Missing Pieces Fall Into Place

High Point Market produces strong traffic, upbeat interactions.

Game Night with Drew and Jonathan Scott at High Point Market.

I had a quick meeting with Jonathan Scott at the recent High Point Market and I shared some critical information with him. This was News He Could Use. I told Jonathan … 

But first a little background.

Drew and Jonathan Scott, stars of HGTV’s “Property Brothers,” were getting ready for the big Game Night event they hosted at the market. Before they took the stage, they had a photo shoot with Restonic’s Laurie Tokarz for BedTimes. I greeted the brothers, who I last interviewed a few years ago. These guys always make great copy.

After the photo shoot I had a chance to catch up with Jonathan Scott. The conversation quickly turned to jigsaw puzzles, which Jonathan enjoys. In fact, he’s “a puzzle nerd” and knocks out 1,000-piece puzzles, Drew Scott revealed to HGTV in a 2019 interview. And jigsaw puzzles are fixtures in the Perry household, too. We have bonded over puzzles.

I told Jonathan about a West Coast puzzle seller that offers a solution to the problem of missing puzzle pieces. If you send the company a close-up picture of where the missing piece or pieces should be, they will send you the pieces in the mail.

As any puzzle assembler knows, the uncompleted puzzle is no little thing. The inability to finish a task, especially one to which you have devoted hours of patient work, leaves a terrible feeling of emptiness in our goal-oriented lives. We are denied the sweet satisfaction of success. I was pleased that I could share an answer to that problem with a fellow puzzler.

My story about missing puzzle pieces is the perfect metaphor for the recent High Point Market, where the missing market pieces finally fell into place.

At BedTimes Magazine you will find our mood of the market story, in which Waynette Goodson and I report on the exuberant attitudes in High Point. That’s not a word that has worked its way into our market reporting in recent years. True, there have been upbeat attitudes at those Covid-impacted events. We are a positive industry by nature, one that looks for opportunities and doesn’t dwell on challenges.

But we saw a degree of human interaction in High Point that marked a return to the comfortable days at markets before Covid-19 hit in 2020. People were no longer hesitant to shake hands. Elevators were packed, with no social distancing — and no worries, either. And the strong traffic that flowed through the High Point Market lifted everyone’s spirits.

Shifman Mattress Co. President Bill Hammer was one of the bedding exhibitors singing the market’s praises. Relationships are important to his family-owned company and those relationships bloomed for Shifman amid the fall foliage that blanketed High Point. “We’re back open as a people and as an industry,” he told me.

Covid-19 isn’t gone, but it is waning. On Feb. 2, 2022, there were 3,631 Covid deaths in the United States. Nine months later, on Nov. 2, there were 875 deaths, according to statistics from The New York Times. Covid is here to stay, I guess, but it isn’t here to scare many of us as it once did. We have learned to live with it.

Now we can look forward to markets where handshakes and hugs are the norm, and we can interact in the same relaxed ways that we did in pre-Covid times.

The overwhelming sentiment at the High Point Market was that this was the strongest market in High Point since 2019. That should mean that the important bedding market in Las Vegas in January will be the strongest market there since January 2020, and that would be a good thing for the industry.

We can use various means to make up for the lack of physical meetings. Zoom has its place. But there is no substitute for the power of interaction — both planned and spontaneous — that furniture markets deliver. The buzz that accompanies vibrant markets is a welcome sound indeed.

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