Designer Amy Howard, who designs for notables such as Hillary Clinton, Taylor Swift, Martin Scorsese, Paris Hilton and the Kennedys, has opened an outlet store in Memphis, Tennessee, where consumers can buy her pieces at discount prices. Until now, Howard's pieces had to be custom ordered, and were available only to the trade. The Amy Howard Collection outlet store features pieces that were originally designed for five star hotels, as well as celebrity clients. The items end up in the store because they are discontinued or Howard was not able to use them in a particular project. For example, a table with Jappaned finish had an extra leaf, which was damaged, so the table is for sale without the leaf. "Because this is all hand-lacquered, the table would have to be made all over again. It’s here. It’s a beautiful table if you have a smaller dining room,” said Madeleine Crump, sales manager for the store. Howard also tests the saleability of new designs by placing them in the outlet. “We just sold a table right over there that was a brand-new design,” Crump said. “Instead of Amy making a dozen of them to go around the country to different showrooms, she made one. She brings it here, and we see what kind of response she has to it.” Howard returned to her hometown of Memphis in 1984 after studying decorative arts and mural painting in New York and San Francisco. The furniture line began in 1991, when Howard and her husband began creating room dividers in the garage of their home. Today, her line is sold by more than 400 retailers nationwide, including interior designers. New pieces appear in the showroom every Thursday, which is opening day each week. “We never know what we’re going to get,” Crump said. “We come in on Thursday, and it’s a big surprise. Our customers aren’t sure what they’re going to see, but it’s exciting for them.” See original article in Memphis Daily News http://www.memphisdailynews.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=46358
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