Oh, What A Year It’s Been…

Journal Entry #1

After being in one place for 2.5 months I have been bouncing around like a jack rabbit since March 7th…and with it being the one year anniversary since “this” all started, I find myself rather reflective and aching to once again share with my world, what is my world.

Frankly, I’ve been reluctant to share about my travels and goings on as I feel that I “should’ve” been home, planted…waiting this pandemic out. But I didn’t. I feel I’ve been safe…getting covid tests when merited, wearing my mask when out of my house and quarantining as required. So, yes, I’m “coming out” and although I’ve been vaccinated for over a month now, I do still try and be vigilant in my social practices.

Although I don’t feel overwhelmed by the changes that spring boarded with the onset of covid…mostly because I’m one of the most adaptable people in the world…in all fairness, Life has changed dramatically…starting with my husband of 34 years, after 10 years of having separate residences, moving in with me lock stock and barrel. In one fell swoop we went from weekends or extended stays in either our NYC apt or our home in MD, to full time co habiting.

May, we moved both, our youngest, who also lived in NYC, and husband, from NY to our MD house. Avery would only be with us until June when she would buy a house in Florida and move. Husband stayed. ūüôā

I have to say I enjoyed the spring/summer with a routine that fueled my soul. Anchoring my days with runs and morning practice of gratitude/self affirmations. NEVER before have I had the continuity of practice and I feel it helped me to not stress and to keep above the fray.

What was to be 2-3 week trip to Canada in August, ended up to be 7 weeks…living with my daughter, son in law and my precious grand daughter, Addie. Said trip extended by 3 weeks due to the passing of my mother September 17th. You can’t know how grateful I was to have time with her in the weeks leading up to her passing, and that we could have an intimate funeral service for her, and that I was available to my dad between her passing and service, holding tight to him as he grasped for a new reality of life without his bride of 67 years by his side. She was just shy of her 95th birthday. It wasn’t covid. It was her time. And I got to be there.

For years I’ve been yearning to secure a vacation home in my homeland and with the uncertainty of my husband’s career (due to covid and also him being close to retirement) it appeared that the time to make that my reality was NOW. So, once finished with my 2 week quarantine I started to look at vacation homes. It was such a meant to be purchase. Not much available, and what was, was flying out the door…still is. So, when a log cabin, with a private back yard/pool, walking distance to the shores of the Saugeen River, which feeds into Lake Huron, and the quaint town of Southampton, AND 1.25 hours from my daughter and family, and 2 hours from my Dad…showed up (after contract fell through) AND in our allotted budget…I KNEW it was for me and my family. Seriously, pinch me…just pinch me.

It wasn’t “planned” but it was the perfect place to hole up this winter….safe and snug, while our house in MD was a revolving door of prospective buyers.

It didn’t take long for a young couple to deign that our house would be the perfect home for them. And that brings me to the present….sort’ve.

I sit writing this on a stool as my desk, and most of the house actually, has been packed up. I have one more week to do all that is required to move out and move on. We are still in the real estate fray as we look to secure a home in central FL, with the intent of splitting our time between there and the cabin.

After a year of wondering “when,” my husband got “the call” and now can actively ponder what to do in his retirement, after a long haul in the shoe business, that took us around the world.

Luckily for me my job remains such that I can do it from anywhere…as long as I have an internet connection and , at minimum, a phone. So, yes, I continue to work for Distinctive Chesterfields, managing their NC warehouse/showroom and being their sales rep. And yes, I also continue to sell product at zaardesigncenter and also on chairish and etsy. And I continue to promote those organizations that have been vital to my personal and business development, WITHIT and IFDA, specifically the NY chapter for the latter.

I’m also happy to do a little more with Haiti, than selling Haitian crafts, by way of accepting the position of USA Country Director for FIDA/PCH…the organization my Mom and Dad started over 30 years ago. I look forward to what is the next chapter in my Haiti story, which started just shy of 50 years ago.

I turned 60 this year. And I welcome the beginning of this new decade/truly believing that the best is yet to come.

So grateful to have YOU here with me. YOU have gotten me here…supporting my business ventures, supporting me…a world of people that without taking the plunge of doing the scary and unthinkable (talking about that beginning of selling Chinese Antiques on line back in 1999) I would not have known.

Thank you. Just thank you.


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Selling Haitian Ironwork…


2020-06-15 10.55.34If you “follow” me on facebook, instagram and/or twitter, you will note a preponderance of beautiful handcrafted pieces of ironwork art filling my feeds.

It is great excitement that I’m showcasing more than 60 pieces of ironwork on my ZAAR Design Center and Etsy storefronts that have JUST been posted. Yes, now it’s time to get the word out and let people’s fingers do the shopping!

2020-03-05 11.53.37Personally I get a great amount of satisfaction supporting the cottage industry in Croix de Bouquets Haiti which is the hub of where all art forms made of recycled oil drums  come. Currently showcasing wall art, hammered bowls, plates and trays, framed mirrors, room dividers, and more, are part of the repertoire of these talented artists.

Y2020-04-29 11.57.59ou’ll see a good range of sayings available. Have something you want hammered out of ironwork custom made for you? Be it your family name, a saying, bible verse, or single word…we can have it made. Provide dimensions and text and we’ll get a sketch drawn up and price quoted before asking for a deposit and putting your order in place.

At the top of this missive I said again, as yes, again it is. If interested, a little back story on why I’m all excited about selling Haitian ironwork.


More than 35 years ago as I was finishing up a 3 year stint, this was after visiting Haiti regularly since I had been an impressionable and sensitive 12 year old,  as a volunteer for International Child Care, I was looking for my next step in my quest to bring light to the Spirit and needs of the Haitian people to the Western world. Continuing my work with the constituents of ICC stateside was taken off the table and I briefly considered taking my Masters in Development Education.

