Attendee Registration Opens for BDwest 2016

Charting double-digit growth each year since its 2013 debut in San Diego, BDwest is moving to larger quarters at the L.A. Convention Center for its 2016 run.

The move to L.A. enables the western hospitality design community to convene in an international cultural center that’s home to many of our industry’s leading design and architecture firms, not to mention a burgeoning creative class, said Michelle Finn, president of Hospitality Media Group (HMG), which produces BDwest and sister trade fair BDNY. That translates to a more inspiring, more productive trade fair experience.

Finn says the convention center’s location places BDwest participants at the epicenter of L.A.’s downtown transformation – a surge in restaurant, bar and hotel/residential development that began in 2007 and is expected to continue into the next decade. Opportunity abounds in this market, and BDwest’s friendly vibe, personalized service and pre-arranged buyer/supplier meetings make it easy to meet the right people and seize those opportunities, she added.

In addition to showcasing inventive elements for hospitality interiors, BDwest 2016 will present its broadest and most extensive conference program to date, as well as ticketed events such as: BDwest Opening Reception Celebrating the Boutique 18; the NEWH Orange County Regional Group & Los Angeles Founding Chapter present Hospitality Fashion Challenge: Design in a Box @ BDwest; and the Boutique Design Power Players: Women Leaders in Hospitality Breakfast & Panel Discussion.

Venus Williams Aces BDNY

The tennis star/interior designer served up inspiration and information in a motivational keynote at our sixth annual East Coast trade fair.

The minute Venus Williams walked into the room to deliver the keynote for the Boutique Design Power Players: Women Leaders in Hospitality panel discussion at Boutique Design New York 2015, pretty much every one of the 250-plus attendees was buzzing for their Instagram moment, smartphone at the ready.

The autograph line went out the door and Williams graciously said yes to every photo request and introduction. When Venus Williams, ceo of 13 year old V*Starr Interiors, comes to talk to designers, she comes not as a tennis superstar, but as, like many of the women in that room, a small business owner with a passion for the industry and an upfront awareness that in this job, her name closes as many doors as it opens.

At the end of the day, though, Williams knows that for a small firm like hers, it’s a team effort. “We make sure everybody takes a turn taking out the trash, including me,” she says. As for her best career advice, for tennis or design? “Just keep your eye on the ball.” Something both she and the other trailblazing women on the dais know more than a thing or two about.

Keep an eye out for our November issue for more on Williams and the other Women Leaders.

Boutique 18 Update: Christian Schulz

Now at [Studio Collective] in LA, Schulz explains how being named to the B18’s class of 2008 impacted his career.

What changes have you seen in the design field since being named to the B18?
Two main things: Clients are spending more money per square foot on their respective projects, and there’s also a lot more investments being made on projects in the U.S. That said, the lessons of past “big spending” and inflated budgets with little return in the long run have not been forgotten by most savvy business owners and developers. With the overall increase in development work, our firm is seeking the next generation of successful designers, but have found it harder to locate experienced, mid to senior-level talent.

How did becoming part of the B18 impact your career?
It was a real honor to be nominated back then, and I can tell you it was a very nice feeling to be noticed and rewarded by my peers and colleagues for my hard work. Most designers who are successful in developing their careers get there because of the true passion they have for creating beautiful, meaningful and memorable spaces. For me personally, it was a boost of confidence and also allowed us all to have a voice in the work we were part of at that time.

Schulz is now working on several exciting hotel projects of varying scale and magnitude, while also co-developing some of the projects that [Studio Collective] is designing.