B. Smith -- celebrated lifestyle expert, cover girl, restaurateur and furniture designer -- will showcase the first wave of her new Clayton Marcus furniture collection at Furnitureland South during a kick-off presentation and reception Oct. 1.
On the same morning at the High Point Market's opening day, the second wave of the At Home with B. Smith collection will debut in the Clayton Marcus showroom at the International Home Furnishings Center.
The Furnitureland South event is open to the public; the High Point Market is not. Following her presentation to Furnitureland South's 200 sales and design consultants, Smith will meet the public during a reception in the store's Clayton Marcus Gallery from 9 am to 10:30 am.
The 40-piece collection at Furnitureland South is the first line of furniture with national distribution designed by an African-American woman. She considers it "groundbreaking… a major turning point in her life… a triumph" and an opportunity for her to be a role model while overturning stereotypes about minority women in the business world.
If B. Smith had a shovel for every time she broke new ground, this woman who grew up in a working-class home near Pittsburgh would need to dedicate an entire garage at her posh Sag Harbor beach house in the Hamptons for her custom-designed, chrome-plated, engraved shovels. And as anyone who knows her will tell you, she's far too focused on current business ventures and future opportunities to build a shrine to past accomplishments.
Smith has moved seamlessly from model to restaurateur to lifestyle guru. She is the foundation and namesake of a multimillion dollar brand that includes restaurants in Manhattan, Washington and Sag Harbor; books; a TV show; a sprawling home décor collection with Bed, Bath & Beyond; and her new furniture collection.
She is spokeswoman for Colgate Palmolive Oxy Plus, General Mills Betty Crocker Cornbread and Muffin Mix and Unilever's Lawry seasonings. She and her husband, Dan Gasby, have recently appeared on a national TV commercial for Mercedes Benz. Her name already adorns three successful companies: B. Smith Enterprises Ltd., B. Smith Restaurant Group and B. Smith Group Licensing. And, we suspect, that's just the beginning for this irrepressible force at the hitting-her-stride age of 57.
She has shared her lifestyle tips with viewers on a number of TV programs, including "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "The View," "Today," and "Good Morning America." Another recent venture for Smith is her line of jewelry, introduced on television retail giant QVC.
She manages all of this with the confidence of a runway model and the serenity of a Buddhist monk. After all, she says she's never had less than three jobs. She's used to it.
“Our sales team is going to be inspired by her extraordinary success story and her various ventures in the home decorating and lifestyle industry,” said Jason Harris, executive vice president of Furnitureland South.
Her initial collection, which she will expand extensively at the October High Point Market, features three distinct groups inspired by places Smith has lived or visited:
"Central Park South" represents modern, sophisticated, urban living tempered with the soothing effect of having 843 acres of nature just outside the front door of Smith's Manhattan apartment. From her 35th floor home, she looks north into Central Park and south into midtown skyscrapers.
"Sag Harbor" evokes the seaside cottage feel of Smith's weekend retreat. "For years artists have talked about the special qualities of the light in the Hamptons and the feeling of airiness," she says. "The color choices and fabrics I've selected… reflect that combination of sky, land and water."
"Mosaic Treasures" was inspired by the fascinating places, including elegant hotels and homes, Smith encountered during her lengthy career as a model. "This group captures the sense of adventure of looking for exotic fabrics from the four corners of the world," she says.
With more than 1 million square feet of home furnishings and accessories, Furnitureland South is the largest furniture store in the world. Featuring expert designers and a white-glove national delivery service, the store is a multi-day destination for discerning consumers from every state and many foreign countries. Money Magazine has said "a visit to Furnitureland South is like a visit to a home-decorating theme park." Furnitureland South is located on Business 85 between Greensboro and High Point.
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