Copy of Introducing lighting in your store? Here are marketing tips from an industry expert

Welcome to Take 60, quick one-minute stories about new faces in our industry that might help you move the needle toward future success. Retailers, designers, manufacturers, and more – Take 60 covers them all, so check back each week for a new addition to the mix.

Bethanne Matari, PR chief, Currey & Company

FT: How has your role with Currey & Co. evolved since you first started?

Matari: It has changed a lot over the past 23 years. I started out as the assistant to the founders of our company, Robert and Suzy Currey. In that role, I took care of all the communications with our overseas vendors, followed up with products samples, did product research and took care of press requests. We were a small company then, so I wore many hats. I like to say, “I take out the trash, talk to the NY Times, and everything in between!”

FT: If a furniture retailer is introducing lighting, what are your three marketing tips for success?

Matari: 1) The retailer must educate the customer with the basics so they know how to select the right size chandelier for an interior and know the proper height to hang the chandelier. 2) The retailer should also make the delivery of the chandelier easy and stress-free. 3) The last bit is to have the best light bulbs for the chandelier available and delivered with the light fixture.

The proper bulb is always the finishing touch after hanging a chandelier and in today’s world, there are too many bulb choices, so some guidance with light bulbs will create a happy customer.

FT: What is the showroom “can’t miss” for Summer Market?

Matari: I always look forward to all our vintage and one-of-a-kind objects that are unique to each showroom. They are “cash-and-carry,” so market attendees love the instant gratification of being able to take the products with them without having to wait for the delivery. We have a lot of wonderful new accessories in our regular product line too including some large planters / urns. They are a “must see.”

FT: What’s in the pipeline for Currey? Any new programs retailers should have on the radar?

Matari: We are working on a collection of new chandelier shades in distinctive fabrics and marbled papers. Currey is also adding to our Bath Wall Sconce collection, which is both functional and beautiful in a variety of finishes and materials.

FT: What are some of the lighting trends that show staying power for 2022 and beyond?

Matari: Natural materials, especially rattan, grass cloth, water hyacinth and natural stones such as marble and alabaster. These are all easy materials to live with and add a biophilic vibe to any interior.

Currey & Company’s Saxon chandelier

Currey & Company showroom

Currey & Company’s lighting display

Fun facts about Bethanne Matari:

1. What is your favorite piece to date from Currey & Co.?
I really love all of our faux bois garden furniture and shell encrusted chandeliers, but my all-time favorite design is the Saxon Chandelier. It is simple wrought iron.

The design is open and can be traditional or modern depending on the room. It is a wide piece but can hang close to the ceiling, so it works in a lot of different rooms (with high ceilings or lower ceilings). It is versatile and can be dressed up with chandelier shades or left bare for a more contemporary look.

2. What is your favorite song currently?
I listen to jazz and classical music mainly. My all-time favorite jazz piece is “Compared to What” by the great musicians, Eddie Harris and Les McCann. The lyrics have relevant social meaning for today’s world addressing social injustice and inequality, plus the music is stellar.

3. What is your favorite part about being in this industry?
Hands down, the people. I love our industry and have met so many wonderful and talented people.

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Italy! I lived in the Veneto region for six years and would gladly return there to live. The history, the food and the people make it special.

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