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Designers, Licensed Collections

How Hospitality Designer Stacy Garcia Is Bringing Her Signature Style to Consumers

Longtime New York hospitality designer Stacy Garcia has been aggressively growing her franchise adding a range of licensing deals geared to the consumer.

Lisa Vincenti
designer Stacy Garcia in a living room vignette featuring her area rug design
Designer Stacy Garcia launched her Karastan area rugs in the fall of 2021.

NEW YORK -- Longtime New York hospitality designer Stacy Garcia continues to expand her Stacy Garcia Home franchise, targeting the consumer market and adding a range of licensing programs including her new area rug collaboration with Karastan and pillows with LR Home.

The designer was at both the Karastan and LR Home showrooms during the spring High Point Market with retail buyers and designers stopping by to see her first licensed consumer rugs and pillows. What's more, her rugs and pillows have already been snapped up by Nebraska Furniture Mart, which stopped by the LR Home showroom to celebrate the debut of her pillow collection (read more).

Nora Gomez, chief merchandising officer at Nebraska Furniture Mart, told RugNews.com at the event that the multi-store retailer is a big Stacy Garcia fan. “We’re taking the entire pillow program; we already have her rugs with Karastan and we previewed her new furniture with Klaussner.”

LR Home and designer Stacy Garcia introduced her new pillow collection at spring 2022 High Point Market.

Garcia's leap into the consumer market featured a decidedly 21st century twist -- building a large 200,000 following on social media and using those connections to generate excitement for the launch of her one-year-old shopstcygarcia.com home decor online shop and cementing a new partnership with NFM.

The designer, who launched her career as a hospitality textile designer, founded commercial textile supplier LebaTex in 1999, which she has since sold, forming Stacy Garcia, Inc., a licensing and design studio focused on the hospitality segment. Today, the entrepreneur is bringing her signature style, what she calls modern eclectic, to consumers through her Stacy Garcia Home label, which includes accent furniture from Klaussner, a popular line of peel and stick wallpapers for Nextwall, a tile line with TileBar, her newly launched area rug program for Mohawk Home's Karastan division and just-introduced line of pillows and accents with LR Home.

"I designed for hospitality for many years and we were looking at our vision and business strategy and saying how do we grow -- we have this great reputation designing products for hotels. I have designed product from floor to ceiling, carpet, furniture, lighting, wallpaper and accessories -- really anything you would need to outfit a hotel. We design with partners under our two hospitality brands, Blue and Stacy Garcia New York.

"But we wanted to launch into consumer. That is really the next big adventure for our company," Garcia continued. "We have the ability, it's just looking at different trends in the market and bringing a point of view which is modern and eclectic -- it's very much through a contemporary lens regardless of what brand we are designing for. I want to reflect the lifestyle of today's consumer through a more clean lined, more modern and edgier look -- what I call "modern eclectic."


Stacy Garcia poses in front of her rugs in her Karastan exclusive with Nebraska Furniture Mart last fall.

Garcia's inaugural area rug program launched in collaboration with a retailer -- NFM -- and Karastan originated from an unexpected place. In fact, Garcia, who had a relationship with Nora Gomez, chief merchandising officer at Nebraska, says that Gomez reached out to let her know that she liked Garcia's merchandising and style approach on her online shop.

"She [Gomez] said I love what you are doing with your online shop, I love the modern eclectic story... 'I love the mix. It's new and it's fresh, and the way you are merchandising is cool,'" Garcia recalled, adding that Gomez queried her on whether Garcia would be interested in working with NFM in some capacity. "So of course I said 'yes' because that is an amazing opportunity. She ended up introducing me to their division manager and ultimately the rug buyer."

After Garcia and the NFM team hashed out how to bring Garcia's look and merchandising approach to NFM customers, they settled on an inaugural area rug collection.

Stacy Garcia's modern eclectic style is evident in this home office she designed.

"We are considering the possibility of future pop-up shops with Nebraska to bring that whole modern eclectic merchandise mix to the table," Garcia explained. "For now, we are kicking off our relationship with rugs. When I initially spoke to them, we didn't have a rug license yet. One of the things Gomez said is that they loved our tiles for TileBar and she asked what else could we put with them if we wanted to build out more of a story. So rugs came up."


Karastan's Las Vegas Market showroom showcased the latest Stacy Garcia Home area rugs this past January.

