West Elm Local has been named the inaugural “Design Influencer of the Year,” to be presented in conjunction with the 2017 Housewares Design Awards.
Mo Mullen, director of business development for West Elm Local, is set to accept the award during the 2017 Housewares Design Awards ceremony, January 24, during the Las Vegas Market.
The Housewares Design Awards are presented by HomeWorld Business and hosted by Las Vegas Market, with sponsorship by Whitford Corporation.
“We applaud West Elm’s role as a champion of locally inspired, designed and crafted products,” said Peter Giannetti, editor-in-chief of HomeWorld Business. “It’s exciting to see the maker and artisan movements influencing today’s home product design on local, national and international levels. Such independent creativity is an enduring housewares development cornerstone across all retail channels. The Housewares Design Awards program is proud to support the democracy of commercially viable design excellence embodied by Mo Mullen and West Elm Local.”
“Las Vegas Market is pleased and proud to host the 12th Housewares Design Awards and to recognize West Elm Local as the first-ever Design Influencer of the Year,” said Dorothy Belshaw, president of gift and home décor, International Market Centers. “West Elm’s groundbreaking Local program— with its 500-plus makers crafting more than 4,500 products carried in 85 West Elm retail locations nationwide— has positively influenced consumer awareness of locally-designed and produced goods, while also forging a new synergy between independent designers and specialty chain retailers. As the leading furniture, home decor and gift destination in the western U.S., Las Vegas Market is committed to supporting pioneering retail initiatives that help to sustain a rich community of artisan vendors.”
Mullen is the architect of the West Elm Local initiative, which partners with local makers and designers from across the country to bring regionally sourced products into West Elm stores. She was instrumental in building the merchandising team for the Local launch in late 2013, and she helped launch West Elm’s first Local Small Business Grant in 2014, a $25,000 grant that helps makers grow their small businesses from the ground up.
“We are tremendously gratified to be recognized with this exciting new award, which recognizes and celebrates our store managers for taking on new roles as shopkeepers and entrepreneurs,” Mullen said. “Through Local, West Elm empowers store managers to find and build relationships with local artisans and makers, establishing a local assortment in West Elm stores and on WestElm.com. Each neighborhood store is not only a place of design and discovery, but also an active, communal hub that celebrates and supports local craft.”
The Housewares Design Awards— the premier awards program focused on housewares design innovation— were founded in 2003 by HomeWorld Business to honor supplier efforts within the industry to create new ways to improve everyday living, and recognize excellence in 12 core housewares categories. Las Vegas Market will host the awards for the first time in 2017, as an extension of its overall growth strategy for gift-oriented housewares, tabletop and specialty food.
The winners of the 2017 Housewares Design Awards will be announced and finalists will be recognized at a gala awards presentation ceremony on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. The event, which runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Las Vegas Market’s WorldView Ballroom on B16, will include recognition of 12 “Best in Category” winners; “Best of the Best” Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards; acceptance address by the Design Influencer of the Year Award recipient; and networking with industry executives, retailers, designers and consumer media. Tickets, which cost $50 each, can be purchased online at www.housewaresdesignawards.com.