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Pulaski Furnishes the Hacienda With a Collection by Latin Media Star Cristina

Furniture World Magazine
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Article Summary: Pulaski Furniture Corporation, one of the nation's top 20 furniture companies, is launching the first furniture line to capture America's booming Hispanic community.


Pulaski Furniture Corporation, one of the nation's top 20 furniture companies, is launching the first furniture line to capture America's booming Hispanic community. The licensed collection, Casa Cristina, teams up Spanish language television's number one talk show host and media sensation, Christina Seralegui, with industry giant Pulaski to produce a line inspired by the star's lifestyle and Miami home. The multi-Emmy award winning Cristina is one of the most influential figures in the Hispanic community. Her talk show, El Show de Cristina, boasts a worldwide audience of 100 million viewers and is in its fifteenth year. She co-produces her own popular monthly magazine Cristina La Revista, hosts a daily radio show, Cristina Opina, and has a bilingual website that's received 90 million hits to date. "Cristina's lifestyle and persona is ripe with inspiration for this extraordinary furniture collection," says Larry Webb, President of Pulaski. Webb describes the collaboration as smart and sensible, citing shared audiences and the huge market potential of the Hispanic population. The U.S. census figures of June 2003 cite a Hispanic population that is the largest minority group in the country, with a population of 39 million strong and a projected growth of 37% between 2004 and 2020, reaching upwards of 53 million people. The Latino Beat of American Life: From music and fashion, to entertaining, the Latin influence has cut a swath through America that appears to be here to stay. As Hispanics maintain their heritage and roots while assimilating themselves into American life, Latin style has infused itself into American culture. Brand leaders have re-directed advertising and marketing efforts to target this consumer. Media giant AOL recently launched its Spanish language version of its Optimized online service, and Time Inc.'s People en Espanol has doubled its circulation since its launch in 1997. Retail leaders like Kmart and Sears are targeting the Hispanic consumer with licensed fashion lines tied to Latin stars; Sears with its Lucy Pereda clothing line and Kmart with a line of jewelry and accessories by Latin pop star Thalia Sodi. Hitting them at Home: While the pharmaceutical, fashion, automotive and media industries are targeting this consumer, not much is being offered in the home furnishings arena, notes Jim Kelly, Executive Vice President of Product Development and Marketing for Pulaski; an area that has extraordinary growth potential, says Kelly. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic home ownership increased by 48.2% between 1994 and 2002. As America's huge baby boom population steadily ages, younger, larger Hispanic families are infusing our economy with vitality and a substantial amount of disposable income. The Hispanic middle class is growing in leaps and bounds, increasing at twice the national average, and the home mortgage market has seen a five times greater growth rate for Hispanics than for non-Hispanics. In 2003, Hispanic households had nearly seven billion allotted for planned furniture spending. "Cristina is a very influential figure in the Latin community. She is trusted and looked to for advice. We felt she was a great partner," says Kelly. Introducing Casa Cristina: Pulaski will debut The Casa Cristina Furniture Collection at the High Point International Furniture Market in October 2004, and be available at retail in August 2005. The collection of approximately 110 pieces of dining, bedroom, accent, clocks, entertainment and youth furnishings is inspired from different parts of Cristina's life -- from her furniture, art collections and interior of her Miami home, to the savvy style and taste that's made her so magnetic. Each piece will include a bilingual tag with background information on the design. A lover of fine design rooted in Latin culture, Cristina says she has always wanted to make good designs accessible to the U.S. Hispanic customer, and offer Spanish influenced style to homeowners everywhere. "Latin life is rich with warmth, family values and history. I want to bring that beauty into American homes," she says. Marcos Avila, President of Cristina Saralegui Enterprises, Inc., Cristina's husband, and famed bass player of the Miami Sound Machine says, "We are delighted to work with Pulaski Furniture to translate our love of entertainment, home and the Latin spirit into an exciting furniture collection." Kelly says Cristina's style and sensibility is a perfect fit for today's lifestyle, and will also appeal to the non-Hispanic customer. The collection will mix European design roots with a Mediterranean flair. Traditional Latin design details and materials will resonate throughout the collection, reflected in the rich mix of dark and light woods, metal, iron and wood carvings. Kelly says designs that bring family and friends together are part of the plan. "The heartbeat of Latin life is the family, so don't be surprised to see a kitchen island or gathering table in the line up," clues Kelly. Pulaski Furniture Corporation is one of the top 20 furniture companies in the world and marketers of branded collections including the Antiques Roadshow(TM) Collection. They are carried in retailers nationwide, including Burdines-Macy's, Sears Canada, Fortunoff, El Dorado Furniture, Dillards Department Stores, Nebraska Furniture Mart and Horchow. Antiques Roadshow is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH/Boston. Produced under license from BBC Worldwide.

Furniture World is the oldest, continuously published trade publication in the United States. It is published for the benefit of furniture retail executives. Print circulation of 20,000 is directed primarily to furniture retailers in the US and Canada.  In 1970, the magazine established and endowed the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library (www.furniturelibrary.com) in High Point, NC, now a public foundation containing more than 5,000 books on furniture and design dating from 1620. For more information contact editor@furninfo.com.

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