Summer is usually a slower paced time for this Lifestylist®, but that hasn’t been the case this year. There seems to be a renewed interest in housing, and as part of that builders and manufacturers are bring ideas to the table that are new, fresh, and really exciting.

One of the trends that I’m seeing and loving is how manufacturers are changing their marketing strategies. They are taking money our of their marketing budgets and spending it on creating personal experiences for their clients so that both sides get to understand what their needs and strengths are. Conventions are a great place to see a lot of people in a short amount of time, but there are always so many distractions and limitations it’s hard to really do business.

When I was at the Tunica home show this year I met some of the people at Syntec Industries, a company that provides flooring and other products for the factory built, RV and marine industries. They invited me to come see their design center, and I decided to take them up on their offer.

Located at their corporate headquarters, this beautiful building showcases what Syntec is so good at doing – creating Synergy – meaning bringing the right partnerships together. They not only do this beautifully, they present it beautifully. I’ve been in love for years with BeauFlor – the resilient flooring product they sell, but by visiting their showroom I was able to learn more about the other products they offer. Visiting them in their own environment gave me a better chance to understand why they are a company I want to do business with.

Thermador is another company that I’m crazy about. They are devoting their time, money and energy into getting to know their customers better on a one-to-one basis, and have created a spectacular showroom in Scottsdale, AZ. This is where they are now bringing people to learn more about the Thermador brand. I have been so frustrated when I’ve tried to work with other appliance companies -they had no interest in educating me about their products or what would suit which lifestyle or customer better. Thermador not only tells you – they show you. Getting to experience the Thermador appliances hands-on made it clear that this will be the only brand of appliances in The Home Idea Factory moving forward. The other thing I loved is they really, truly listen. They had great jump drives for us with easy yummy recipes we could make when we went home, and a few weeks after my trip the very special Zach Elkin of Thermador sent an amazing marketing book and a copy of Candice Olsen’s new book because he knew it would be something I’d enjoy.

I couldn’t be more excited about the future right now! Every day I’m finding new partners that will help me provide my clients with the products that will help all of  us build the American Dream Home.