What I ended up doing was to start a business, Kado D’Haiti, curating a line of


first business card

handicrafts from the artisans I had come to know in my travels the 3 years prior. It was taking my participation from one of educating Westerners on how to respond to the needs of the Haitians, to responding directly myself by way of working with them to lift themselves up by bringing their beautiful handicrafts to the Western Market.

So, armed with a small inventory of sisal handbags, banana bark greeting cards, bead ruth-kadonecklaces, brightly painted woodwork items, and yes, ironwork, I, upon our 1986 move to Boston/pregnant with our first child, hit assorted craft shows throughout New England. Less than a year later when we moved to Ontario, I started to do home parties. And a year later , very pregnant with baby number 2, I was selling wholesale to customers I met at the Toronto Gift Show where we had secured a booth.

We left for Asia in 1991. We did so with our 3 children, aged 4,2 and 1. I left behind my business, which felt like a 4th child that I couldn’t bring with me, and which I truly was sad about. I passed the torch to my younger sister, who carried it on until she had to close shop due to health issues.

We returned to the states in 1999 and since then I have itched to make a way to again contribute to the mission of helping the Haitian people lift themselves up by way of supporting their artistic endeavors. Due to continued political volatility in the country it is harder than ever to anticipate enough business to come knocking on their doors by way of tourists.

haiti-sistersAs a joint venture with my sister Betsy, who has been buying these beautiful works of art for the past decade, ¬†I again find myself in the position to bring their product to the Market.¬† ¬†This is a sideline venture for her, with her main work serving¬† as Director of FIDA-pch, the organization my parents started in 1985, and part owner of Wall’s Guesthouse, the venue which my mom started by way of supporting the work of FIDA…has her in Haiti on a regular basis.


Over the past decade she has built relationships with the artisans of Croix de Bouquets who supply her with all the beautiful product you now see on my sites. She loves to buy. I love to sell. She has the wherewithal to manage the buying and I have a 20 year history selling online.

And so, there you have it. If you’re still with me, I apologize for being so long winded…but how does one succinctly capsulize what is a 35 year, actually more if you count my initial exposure to Haiti, in 300 words or less.

A picture is worth a thousand words? Following I will let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy them. Buy something if it speaks to you. Buy it because you love it but know that buying it is directly serving a family in a country where the opportunity to lift oneself up isn’t readily available to all…and that your purchase is serving to do just that.


Not get enough here? Previous blog postings on Haiti.

Hike for Haiti: A Traveler’s Journal

Businesses Supporting Communities Around the World…

My Haiti Story…

Wanting to Make a Difference


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Chinese Antiques Online/In NYC

Winding down a business with inventory can be quite the process. I really wanted to honor what this business has been to me, AND the genre I’ve been promoting by not simply dumping what was left with a liquidator.

2016-04-22 15.25.10It’s amazing how, when you put things “out there” like that, how the universe responds.¬† I was so fortunate to find¬† ¬†Asian Country Antiques, who, like me is an online based business…with a warehouse located in Charlotte NC.¬† Keith, the proprietor, is a lovely soul, and has been an absolute dream to work with. So happy to be able to add to his existing collection some beautiful pieces…which are now available on his site.

The remaining 28 pieces that were in my warehouse have been transported to NYC. Thanks to the generosity of my friend Sammy Lin, of Asian Barn  who offered to put them on the floor of his W 19th St (between 6th and 7th) store.

Although on his floor, I have, for added exposure , maintained  all on my site (noting NYC in SKU by each piece that is there).  So, you can still shop online but  for those that are within proximity of NYC, you can go and see in person at Asian Barn. 

FYI, Asian Barn, which has been in business in NYC for the past 12 years, is THE place for you to source Chinese antiques, as well as fabulous reproductions in Chinese furniture and home accent pieces. His inventory is extensive and his price point is exceptional.  And, if you have interest in custom work being done, Sammy, the proprietor, is a gifted craftsman and assuredly can get something made to your specifications.

On another note…that which is on the site and¬† isn’t marked as being in NYC is in High Point NC in the ZAAR Showroom @ 500 N Wrenn, which will be OPEN for this next High Point Furniture Market, showcasing¬†Distinctive Chesterfields,¬†Frank Rogers tables¬†and¬†Thai Handcut Mirrors. But, as always, you can let your fingers do the walking and shop online at ZAAR Design Center.


207 838 2675 phone/text


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To MY “Real Life” Furniture Family…

I came into the business of selling furniture online by accident rather than by design, but 18 years later, I do consider that it has been my destiny. 

hpmkt logoEarly on in my business,  I was led to consider exhibiting in High Point by the urging of one of my early adopter Designer customers, who was, back in 2002, shopping online for Chinese Antiques for her clients. In the interest of growing my To The Trade business, she spurred me on to take a trip to High Point and check out if it was a venue that would made sense for me. This trip was subsequently followed by another  to secure my first showroom in the Historic Market Square in 2004.  The rest is history, you could say, as I’ve recently chalked up my 28th (!) High Point Furniture Market.

So many things have changed over the years, for exhibitors and buyers alike, as the economy has taken its dips and turns and as the impact of the internet has taken on a life of its own. 

¬†Specifically in response to the 2008 economic downturn, I tried various ways to attract my designer customer base year round as I made the decision¬† to move my showroom to an outlying space and have my warehouse double as my showroom…. with no less than 5 moves since 2008.¬†¬†¬†I also tried representing a myriad of¬† product lines.

I am Happy to say that, 10 years later, I have culled down and changed the nature of how I 2018-10-17 12.31.44rep the companies I do… now serving as US rep for companies that don’t have a brick and mortar stateside, namely UK based¬†Distinctive Chesterfields and Mexico based Frank Rogers Design….alongside my Chinese Antiques.¬†¬†¬†And…. for the record, can put out with confidence that 506 N Wrenn is my FINAL move IMG_9381for my ‚Äúshowroom‚ÄĚ.



