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Stark Refines Trade Show Strategy, Expects Positive 2020 Activity

Kicks off its trade show calendar at the International Surface Event, closing Jan. 30, among the company's strongest annual fairs of the year. 

By Lisa Vincenti
Dining room with antelope print rug

Stark Studio Rugs refines its trade show calendar and plans to invest in its Stark Studio Rugs Essentials collection of more affordably priced area rugs.

LAS VEGAS -- Stark kicked off its trade show calendar at the International Surface Event, closing Jan. 30, now among the company's strongest annual fairs of the year. The next market on the agenda is High Point, followed by the Rug Show. 

"Stark Studio Rugs [SSR] had a great 2019 and we expect 2020 to be a strong year," Taylor van Der Mandele, Stark's VP of rug operations, told RugNews.com. "Surfaces went well! We were able to see many of our top dealers from across the country. This is the pro of SSR sharing a space with Prestige Mills. We have many crossover clients. And, our top sellers at Surfaces were the Tinley Collection and SSR Express Collection."

The next shows on Stark Studio's 2020 agenda include High Point Markets and the Rug Show. "We have found these to be the strongest markets for us and find increasing success each year," she said. "We showed in a new space at the High Point Market in October, which we loved, so we're happy to maintain and grow our presence there."


The new Tinley collection, shown Issey Mystic, from Stark was a popular 2019 rug and shows the growing appetite for updated classic designs.

Among the company's trending designs are its updated traditional styles, which will remain a focus for the year, as will contemporary looks that were top performers last year.

"Traditional rugs have been trending heavily in 2019. We have several fabulous traditional collections launching in 2020, which will give the market what they've been asking for," she said. "We continue to curate our collection based off of market trends and requests from our clients."

Last year, Stark introduced the Tinley collection, a range hand-knotted in India of all wool and available in seven patterns (MSRP $73 per square foot), and which  was "very successful," she said. In addition, the company's shibori inspired Rhythm collection, hand-knotted in Nepal of 80 percent wool and 20 percent silk (MSRP $85 per square foot), continues to perform strongly.

Stark's Rhythm collection Pizzazz in blue was the 2019 top seller, and the line adds new colorways for 2020.

"Our top selling rug continues to be Rhythm Pizzazz blue," van der Mandele added. "It continues to have a WOW factor! In 2020 we are releasing 2 new colorways of this design: chocolate and platinum. We will also be holding 18-inch wide rolls of this pattern, in blue and chocolate colorways, making for a very short lead time on custom projects."


In addition, the company recently launched Stark Studio Rugs Essentials, which includes 12 collections of affordable, entry-level in-stock rugs, with next day shipping. Essentials includes Wilton-woven in Turkey rugs, and hand-knot wool rugs and flat-woven rugs made in India. SSR expects the new program to be a focus of 2020 growth. "This collection is available through Stark showrooms, select SSR dealers, as well as select online partners. We are very excited about being more accessible through this collection and we plan to grow this in the coming year."





Stark Studio Rugs' Essentials range offers entry-level, in-stock designs and will be a focus of 2020. Shown, flat-woven Skye in gray


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