Garcia, who has a long association with Mohawk and its hospitality division, Durkan, asked the NFM team if she could pitch the concept to Mohawk first. "I have this relationship with Mohawk through hospitality and the Nebraska team said they love Mohawk. When I pitched Mohawk on the look and this opportunity with Nebraska, they were all in and we signed with Mohawk pretty immediately. They have great resources, a super talented team and I love that the product is made in the United States -- we are not dealing with the same production and import issues that others are. Mohawk also has a great fiber story, a recycled content story, and it is super soft. It feels so nice under foot and because it is machine-made, its a pretty reasonable price. So you get a lot of bang for the buck with this product."

The Karastan price points also fall in line with the furniture line from Klaussner, allowing both categories to complement one another.

"From the merchandising perspective, for a retailer who is setting up vignettes in their stores, and want price points to hold -- it will be a nice story that way. Or as a consumer, who is looking to take that look home, I have cultivated the ability to put things together for 25 plus years, so part of what we do, the gift we give to consumers, is to preconceive these things -- What rug should go with a bedroom set? How do you put this look together? That is what we are trying to do and from our price point we want to offer products that are great quality at a more affordable price."

Stacy Garcia Home x Karastan launched with an exclusive collection at NFM that included 12 designs in September 2021. The program was expanded to include open line area rugs and introduced to retailers at the October 2021 High Point Market. The premier collection, called Rendition, includes 16 power-loomed styles with a cut pile, made of Triexta or a Triexta and polyester blend. At the January Las Vegas Market, Garcia hosted a special meet and greet at the Karastan showroom, rolling out the concept to West Coast buyers. And for the recent spring High Point Market, she hosted a special design discussion with buyers at Karastan's IHFC space.

Karastan's Stacy Garcia Home assortment includes the soft Abydos design shown in periwinkle colorway.

"The line very much captures a modern eclectic look," Garcia said of the designs which drew inspiration from vintage textiles and studio created art. Included in the collection are a range from vintage-inspired but very modern geometric designs to watercolor-like graphic looks to updated tribal styles and abstracts.

"With the rugs, I am hoping people will have a pleasant surprise, because online the rugs look great," Garcia said. "We took a two-pronged approach: one with a lot of neutrals as a base, some with gold patterns or accents, and the other is a color story which includes blues, mineral greens, pastels and even a gold story."

Karastan featured its licensed area rug collaborations at the spring 2022 High Point. Above, rugs by Stacy Garcia Home.

"So if they buy these online and unroll to see it in person for the first time they will say 'wow,' because the rugs are really soft and plush-- it's a really nice product," Garcia noted. Of her pillow launch at spring High Point, she added, “The inspiration for my pillow collection with LR Home was really to bring a fun modern look to their assortment. We wanted to do a collection that we could really mix and match, so from a buyer’s perspective it’s really easy to merchandise and build a story."


Stacy Garcia started introducing consumers to her signature style on social media sites, curating shoppable looks.
Featured above is her Pom pillow by LR Home and Karastan Mezzo rug in mallard green. 

Like the rest of America, Garcia was stuck at home during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and with all that extra time at home, she needed an outlet to keep her creativity flowing.

"I started a Facebook page and grew that to almost 200,000 followers during the pandemic," the designer told RugNews.com. "I was getting a little stir crazy and so I began to think about how I could be creative and also help and add value to people's lives.

"We had new home products that I had been working on and new prototypes shipping to my house since the studio was shut down and I just started playing with my house and how I could style my dining room with our latest home products or how I would style my coffee table. So I started posting little videos of things that inspired me. By the time I got ready to launch our online home shop in late 2021, I had people who were watching and playing along so to speak. The shop Stacy Garcia shop is about a year and a half old now and still very much getting started."


Stacy Garcia, who only includes in-stock items on her online shop, showed off two of her new LR Home pillows on
social media.

It was a challenging time to launch an online home furnishings store, Garcia notes, adding that her online shop includes not only her product designs but also product from other makers -- her curated picks.

Continually escalating prices, unpredictable stock and inventory shipments and deliveries added another layer of complexity to her fledgling business. "We had hundreds of products that you won't see on our online shop because I do inventory sweeps every day so I can keep accurate inventory levels and anything not in inventory gets turned off."

Still Garcia and her team kept pushing. "We are curating products and how to style things together. I am curating looks and putting things together for various vendors to create inspiring scenes and inspiring looks. From a marketing perspective we have had to be in constant contact with our partners to make sure things are in stock and remain in stock. If items aren't in-stock we quickly pivot a style story to include a different item that is."

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