All the while, the one thing that has remained constant, and  has organically grown, is the community of people that I can relate to, that I feel warm with, that I can encourage and be encouraged by, that I can learn from, and that I respect and cherish.

There are many aspects of being a HPMKT exhibitor that I could expound upon, but all I really cared to acknowledge here, today, is my gratitude for the community of people I’ve come to call my own, by way of being a participant in this bi annual production that serves ALL involved in the Home Furnishings Industry, including, yes, yours truly.

Yes, my “real life” Furniture Family, based around the HPMKT, is nationwide…and twice a year I get to nurture and grow this. A privilege and a joy.







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Collecting Friends…

…and staying warm, across Time and Miles.


Mdme B. Reconnecting in Haiti last week.

My heart is full, as “it” just keeps happening to me over and over and over again. “It” being that warm feeling of a Spirit that is Kindred to your own…Being there. A friendship that was sparked…perhaps many years ago, that is rekindled ever so quickly.

This happened most recently during my trip to Haiti last week. I reached out to a co worker/friend that I had while working there as a volunteer¬† back in the early 80’s, for International Child Care.¬† Through a mutual friend we knew what was up with each other but¬† we hadn’t been in touch with each other directly for over 30 years! Good thing I didn’t let that deter me from reaching out to her! We met and visited like no time had passed.

And it’s going to happen next month.¬† I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my college roommate, who also was maid of honor at my wedding. She lives in British Columbia and is coming to NYC for a conference. We’ve stayed warm on facebook but we haven’t seen each other since 1989! Can’t wait.


¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†College roomie from CMBC (Winnipeg Manitoba). Image captured on last “meeting” circa 1988.



Sally K. Friend from Thailand/now “neighbors” in MD.

Sally Kiser and I were expat wives, with our young families in Bangkok, back in the early¬† 90’s. We celebrated many holidays together and enjoyed a warm friendship.¬† She moved to Maryland when we moved to Maine in 1999….and we nominally stayed in touch as we settled our respective families to life stateside.

5 years ago we also, quite coincidentally,  moved to MD and now she and I live 25 minutes away from each other and try to get together monthly for lunch. So nice to have this friend from another life be here in this life now.

And Just TODAY I got an email from a friend I met through the industry (home furnishings for those of you that don’t know) , that I haven’t heard from in at least 10 years. We shared membership in the High Point Design Center. She thanked me for keeping her on my email list and I thanked her for making her presence¬† known on instagram. She was excited to have a reason to connect with me as she has a niece who needs some chesterfields and she happily thought of me…of course, said she!

Some of you may quip, what kind of friend is one that you haven’t communicated with for so many years? You know what? It doesn’t seem to be a game changer.

Nobody’s fault. Just Life. Work. Kids. Moving. Changing. And that’s the really cool part which is juicing me up so. We have stayed so very connected, in spite of.

I LOVE my colorful tapestry of friends.

I LOVE that mutual tight embrace felt when in person.

I LOVE that there is a sense of love and caring that transcends miles and time.

I LOVE the many ways we can stay warm to each other’s lives via social media. Yes, it counts!

I LOVE how I have them from all corners of my Life…and

I LOVE thinking about those Warm Souls I have yet to meet and can’t wait to call my friend.

THANK YOU to all of you that I have the absolute honor to call my friend. My Love is unwavering, and I know yours is as well.

In Love and Friendship. May both continue to endure and grow!




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On Love…


My Wish for You is that you Receive the Love, Give the Love, BE the Love .


Happy Valentine’s Day From ME to YOU.


P.S. For those you that don’t know, the Chinese pendant stage center here is my name, and also serves as the logo for My Business.

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Businesses Supporting Communities Around the World…

Merriam Webster: Definition of cottage industry

1: an industry whose labor force consists of family units or individuals working at home with their own equipment
2: a small and often informally organized industry


My memory of what was my own cottage industry/grassroots business, Kado D’Haiti, importing/selling Haitian handicrafts, was brought to the fore while at the¬†¬†ny now¬†NY NOW Trade Show…chatting with a number of¬† folks that are lifeline of just such businesses.



I was reminded of what spurred me to start Kado D’Haiti back in 1985…that which was a direct response to quite simply wanting to help the Haitians. My heart had been warmed. After 3 years living in Haiti volunteering as “constituent services coordinator”/read cultural liaison/tour guide, for International Child Care my thoughts went to what is the “next natural step” to foster what I had started. Setting up a business wasn’t my first thought, but with the support of my husband, then fiance,¬† I was off, buying up handicrafts that I thought I could sell in North America…not really knowing how that was going to look.

Getting pregnant and still in “hot” Haiti, so freshly post revolution, moved up our move out date, but move we did…and with a good stash of handicrafts packed along with us.

So, from 1986- 1991 I hawked Haitian handicrafts, based from our residences.¬†¬†ruth-kadoFirst at craft shows in Boston, then at home parties in Cambridge Ontario, and at the St Jacobs¬† Farmers Market,¬† and finally to shops throughout Canada, once I secured a spot at the Home Show in Toronto.¬† In 1991 when our family, which had grown to 5, moved to Asia, I sadly had to let go of Kado….

If you want to read even more backdrop on this and where it has taken me, you can check out this blog post on “Wanting to Make a Difference.”

Currently, by way of ZAAR Design frank-rogers-montageCenter, I have the opportunity to promote two businesses that work with cottage industries, namely Frank Rogers Designs, who makes beautiful hand forged tables in Mexico and C and S Acosta who does hand cut mirrors out of Thailand. I’m pleased to give them a voice to the US Market by way of ZAAR.


And now I’d like to¬† introduce¬† the below 8 companies that you may not know about, that I connected with at the NY NOW show/some I’ve known for awhile and some I just met last week….but all of them¬† so inspirational!

