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Beautouse Wins Design Competition Sponsored by Groovystuff and Appalachian State University

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Competition Winning Table by Beautrouse

Groovystuff announced that it has partnered with the Appalachian State University in Boone, NC to create a design competition that gives students real-world experience, a chance to earn royalties on successful design, and a reason to choose the home furnishings industry after graduation. 

Twenty-three of the 110 students in ASU’s Industrial Design and Furniture Design programs led by Professor Richard Prisco participated in the design competition.  Their challenge was learning how to work with reclaimed teak and other materials typical of the Groovystuff line.  The students were required to design an environmentally-friendly product that reflects the Dick Idol brand and can be produced using sustainable manufacturing practices.
According to Chris Bruning, Vice President of Groovystuff “The design competition was an Olympic Event for the 23 students involved from App State, and the talent was indescribable.  But as in any competitive race for Gold there can be only one winner, and that winner is Lee Shan Beatrouse!” 

According to Lee, “The vision behind this table is that of bringing the outdoors in.  Using a contrast of materials and textures gives this piece a unique feel.  Influenced by the many styles of furniture produced by Groovystuff, I was able to design a coffee table with the versatility to accent a variety of living room spaces.  This table implements reclaimed Thai farming equipment as well as teak root pieces, giving the table a very natural feel while maintaining a crisp and clean visual appeal.”

On October 8th Groovystuff assembled a panel of judges to review the student projects and presentations for inclusion in the modern rustic Dick Idol Brand.  Students were judged on practicality in production, marketability with regards to the MSRP, incorporation into the Dick Idol Brand, and the professionalism of the student’s delivery.  The panel of judges included: Ray Allegrezza of Furniture Today, Tracy Bulla of Home Accents Today, Jackie Hirschhaut of the American Home Furnishings Alliance, Steve Hodges of Steve Hodges Associates, Tracy Kalamn of TR Designs, and Gray Penell of Jamestown, N.C.-based Furnitureland South. 

The finalists were Lee Beatrous, who introduced a table called Stasis; Alex Parker, who showed a Teak Branch Chair, and Marshall Dean, who introduced an end table he named Tumbleweed.  Honorable mentions went to Joseph Green for a table called Root of Balance, Michelle Walbert for an indoor / outdoor bench called Deschutes, and Griffin Wolf for a wall-mounted coat rack called Early Sundown. 

In addition to the panel of industry judges, Groovystuff also posted the student designs on Facebook for the public to comment on and vote.  For the final voice in the voting competition, Groovystuff displayed each of the student models and design boards for the market attendees to vote on during the High Point Market, October 16-21.  All participants in the voting were eligible to receive a Warner Music Group Prize package that included the new release from Eric Clapton “Clapton”, Neil Young “Le Noise”, and Seal “Commitment”.

About Groovystuff: Committed to sustainable manufacturing and environmental accountability, Groovystuff’s vision is to assist its retail customers in growing their businesses sustainably. Designed for today’s lifestyles and inspired by yesterday’s antiquities, Groovystuff now offers Seven unique residential collections: Prairie, Iron Horse, Adirondack, Back to the Roots, Kodiak, Rocky Mountain, and the recently launched Antares Lighting Collection.  Each group features pieces designed with the foundation of style, value, longevity and preservation of natural resources.
Founded in 1998 by Chris Bruning and Jeff Singleton, Groovystuff designs, produces, and distributes unique reclaimed teakwood home furnishings at upper-medium and high-end price points. Based in Dallas, it has permanent showrooms in High Point, NC (The Suites at Market Square, G-1043), Las Vegas (World Market Center, G-1028), and once a year at the International Casual Furniture Market in Chicago, IL  (The Merchandise Mart, No. 8-9036A).  Groovystuff is also represented at the Dallas World Trade Center by Bill Reimans and Associates (WTC 10014).  For more information, please visit

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