The August 20 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 13th annual “Players,” people to watch in housewares during the next 12 months.
Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, the Players represent a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.
The HomeWorld Players are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.
Darbie Angell, Darbie Angell, CEO and Founder
PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: Beginning with five product designs, Darbie Angell founded her namesake brand 10 year ago from a bedside in Texas. Since then, Angell has painstakingly grown the tableware brand to include 30 collections and placement within a wide range of retail channels. The crux of the Darbie Angell brand, in addition to its trend-forward design, is its commitment to empowering women, a unique story to tell at retail. Today, most of the brand’s dinnerware is hand-made by the women of Bangladesh, and what started with 50 women in one factory has grown to 3,000 in 12. Within those factories, the company provides three meals a day and all forms of medical care.
WHAT TO WATCH: “We plan to continue running at full speed with our casual collection launch. We are so excited to release them, and we plan on making even more fashion-forward everyday designs not only in tableware but in bedding, home décor and beyond,” Angell told HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®. “In addition, we are sticking with our core values of empowering women. It is my personal mission to impact the lives of everyone we work with, from the women in our Bangladesh offices to my right hand woman in Austin. We are doing this by building up a fund to expand our Daulatdia Safe House and getting more doctors onsite at our factories in developing nations.”
PERSPECTIVE: “There are so many grandfathered companies out there designing traditional designs that aren’t fitting for the modern woman’s home. That kind of dining is dying out. Now, people are looking for bright and modern designs that are as youthful as the rest of our homes. Today, shoppers want bold designs that can be used for casual entertaining as well as formal events. Selling uniquely formal dinnerware is a big challenge, which is why we opened up our doors to casual collections for everyday entertaining. To me, that is so exciting because we get to create newness that encompasses the fun vibrant patterns that the rest of the home goods industry has been producing,” she said.
2019 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):
- Heshy Biegeleisen, Gourmia
- David Whitley, True Brands
- Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s
- Walter Lehneis, Groupe SEB USA
- Henry Liu, Cangshan Cutlery Company
- Darbie Angell, Darbie Angell
- Kevin Blossom, Spectrum Brands
- Mike Evans, Bush Industries
- Tom Neth, ThemoServ
- Jayme Smaldone, Mighty Mug
- Robert Wang, Instant Pot
- Ryan Gilchrist, Wayfair
- Davide Sereni, Luigi Bormioli/Bormioli Rocco
- Kristi Forbes, Forty One Madison
- Jean-Philippe Peugeot, Peugeot Saveurs North America
- Michelle Gass, Kohl’s
- Bob Maricich, International Market Centers
- Lance Hood, Progressive International
- Kenneth Wilkes, Corelle Brands