Please check them out… and KNOW that with EVERY purchase that you are contributing to the betterment of lives for people around the world, as the impassioned owner/operators of these respective businesses work through the unique challenges that come with working with cottage industries… BUT through which they are rewarded by knowing that they have a part in these people lifting themselves up. It’s a Win, Win, Win…


P.S. Kado isn’t completly in the past…resurfacing by way of a presence on Etsy.…should you be interested.


Beyond Borders

PicMonkey Collage (14)

House of Cindy  

File Feb 09, 3 29 34 PM

Legend of Asia  To The Trade Only.


Suzani World Designs  Retail AND Wholesale

PicMonkey Collage (15)

Venture Imports  Retail AND Wholesale


Tesoros Trading Company


Belart  Retail AND Wholesale

File Feb 09, 3 28 59 PM

Rubyzaar Retail AND Wholesale

PicMonkey Collage (17)

ruth and girlsP.P.S. Any excuse I can have to insert a photo of my grandaughter. ūüôā Here, at photo shoot when she was 7 days old. I’d say that swaddle looks very much like the organic cotton scarves by Rubyzaar…and thus the justified inclusion of this pic here. Thanks for humoring me.




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To This New Year of Blogging…

calendarI just read what was my New Year missive for 2017, which I wrote end of February, and am happy for the reminder of where my head was at at that time and what was “big” for me in 2016. You can revisit that should you so desire, here.

So, my blogging life in recent years, has been erratic at best. There WAS a time I was blogging weekly…amazes even me. It takes time and commitment to keep a blog going, and I’ve not had either for some time now, so I’ve decided to take a new approach.

img_3825Going forward this blog isn’t going to be exclusively about my business but as much about the person behind the business, yup, that is yours truly,¬† and¬† the experiences I have had, about the people I’ve met along the way, about the roles I’ve played, about the places I’ve lived/visited/will visit, about the lessons I’ve learned, about what I am grateful for. Big deep breath, but yes, it will be akin to an online journal.

So, here we go. New format. Less verbose. More to the point.

To that end….

What was 2017 all about? It  was hands down, ALL about  Family.

We had such an exciting year with the addition of Adalyn Avery Vernem, born on 2017-09-09 14.31.40September 9th, 2017.¬† ¬†I KNEW becoming a grandmother would be special but I really didn’t anticipate how quickly , like upon first sight of her entering this world/that which I had the privilege of witnessing, it would hit me. In fact this young lady has EVERY member of the Olbrych family completly smitten.¬† Just no words.

We are so grateful for her good health, her good nature…and her good looks. ūüôā Yes, a little biased, but really, she is cute as a button, don’t you think?

2017-12-20 20.40.45

Our family is dispersed geographically….Zach and David in San Diego, CA, Ari, Nick and Addie in Kitchener Ontario ,Avery and Jesse in New York, NY, and Mark and I splitting residences in New York NY and Stevensville, MD….My Joy is the sense of closeness I feel amongst all of us in spite of the miles. Frequent phone calls, facetime, facebook messages/via a messenger group we called the “baby report” upon birth of Addie, but is that and more, keep us close and simply melt the miles away.

File May 24, 11 30 23 AM

Mother’s Day 2017. Last time we were ALL together. Disneyland, Anaheim CA.

Yes, My Family is My World, and I’m Grateful for the Gift that Each of my Children, Their Partners, My Husband and my Precious Granddaughter each are to me.

Looking forward to seeing what 2018 will bring to each of us individually and together as a unit.






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Collaborations Juice me up…

2016-04-22 15.25.10….AND is that which ZAAR Design Center is ALL about.

So, here, the ZAAR Design Center Story, if you will…with update on newest collaboration! Yes, soooo excited.

zaarlogo small¬†I’ve been in the business of importing/selling Chinese Antiques for the past 17 years…a genre I came to know and love during the time my family spent living in Asia, namely Bangkok Thailand from 1991-1996 and Taichung Taiwan from 1996- 1999. It was a abyzaar_bcard_ruthgreat experience living as expats, and it was great to relive that in the ensuing years after our 1999 move to New Gloucester Maine… as I went about the business of selling Chinese Antiques online, through our website, Antiques By Zaar…which entailed repeatedly recounting the story, when asked/as I so often was, ¬†how the heck I ended up selling Chinese antiques, online, from a farm in Maine.

abyzaar collage maine

zaarlogo smallFor almost 10 years we imported a container full every 2 months, with the website as our main portal, and a ¬†presence in High Point NC as we moved our warehouse from ME to NC in 2008….and I, in some form or another, ie, I’ve moved around ALOT, ¬†have shown at the High Point Furniture Markets, twice/year, since 2004. The biz was a two man show…my husband did the buying and backend work, I did the selling and writing. It was a lucrative and good gig.

zaarlogo smallAnd then 2008 happened. ¬†Need I say more? ¬†My husband moved to New York, re entering the corporate world…read, get a regular paycheck…and I continued on with Antiques by Zaar solo.

zaarlogo smallAs chance would have it I, in 2012, ¬†at the Fall High Point Market, ¬†would be presented with an opportunity to broaden my base of product to sell, by way of introduction to Steve Laidlaw of Distinctive Chesterfields¬†,by ¬†distinctive logo smallSteve Harding of Touchwood UK¬†, who I met as a result of my forming ZAAR Design Center in 2010. ¬†Based on my then 12 years of experience selling a high end product online I was hired as the first ¬†US based sales associate for this UK based company, which operated on the same premise that I had built my business…factory to consumer pricing, no brick and mortar, and a focus on personalized customer service. It appeared I had a knack for giving people confidence in the process, the product and the people , as they went forth with their ¬†virtual transaction.

