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A Warming Trend For Award-Worthy Design

If you’ll recall, last year’s Housewares Design Awards ceremony in New York City was impacted by a snow storm along the Northeast corridor that made getting to the event a treacherous journey.

But such is the unavoidable peril to any mid-winter scheduling in New York.

That’s what made this year’s Housewares Design Awards ceremony all the more remarkable. The 2012 awards were handed out on a sunny, 60-degree day two days before Groundhog Day in front of an enthusiastic, capacity crowd who came to the New York Marriott Marquis to honor the finalists and winners.

Pause To Celebrate

The metaphorical among us might want to consider that a harbinger of unseasonably warm conditions for the housewares industry in 2012.

The reality is, despite steady economic progress and the overall positive retail performance in 2011, the industry still wakes up each morning worried it will confront many of the same issues that have chilled enthusiasm the past few years.

From hurdles in China to cost pressures to retail inventory restraint to unstable customers to the rest of the volatility that challenges business in this new climate, there is little chance to pause even for a moment to celebrate accomplishment.

That’s what made this year’s Housewares Design Awards ceremony all the more remarkable. For three hours on a spring-like day in the middle of winter in New York, the industry got a chance to bask in some well-deserved recognition for its hard work.

Democracy has been a hallmark of the Housewares Design Awards since HomeWorld Business created the competition in 1993 and hosted the first ceremony in 1994.

The Right Balance

The smallest of companies in the business are judged equally against the largest of companies. Newcomers to the business face the same odds of winning as veterans. 

The awards each year are up for grabs to all products that exemplify just the right balance of innovative, accessible and marketable form and function. 

This year’s finalists and winners (see complete coverage on pages 18 to 30 of the February 20, 2012, issue) underscore the industry as a veritable melting pot when it comes to inviting inventive ideas into the sweepstakes for success on retail shelves.

Resolute Passion

Watch and listen to interviews with this year’s winners at and housewaresdesign As excited and grateful as they are in victory, one gets the sense their creative passion is resolute— win or lose.

The same goes for all the finalists at the 2012 Housewares Awards ceremony. And for the hundreds more that were entered this year.

Singularly, each entrant was a hopeful design competitor. Unified, all entrants represented an entire industry trying to avoid the peril of today’s business climate by making everyone’s lives feel a little warmer.

The journey itself deserves congratulations.

Thanks to all that helped make the 2012 Housewares Design Awards a resounding success: the HomeWorld Business and Gourmet Insider teams for editorial, sales, marketing, creative and production support; the International Housewares Association for judging management and event support; The Gourmet Housewares Show at NYIGF and Whitford Corporation for sponsorship; Field Marketing & Media for media relations; Paul Murphy for event management; and everyone else who lent a hand.