who have gone before us and worked amongst us. They smoothed the path, opened doors, and showed other women the way forward. I am so inspired by these women and would not be where I am today without their wisdom and guidance. Looking back on the lessons I’ve learned, and taking stock of how many influential and passionate women have inspired me never to stop growing, I hope what I do today will inspire others in the same way. While my career has gone through a series of changes, I know my journey would not have been possible with the support given to me by women in the industry.

THE VITAL ROLE OF WOMEN IN FLOOR COVERING

I’m fortunate to have a unique perspective on the power of women in flooring history, starting at a very early age. Growing up in Dalton, Georgia, I’ve witnessed generation after generation of women entrepreneurs acting as trailblazers and role models. If you’re familiar with the history of carpet, you’ll know it all started in Dalton along “Peacock Alley” with the crafting of hand-tufted chenille bedspreads, an industry started by extraordinary women like Dicksie Bradley Bandy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the great depression, Dicksie and her husband’s country store had given credit to their customers who had no money to pay for the goods they needed, only their possessions, what they could make or grow themselves. The country store eventually became indebted to their suppliers and although there was no way to recoup the money from their customers, Dicksie and her husband were determined to repay every dollar. Determined to find a way to raise the funds, she boarded a train to Washington, D.C., carrying a suitcase filled with hand-tufted chenille bedspreads to sell to large department stores. She came home with enough money to repay her suppliers AND with enough orders to give several families an income for their craft. That simple cottage industry grew and evolved to the point where Dalton is now known not just the “carpet capital” but as the “floor covering capital of the world”. 

In this industry, not only are many of my peers women, but the majority of our customers are as well. We speak of “Ms. Consumer” as making more than 91% of the purchasing decisions for the home. With the purchasing power of women in the United States ranging from $5 trillion annually, we certainly MUST consider “her” in our business decisions, and we certainly MUST consult women on what goes into a new product launch. 

WOMEN INSPIRING OTHERS

As I look back on my career path, I am grateful to the incredible women who so generously opened doors and encouraged me to go further and do do better. One such women was Evelyn Myers. In 2001 I had moved back to my hometown of Dalton from Carrollton, Georgia where I’d practiced interior design for 12 years. Although I was known in Dalton as Emily Kiker, I was not known by most as Emily Morrow, the interior designer. I did however know Mrs. Myers through my own mother and in some of our exchanges, she shared some of her upcoming “design-related” endeavors. It was that same year, 2001, Evelyn Myers invited me to be a guest designer in her “Judd House Designer Showhouse”, which would provide valuable networking opportunities with our local community, other designers and architects. If not for her invitation, I might not have had the change to meet the many contacts who later became my colleagues and bosses at Shaw Industries. 

Emily Morrow Featured in Atlanta Magazine November 2001 The Judd House owned by Evelyn Myers and the Myers Family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSONS IN RESILIENCE AND PAYING DUES

Looking back, some of my early jobs were excruciating. One example was working for a family-owned women’s wear manufacturer whose owners would inadvertently exhale their cigarette smoke into my eyes causing me to leave work many days in tears. At the same time, they also gave me the chance to work with fabrics, color-ways, and the people that would be selling the apparel across the U.S. That experience was priceless. Soon I found myself training sales persons about the designs and colors of the coming collections.

Along the way, I learned about perseverance, resilience and the importance of hard work – even when it it seemed at the time like I was being pulled in the wrong direction. Balancing competing priorities had been modeled by my mother, a fantastic entrepreneur in her own right. As I began my own journey into motherhood as an interior designer, I carried with me the power of the examples and lessons that only magnified in importance over time. 

While I loved the work I was doing, after the arrival of my firstborn William, I was inspired to take a huge leap. The result was that my own interior design business was born. It was the culmination of all that I had learned and experienced up until then – and just when I thought I had it all “balanced” along comes Mary. Juggling motherhood to two small children with an interior design business taught me how to put first things first. My first design business operated in the West Georgia area for nearly 12 years, doing both commercial and residential design projects. 

Those years allowed me the experience of putting family first. It’s a lesson I’ve tried to live by since. I learned to be a mother first and foremost, and I had the flexibility and freedom to schedule design appointments around the schedules of babysitters, mothers’ mornings out, and my children’s own evolving schedules. 

ANSWERING THE OPPORTUNITY

The women in my life have taught me so many powerful lessons that I try to pass on to those who I have had the good fortune of knowing. One of the most important things I was taught is that like doors, opportunities can open and close quickly. Recognizing the opportunities requires a certain kind of “sixth sense” to know when to take them. Unfortunately, too often opportunities can seem daunting and present themselves as “risk”.

This lesson became a huge blessing as I faced a professional crossroads in 2002. Having just become a single mother, and after operating my own interior design business for many years, I was encouraged to move into the corporate world to provide the benefits my children and I would need. While there was some risk involved (would I be able to work the corporate hours? What if my kids needed me? How could I juggle my children’s activities with my travel schedule?…and much more) it was a leap that I was well-prepared to take for my family. 

So when asked if I could direct a large group of corporate professionals and juggle continually changing business priorities, I actually laughed out loud. That had become second nature to me. For years, at any given time, I had teams of painters, carpenters, flooring installers or other tradespeople going in and out of the businesses and homes of my clients, on time and budget, all while being a mother of two. Speaking of juggling priorities, one very important project, a medical arts building was being installed the very day I was in labor with the birth of my daughter. Needless to say, both “projects” demanded my attention that day but in the end, my family was only thing that truly mattered.

THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY

I hope that my experience demonstrates to other women – and men – in the industry that you can prioritize family and still have an enriching and successful career. That is perhaps the most important lesson of all, and one I hope to be remembered for, the same way I remember all of the incredible wisdom and support that was shared with me.

I encourage all of us to prioritize family and to allow everything else to fall into place. Following my own advice, I opted to leave a life of constant travel while working for a massive company, to instead revel in family. I chose to instead take a moment to savor my time being a new wife, a mother, and an empty nester.

When the time was right, I again took another risk, following my instinct, and formed a new enterprise, one that would eventually become relevant to husband’s own company. Who encouraged me to take that step? It was the same woman who inspired me nearly thirty years prior, my mother.