DC ZDC PicMonkey Collage

zaarlogo smallLong story short, since Spring of 2013 we have been importing a container of pre sold chesterfield sofas monthly to the US. Thanks to ALL that have, and continue, to take the plunge.

zaarlogo smallThis relationship you could say, has served to offer a framework where Antiques by Zaar worked to serve as anchor for ¬†Zaar Design Center…along with Distinctive. ¬†My “evolving entity” was forming it’s identity. ¬†Over the ensuing years I continued to enter into collaborations with a number of folks that I’ve met through the Furniture Market, where I represent their product online and they drop ship for me. And just last year I added another “foreign” company to represent, by way of Frank Rogers Design, based out of San Miguel Mexico, where beautiful hand forged iron table bases are fashioned by local artisans, under the direction of displaced New Englander/come expat, ¬†Frank Rogers.

frank rogers pic monkey collage

zaarlogo smallBut what about the Chinese Antiques? ¬†What about that from which this all started? ¬†I do love the genre and I still enjoy selling it…AND I still own a healthy amount of inventory. ¬†And although I would LOVE to buy truck loads, to flesh out said collection/as there are always “holes”, it didn’t make sense for me to continue on in the vein of buying ¬†container loads, as I had done for a dozen years.

zaarlogo smallEnter Sammy Lin of Asian Barn.sammys collage

zaarlogo smallSammy has had a storefront in NYC since 2003. For the past 3 years he has been in the Flatiron District at 40 W 17th St, between 5th and 6th, in a 4,500 square foot space…where I first connected with him, walking into his shop and introducing myself.

zaarlogo smallI was immediately drawn to his collection as it was so similar to what we had been buying for over a decade, that it could’ve been mine. What started as a salient collaboration, where I would piggyback on his containers, with what I needed for my customers, and promoting my reproductions/which weren’t in stock, as now available through him…has recently become more visible, as I have agreed to serve as his Director of Sales, with the thrust of this position working towards growing his To The Trade business.

abyzaar designer collage

Images as Gifted to me by Antiques by Zaar Trade customers..from left to right:  Cynthia Mason Interiors, Tilton Fenwick, Meg Braff Designs, Hannah Dee Interiors and Anthony Michael Interior Design.

zaarlogo smallAs it would happen, I have more than just a handful of ¬†NJ/NY/CT Trade accounts in my back pocket, which I am very excited to send directly ¬†to Asian Barn. We look forward hosting events in his store, and giving ¬†our trade accounts FIRST DIBS when new shipments arrive…which they do regularly. ¬† Similarly ¬†I will be presenting his goods/services to my accounts during the High Point Furniture Markets. For not only does he have what I deem a wonderfully curated collection of Chinese Furniture BUT he also is a gifted furniture craftsman, who can execute the details of a custom piece with great precision, AND at a price that can’t be beat.

zaarlogo small¬†We are very excited to collaborate with WITHT, a networking organization for Women in withit logothe Home Furnishings Industry/ which I’ve been a member for past 7 years, for our inaugural party, a Good Karma Meet and Greet/Networking event. Asian Barn will serve as host to said event on Thursday April 6th, starting at 6:00 pm…serving Buddha Beer, dumplings….AND a grandiose dose of of Good Karma. ¬†Please let me know if you would like to join us. I GUARANTEE you a good time!

zaarlogo smallI look forward to welcoming you to the ZAAR Community, if you aren’t already a member. Thank YOU to those that I already count as part of such.


P.S. …if interested in knowing about Trade Discounts on any product I represent, please reach out to me. Eager to work with you/help you bring your client’s dreams/your projects, to fruition.
2016-04-22 15.25.10207 838 2675










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Walking the Tight Rope…

….that is my every day present.

balancing-actWe all have choices and that goes for attitude towards life/self as well. I am the first to admit that I am stubborn. ¬†I don’t give up easily AND, at the same time, ¬†I am my own worst enemy…which is a combination that keeps me on a tightrope, working a balancing act every single day…image on left depicting so clearly how I feel…making it ever so easy to lean to the right, or to the left…the left ¬†being the pit of self doubt and fear, which just ensures I will stay “stuck “, the right being that where I grab onto all the opportunities that come my way…by way of connecting deeper with the beautiful Souls that I’m privileged to either meet in person or online by way of social media….and where I find the Best way to Let my Light Shine.

This blog I guess you could say is a foray towards the latter.

I’ve dabbled in blogging for the past 7 years, and am not quite understanding fully….ok, I ruth-withitdo have an inkling, …as to why I have chosen to NOT consistently communicate with my world by way of this blog, as it gives me so much pleasure to do so. Remember…”own worst enemy”….cause I kind of like to write/connect by way of the written word. So, just duh Ruth for holding back. So, here I go….

No matter how much I have blogged/not blogged throughout the year, I have indeed started each New Year with a blog capsulizing the year prior and putting out, in one form or another, what I look to focus on for the following year.It’s ¬†been like a rite of passage for the new calendar year…which I’m tackling at a record “late date” for 2017, it coming to the end of Feb already. Actually depends which calendar you are using as reference. IE for Thai New Year, which is mid April, I would be considered to be quite early for this ūüôā

If I were to be totally frank with you…and why not/what have I got to lose, I think the reason I’ve been shying away from fulfilling this annual ritual for 2017 is that I’ve been feeling that I’ve been sorely failing in the department of moving that needle forward as I have put needleout there each and every year all these cool things that I really DO want to do/be and just feel that I could STILL make each of those intentions a priority AGAIN this year, and it just wasn’t’ making me feel good about where I am. IE why put out to the world that which you are sure to fail at….again?

So, although I ¬†still feel that I haven’t fulfilled all those promises to myself…those most honorable resolves, intentions, mantras, whatever you want to call it that I put out at the beginning of the calendar year…I have nonetheless ¬†decided to cut myself some slack. Yes, steps-1leaning to the positive right on the tight rope. I have decided to recognize the fact that even though I may not be where I want to be in Life, that I am indeed moving that needle forward. I’ve decided to embrace the fact that I apparently still have lessons to learn.¬†I’ve decided to appreciate that ¬†although each step may be tiny that at least it is a step forward, that I have moved from going one step ahead two back…been there/that sucks!…to making tiny steps forward…in that each landing is not as low as the one previously…so, yes, I am acknowledging ¬†progress. Whoo hoo!

