CELIA MOH SCHOLARS GAIN INSIGHTS ON FURNITURE INDUSTRY AT OCTOBER HIGH POINT MARKET

This year’s Celia Moh scholars toured the High Point Market for nearly three full days in October, visiting showrooms, networking with top executives and sharing insights on industry trends and opportunities.

The annual market experience included showroom visits with Fine Furniture Design, Hickory Chair, Baker, Theodore Alexander, Althorp Living History, Kincaid Furniture and Whitecraft.

The group also received a briefing on trends in social media, marketing and the press from Cheminne Taylor-Smith, vice president of marketing for the High Point Market Authority.

In addition, students took part in a roundtable discussion about the “real world aspect” of home furnishings. The students also received updates on design and marketing trends, business models for manufacturing and sourcing and future directions for the industry.

The visit included a dinner at the String & Splinter Club attended by former Celia Moh scholars as well as Celia Moh Scholarship Committee members.

The nine current Celia Moh scholars attending the market were Brian Harris, Appalachian State University; Shannon Taylor, Jessica Henderson and Meaghan Leonard, High Point University; Will Eatmon and Trenton Huffines, North Carolina State University; Joseph Sadony IV, Kendall College of Art and Design; Martha Gray Deans Wharton, East Carolina University; and Rebecca Gibson, Mississippi State University. The only current Moh scholar not able to attend the October market was Andrew Golombisky of Kendall College, who is currently working as an intern with Theodore Alexander in Vietnam.

The Celia Moh scholarship program was created in 2001 by furniture entrepreneur Laurence Moh – the late founder of Universal Furniture and Fine Furniture Design – to honor his wife, Celia. The program provides full-tuition scholarships for students interested in pursuing careers in home furnishings. In addition to tuition, fees, room and board and books, the scholarships also cover an annual trip to High Point so that students can get direct contact with the industry.

“The annual tradition of bringing these scholars to market is a valuable experience for the students as well as for industry members,” says Michael Moh, chairman of Fine Furniture Design and the son of Laurence and Celia Moh. “They represent the future of our industry, and the market is a great place for them to begin establishing relationships with key leaders.”

Visiting market also gives students a wider perspective on how different segments of the industry relate to one another, Moh added. “They get a sense for the big picture rather than just a single niche such as design or marketing.”

Scholarship candidates are initially selected by faculty at eight participating schools – Appalachian State, High Point University, N.C. State, Kendall College, East Carolina, Mississippi State, Virginia Tech and Catawba Valley Community College.
 
To be selected, applicants then must complete an extensive application questionnaire, write a personal essay, obtain instructors’ recommendations and provide a college transcript illustrating exceptional academic achievement. Scholarship winners are chosen by a committee of leading industry executives.

The students majors’ range from furniture business management, marketing and merchandising to industrial engineering, furniture design, interior design and sustainable practices.

The program has provided nearly 60 full scholarships over the past nine years.

For more information about the Celia Moh scholarship program, please visit www.mohscholarship.org.

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