Being a Style Spotter—a person of authority who discovers the coolest items at High Point Market—is a coveted title for someone who loves design. And what a fun job! You get to go around and pick out everything that looks amazing and share it!
Anyone who knows about High Point Market, the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world, knows that the High Point Style Spotters are stars of the show. So what does it take to be one? We talked to Jeanne K Chung, founder of Cozy Stylish Chic. She’s a former Style Spotter and interior designer who runs an upscale one-stop interior design resource shop in Pasadena, California, with plans to open a co-working space in the coming months. Jeanne was selected to be a Style Spotter in 2014.
For Jeanne, the selection came after she’d been doing a trend report blog on High Point Market for a couple of years. “I was up against some big names, but I think my blog really showed that I knew what’s what and how to write, and that’s part of the requirements,” she says.
Who is a Good Candidate to Be a High Point Market Style Spotter?
There’s more to being a Style Spotter than just picking out the items you think are trendy or pretty at Market. According to Jeanne, you need a collection of skills that includes knowledge of what’s new. That means having been to Market for the past few years. “If you attend the Market every season, you know what’s already been in line for several seasons and what the new introductions are. It’s really important to do your homework and be a regular attendee.”
She says it also helps to know how to write to be able to share what you see. “There’s a lot of writing involved. You have to post on social media and contribute to the Style Report.”
What To Expect If Selected to Be a High Point Market Style Spotter
Style Spotter duties include being part of a team of eight people who walk the Market to find their favorite products and top trends. They leave a card to claim the item they “spot.” They then post their finds onto Style Spotter Galleries and contribute to two Style Reports.
The Style Spotter team also shares product insights during Style Spotters LIVE! events and hosts showroom tours of favorite stops. Additionally, before each Market, they will share their top product predictions via various digital and social channels.
Want a taste of what you’ll be doing? Check out the latest Style Spotter LIVE! when it airs this Wednesday, June 30 at 2 p.m. ET and look for them at the next High Point Market on October 16-20, 2021.
How to Plan for Being a Style Spotter
“Don’t expect to get any of your own work done!” Jeanne laughs when asked what’s involved in the Style Spotter job. “You really have to dedicate all of your time to it.”
Those who regularly go to High Point know their schedule is usually jam-packed trying to take in everything there is to see, plus attend the many events available. “A typical day goes from roughly 7 a.m. to midnight.” With roughly 2000 exhibitors in 180 buildings and 10 million square feet of show space spread out around town, just trying to get around to see everything will take up your time.
HOT TIPS: Jeanne says something she didn’t know when she was a Style Spotter is that some of the showrooms open a few days before the Market. “By the time I got there, a lot of the new products had already been style spotted! So then I had to work twice as hard to find the new and unique picks off the beaten track.”
She also recommends using hashtags on social media to help you see what you might be missing. “The Market is so big you can’t possibly see it all. Look on social media to see what others are seeing and jot down the showrooms you want to visit.” High Point Market hashtags are #HPMKT and #HPMKTSS for Style Spotters.
As if trying to take in all there is to see isn’t enough, there are the social events. “Half the business at Market is done after hours when you’re meeting people and forming relationships,” says Jeanne. “Part of being at Market is talking to people and finding out what they’re seeing.”
Jeanne also says to be willing to give 110%. You only get one turn to be a Style Spotter, so make it count. If you do a good job, there is a good chance they will tap you for other opportunities.
The High Point Market Authority 2021 Style Spotters team:
- Sara Malek Barney (TX), BANDD DESIGN
- Lauren Clement (NC), Lauren Nicole Designs
- Heather French (NM), French & French Interiors
- Breegan Jane (CA), Breegan Jane
- Molly Kay Johns (VA), MK Interiors
- Steve McKenzie (GA), McKenzie Design LLC
- Keia McSwain (CO), Kimberly + Cameron Interiors
- Justin Shaulis (NY), Justin Shaulis Inc.
What are the Benefits of Being a High Point Market Style Spotter?
Jeanne says being a Style Spotter will definitely help open doors for you. “Anyone who knows High Point knows it’s a high position to have held,” she says. “I noticed manufacturers were reaching out. More people took me seriously, and I was able to open accounts.” She added that if people see that High Point trusts you, they can too.
It can also lead to holding other positions at future markets. For Jeanne, she’s been mentoring new designers by leading the High Point Market Insiders Tour since 2017.
Think You’ve Got What it Takes? How To Apply to Be a High Point Style Spotter
To apply to be a Style Spotter for High Point Market 2022, go to the application form and fill it out. Applications are accepted annually. Be prepared with your social media numbers and links to your design firm and any press clips or content you want to share. Good luck!