To that end I did take a few moments at the end of 2016 to list what I saw as my calendar-2016-paint“accomplishments”, unique to 2016. Some are related to my work life, and some to my personal life. They are ALL relevant in my books. Good to share a handful here/keep as succinct as possible, as I don’t want to lose you/assuming you are still with me….

On the business side of things…
ZAAR Design center, I have always coined as my ¬†“evolving entity”…that which I initiated in 2010. ¬† Antiques by Zaar, my 16 year old biz, ¬†continues to serve as the anchor for said entity but having a website to represent this shift was a long time coming. ¬†Fall 2016 I launched my spanky new site for ZAAR Design Center and as such I can finally stop saying, when I give people quote-backgroundmy cards “don’t judge me by my website.” Thank you Meridith Kovach for your invaluable help in creating this store front for me. I’m thrilled.


In the interest of having a wider reach, beyond the traffic coming to my website, I have broadened my base and have enjoyed sales coming in from Houzz, Etsy, Chairish, Pinterest, and Design Life Network. AND, I’ve JUST been invited to sell on Wayfair, which I think is pretty cool.
withit-conf-imageI have heard many times that you can’t expect to grow your business on your own. And that it isn’t a sin that you can’t do it alone. Really? ¬†Yes, we can still be “superwomen” even if we have help to achieve our goals. In fact THAT is what makes us “superwomen”….realizing that it does take a village. ¬†I have come to embrace this and am grateful for the team I have behind me….those helping me with the work, those who support me by way of mentorship and the cheerleaders I am blessed to have in my corner, by way of friends and family members.

So, I feel my business is ¬†more “anchored” than it has for awhile.

I continue to enjoy selling the Chinese Antiques which brought me into the home furnishings realm 16 years ago. I also LOVE working with other companies/representing them and bringing their product to the market…most significantly representing, for what is my 5th year dc-collage-arialnow, the British Company Distinctive Chesterfields...relationship which really helped ¬†set the path for ZAAR.

On the personal side I can feel good about having my name put forward by my dear friend img_3825Betty Lynn Eller, to be part of an article in Good Housekeeping, highlighting “50 Women¬†over 50”…women who were embracing this time of their lives..which I do. What a great experience to have been included in this…yup, a little ‘celebrity’ moment.

NOTE: If you care to read in more detail how I see myself as a “Purveyor”, you can do so on the About US/Meet Ruth section of my website.

I enjoy singing in my church choir at the Kent Island United Methodist Church/happy for this venue to keep the vocal chords/sight reading skills sharp….and what a great and welcoming community of singers.

For the first time since college days, where I HAD to, when I was a music major for one brief year, I sang a solo for the Easter Cantata. It was small BUT it was nonetheless a solo AND I didn’t mess it up. Yup, worked through that fear thing.


I did what I never thought I’d do, after not even caring to do it for the first time 4 years ago, and that was to run my 2nd half marathon at at Virginia Beach, Labor Day weekend. ¬†I’ve been casually running for what seems like forever, and not being an athlete, it sort of became my “thing” I guess. ¬†Feeling I was in worst shape then I was four years prior, I was simply hoping to finish. However, I was to be surprised by the fact ruth-and-ave-disneythat I actually beat my previous time by almost 20 minutes, completing in 2 hours/40 minutes! Another whoo hoo! and yes, up for another. In fact it is officially booked. Tinkerbell challenge at Disney in CA….mothers day weekend…10k on Sat and 1/2 marathon on Sunday. Thank you Avery for inciting this for your mama who although runs regularly, still doesn’t see herself as a runner.


And although not necessarily an accomplishment,it was a big deal for me, in that,¬†after a 20 year hiatus, I revisited Haiti , where I lived for 5 years back in the mid ’80’s...but had been first introduced to when I was 12 years old. ¬†I was inspired to write about it and in fact did two, yes lengthy, blogs about such back in Dec., shortly after my return. ¬†First missive, My Haiti Story, and 2nd ¬†Hike for Haiti: A Traveller’s Journal. ¬†Part of the trip included a 26 mile hike across the mountains of Haiti and the fact that I did so without feeling like I was going to die, was a haiti-group-picpretty big deal to me….to the point where the avid hikers that I was with, honored me by inducting me as a “hiker” going forward. But more relevant is that it was truly wonderful way for me ¬†to again, experience, this beautiful country and it’s people…and if interested in doing so, reach out to me.. the 2nd annual hike, organized through FIDA, is slated for December 2017. ¬†You can count on it being a life changing experience.

calendarSo, when I look back, 2016 was pretty ok….giving me a good starting point for 2017. Only 2 months in, and I am still walking that tight rope BUT I’m leaning a little more to the right than the left these days, and when I do it feels pretty darn good.

dscn4230So, to end this missive I am going to keep it real short and to the point about what I have set as “intentions” for 2017.

These words will ring in my ear as I move forward….PIVOT, ALIGN and THRIVE/PROSPER. ¬†Yes, I can and will do this! ¬†I will get out of my way. I will work through the Fear and Appreciate the Steps. ¬†You will know, as I will continue to connect by way of facebook and instagram posts, and here, on my blog…and yes, I will keep it real/as I don’t know any other way.

For now, I thank for you for taking ¬†this time to get this little window on my world. My wish for YOU is that 2017 is all that you intend it to be….and more ! We have 10 months to make that magic happen. ¬†Let me know about YOUR magic. ¬† Ruth







Posted in Just Me Sharing | 1 Comment

Hike for Haiti: A Traveler’s Journal

Christmas is HERE, it truly is…

December is already busy enough with all the lead up to what this Holiday time is, so why would I take a week away, 2 weeks before Christmas to go to Haiti, as I just did?

