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ZAAR Design Center Moves Into Former High Point Drexel Factory

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Ruth Olbrych

ZAAR Design Center, an innovative concept offering a year-round presence here for home furnishings exhibitors, has moved into the former Drexel Heritage upholstery factory at the corner of W. Ward Drive and Green Street.

Ruth Olbrych, the creative force behind ZAAR Design Center, has initially leased approximately 12,000 square feet on the first floor of the massive, 300,000-square-foot factory space from building owner Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery. Olbrych’s company, Antiques by ZAAR, a purveyor of Chinese antiques, will show here for the Fall 2011 High Point Market along with three other exhibitors. Metropolitan Shipping, which maintains offices in the building, will offer shipping and storage services.

Along with Antiques by ZAAR, companies set to exhibit in the ZAAR Design Center for Fall Market include Bellascenda, the original producer of high-end lift furniture for flat-screen televisions; The Kat Burki Collection, specializing in custom upholstery and luxurious items for body, bath, and boudoir; and Total Design Source, introducing a custom line of upholstered chairs.

According to Olbrych, ZAAR Design Center will also make product available to the design community throughout the calendar year. Olbrych’s company, Antiques by ZAAR, is also a member of the High Point Design Center, an association of to-the-trade showrooms that open on the second Wednesday of each month during non-Market times.

“As an exhibitor at the bi-annual High Point Market since 2004, I believe it not only makes sense to have a presence at the Market, but for those that base their businesses here to make themselves available to designers and retailers year-round,” Olbrych relates. “It’s my contention that High Point needs to be continually rethinking what High Point is and what it can and should be: a global center for design.”

Positioned as a complement to the showroom association, the location of the ZAAR Design Center (directly across from the Spirit Center, and the home of the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival), places it outside the high-rent districts of downtown High Point--making it an ideal incubator for small businesses and an affordable, yet easily accessible, High Point address. 

The location features 300 secure parking spaces which will be free to Market-goers this Fall. Continental breakfast will be provided for visitors parking here each morning. The Center will be served by two shuttle services to transport buyers and designers to the downtown area.

“In an effort to speed guests on their way, ZAAR Design Center will be served by the independent Centers of High Point shuttle service, in addition to the High Point Market’s Go-Anywhere shuttles. “The Centers of High Point shuttles have been providing High Point Market guests with an invaluable transportation option for years. And, like us, the Centers of High Point’s management believes that through collaboration everyone in High Point can win. We are thrilled to report they readily agreed to support our efforts to serve Market guests here.”

Finally, in light of the changing face of the High Point Market, Olbrych is also marketing the ZAAR Design Center concept to companies that currently show in the multi-tenant buildings with a “store, ship and sell” service.

“Many companies that show in the major, multi-tenant buildings downtown have found that those buildings are not conducive to opening showrooms to the design trade during non-Market times,” she describes. “For this reason, companies that wish to maximize their investment in the High Point Market can transfer showroom samples here following the bi-annual shows, and we will represent their products throughout the balance of the year to the design trade. Simply put, it does not make sense to leave products in showrooms with the lights turned off for ten months out of the year when the inventory could be turning a profit in between Markets.”

Companies that maintain showrooms downtown during Market, but also have product available to show/sell at ZAAR Design Center between Markets are as follows: Fortunata, a producer of fine Italian ceramics; Touchwood UK, which offers exquisite hand-made case goods and antiques; and Cabeen Originals, solid wood furnishings crafted from reclaimed lumber.

About ZAAR Design Center: ZAAR Design Center is an exquisite collection of home furnishings and accessories which makes product available to the design trade during the High Point Market, as well as throughout the year. The Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day during Market times, and the second Wednesday of each month, or by appointment. For more information, contact Ruth Olbrych: ruth@antiquesbyzaar.com or (866) 868-9227.

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