Well, quite simply because I had an opportunity, that I couldn’t pass up… to be part of a group that would spend a week in Haiti…on a cultural awareness adventure, with, at the core of this exchange a 2 day, 25 mile hike across the mountains of Haiti. It doesn’t get any more authentic then that. And yes,there were 6 other people that shared this very same sentiment.

haiti-hikeWhat was coined the “Hike for Haiti” was an inaugural event, ¬†organized by ¬†FIDA-USA, as a fundraiser…hello, over 20k was raised by this group!… for the adult literacy program….a 9 month program which is offered to all members of the community cooperatives, as supported by FIDA…the Foundation for International Development Assistance, said organization ¬†founded by my parents, Jack and Anne Wall, back in 1984.

FIDA regularly hosts groups to Haiti which serve to bring awareness to Westerners that have an interest in understanding/seeing first hand the work of these mostly agricultural (now moving into poultry as well) cooperatives in rural Haiti, but mission is also to serve as a conduit to understand the people of this country which have been on the receiving end of every kind of disaster since they proclaimed their Freedom as the 1st Black Republic back in the 1800’s. No, they aren’t to be pitied, they are to be respected.

The first two days we were introduced to two different cooperatives. One, a relatively new one in the process, and the other, one of the first cooperatives established back in the mid 80’s.

Impassable roads became a norm rather quickly, as did an implicit trust in the skill level of haiti-coopour drivers. Can’t believe I used to maneuver these roads way back when….Pride became the hallmark of the people we were introduced to….the cooperative leaders, the owner of a new chicken coop, the farmers with irrigation drip systems in their gardens, the adults who had just learned how to write their names for the very first time. Yes, pride is a universal language. We could FEEL it! It gave us goosebumps.

After two days of bopping around in the back of the jeeps we would be given a break….well, not until we spent 3 hours getting to our drop off point, to go it on foot for the next 2 days. This hike was the carrot…that unique experience, that had been dangled before us, and which we all eagerly anticipated, without really knowing how deeply we would be affected.

It was a physically challenging hike…no doubt about it. First 7 miles, mostly uphill, reaching top elevation of 6,600 feet. Last 2 miles of day 1 a literal stroll through what is appropriately called the Pine Forest, before reaching our destination for the night, Winnie’s Guest House.

People walking. People carrying loads…on their heads, on donkeys, on motorcycles…traversing a road that was impassable by car, but which was manipulated with the stealth of a mountain goat by many.

haiti-kidsYes, they shared their road with us, and kids would join us for good chunks of time…grabbing our hands and walking with us until they reached wherever they were going.

haiti-leeksYou think you’re in the middle of nowhere and there would be a market, and then another, and another.

We learned that a Bonjou (hello) and Ki jan ou ye (how are you) greeting was all that was needed to soften our intrusion. In fact they didn’t make us feel like intruders at all. We were the crazy “blancs” that were walking for fun….a little bit hard to understand for a people that walked to live.

Winnie’s was a modest but welcoming respite after a full day of climbing the upward trail. Accommodations suited us just fine, even though showers just weren’t going to happen….limited water pressure and cold water on what was a chilly night, determined this…and nobody seemed to really care. A chat around the table ended at 7:30 when the power went off and off to bed we went. We had a big day ahead of us. 15 miles downhill to our final destination.

Although I have spent many years in Haiti, I found that there were a few things I did not know, and one was that spaghetti ( I swear this is “new “in the last 30 years) is commonly eaten at breakfast. That is what was served Saturday morning…I just figured we were carb loading. And yes, saw it on the menu at the hotel we spent the next night at to confirm what I had been told. Go figure.

As was the case the day before, at times we hiked as a glob but more often than not we trickled down the mountain in groups of 2 or 3. A couple of days bouncing around in jeeps followed by a couple of days hiking the hills of Haiti, what was 9 of us….the 8 “visitors”…less yours truly ,all there for the first time…and Patrick Bentrott, the gent who organized this expedition, the executive director of FIDA USA, and Legrand Charles, our token Haitian we would tease…but more aptly put, the local rep of FIDA-PCH, who works in the field as an agronome, and serves so well as conduit ¬†for these cultural exchanges….quickly went from being strangers to friends….encouraging those who well, had had just enough already, that they could indeed finish. And we did, with a flourish, being greeted by Betsy, my sister, who took over from my father the ¬†directorship of FIDA-PCH operations ,who drove through the mountains to meet us.

A well earned shower, celebratory dinner and night at the Cyvadier hotel in Jacmel was a welcome tonic for us “hikers” who had every right to feel proud of our respective accomplishments, while we were given a very special window on what was a very beautiful rural Haiti.

The next day turned out to be the true test of how adaptable we all were, and it proved that we, as a group, were really that adaptable.

What was supposed to be a 15-20 minute drive from the main road, to visit the infamous Basin Bleu waterfalls, ended up to be a 30-40 minute drive….of course up a windy bumpy road….that of course we ¬†would have to come down. ¬†What was supposed to be a “short” walk to the falls ended up being another 20 minute hike with the final bit requiring you to go down a rappelling rope to reach that last and most beautiful of the 3 falls. “Lunch” ended up being an early dinner at a very low key “restaurant” in Jacmel…yes, we had to back track to get there….being served a very traditional creole chicken and rice and banane

peseas. Everybody LOVED it!!!! What would’ve been a scenic drive in daylight through a myriad of hairpin turns, winding through the ¬†mountain upon leaving Jacmel, became a mesmerizing experience that left us all breathless and awestruck, as we wended our way in pitch dark…dodging people on foot, motorcycles and oncoming traffic. I do have to admit going into my rollercoaster mode and white knuckling it and closing my eyes for a time… Yes, from start to finish we rolled with it. I was soooo impressed.

Last day. Only day in the capital city of Port au Prince. To be sure our driving escapades were far from over…just of a different nature if you will…to round out our experiences you could say….like backing up a fair distance on Delmas, which is a major road…and all others getting out of the way so we could do this without issue.

apparant-1A visit to the Apparent project, left us all awestruck. The work done here to lift the people up, so they could afford to keep their children, rather than ship them off to orphanages, was all encompassing and simply inspiring. We all left with this great feeling of good people doing good work…together, with the Haitians….and to further support this, we also left with treasures as found in the wonderful store selling all those things we saw being made.

Lunch was at the infamous Hotel Oloffson. I had been there many times during my 5 years haiti-oloffsonin Haiti, and often took my tour groups there. It was as eclectic and dilapidated and charming and delightful as I remembered. And special treat was a visit to our table by the owner, Richard Morse, who saved this charm from its doom, when he took it over in the mid 80’s. After chatting with him, and finding out about his band ROM playing Thursday nights it was determined that that needed to be added to the next Hike for Haiti agenda/experience. Click his name above to see interview by Richard, giving his story. Such an interesting man!

haiti-walls-guesthouseOne more little shopping opportunity at the Comite Artisanal ¬†before heading back to Wall’s Guesthouse…that place of respite, which my mother started in 1984 to support the work of FIDA. If you have ever stayed at Wall’s International Guesthouse, you have inadvertently supported the work of community cooperatives by way of FIDA! IE, Without the monies generated from said guesthouse there would be no FIDA. Yes, the folks were a good team.

And, less the run to the airport, one more trek in the jeep to have dinner up in Petion Ville at the Latin Quarter…noted as one of the 10 best restaurants in Haiti. ¬†Perfect way to end this day, this week, this experience. It is tradition here to leave your mark after dining at the restaurant, and that we did…finding a corner o the wall where we each signed our name, leaving this one sign that we had indeed been HERE.

That is what we left in Haiti. What we took with us, was more than the trinkets we bought as gifts/souvenirs. It wasn’t something you could see or measure. It was what was in each of our Souls. We were touched. Our hearts were warmed. We were humbled. We were accepted. We were shown grace. We were blessed. We quite simply left more complete than how we had arrived…what a Gift.

Thank you Haiti, for welcoming us so and giving us so many Gifts…

Merry Christmas/Joyeux Noel


P.S. Must apologize for not adding more photos, as I have plenty. But they are currently stuck in my phone and so I’ve had to hodge podge here. Will get into facebook album soon (with captions) so you can see more of the beauty and wonder of Haiti.






Posted in Haitian Handicrafts, Just Me Sharing | 2 Comments

My Haiti Story…

….AND Kado D’Haiti reborn.

haiti-sceneryI have JUST returned from a trip to Haiti, and when I simply say that, explaining why I wasn’t as reachable as usual, ¬†I open myself up to questions wondering the impetus for a trip to a land which is commonly quoted as being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere…and thus visiting there is considered to be for humanitarian or mission related reasons. It was neither for me really. It was more like a going home, to the “Pearle of the Antilles” ¬†for a visit if you will. ¬†This blog is a place for me to, as concisely as possible “put it out there” and give a basis for further discussion, should there be interest….as to how this has evolved.

haiti-houseMy first trip to Haiti was as an impressionable 12 year old…yes, we are going that far back/ergo the length of this missive. I am 56 you know…and several week long visits followed before I found myself packing my bags and moving there as a fresh University Grad.

It was my parents who deemed it of value for us to see a side of life that was so foreign to haiti-washingus. Well,¬†being the sensitive gal that I am, I ¬†readily caught the bug, and with each return visit, my desire to ¬†pursue the possibility of what it would look like to work in Haiti grew. I had two concerns. One, visiting for a week at a time isn’t much to determine how well you would live there and the 2nd, what in the world kind of job could I do that would be effective? I wasn’t inclined to the medical field which seemed to be what would be most readily needed, for the severe and rampant health issues prevalent…and even with a Theology degree under my belt, I wasn’t inclined to go and serve in a role as religious advisor or the such.

I took care of the first concern by spending a college summer as an unpaid intern, doing whatever was needed, at Grace Children’s Hospital, the organization my father was heavily involved with at the time, and the organization which hosted the “tours” I had participated in over the years. Long and short of it I managed living there quite well. It was a wonderful 3 months.

I stayed in touch with the administration as I returned to school. As I was finishing up my undergrad degree, Sociology and Religion, ¬†I was offered a job by International Child Care/Grace Children’s Hospital. Not just any job, but The Perfect Job for yours truly. I couldn’t believe it…the very job it appeared ¬†I had been groomed for as that impressionable kid on those week long visits. Apparently there was interest in hiring someone specifically to manage and host the very kind of “tours” that I had participated in previously…rather than have it as a “job share” amongst the volunteers. ¬†Could it get any better than this? ¬†I was all in and signed a 2 year contract to serve in the volunteer position of constituent services coordinator, which translates as cultural liaison, driver, translator, tour guide….to groups that were organized by churches/schools to come under the umbrella of International Child Care, to specifically see the work we were doing but also to experience Haiti and thereby be ambassadors for our organization and the country in general. NOTE: We did expose our groups to the works of other organizations as well.

What started as a 2 year contract was extended to a 3rd year and 3 years became 5 due to fact that I started dating Mark Olbrych,who would become my husband, who had just started his time in Haiti working for Stride Rite, which had one of the biggest factories in Port au Prince.

My desire to “help” did not diminish with my volunteer stint up and although I put in for a stateside based job to continue working with the people that I had connected with as their “tour guide” , I do prefer the term “cultural liaison”, it quite simply didn’t pan out.

So, in lieu of working directly with the Westerner’s I determined to work directly with the Haitians. In my travels I had been exposed to the wonderful handicrafts created by the Haitians, who quite simply lacked a market. With plans to market their wares stateside I bought up an assortment of handicrafts, supporting those who who already had a small business going if you will.

February 1986. My fiance contracted a serious case of hepatitis. Small known fact. What is well known is that at the same time Baby Doc, the Dictator of Haiti was overthrown.¬†It was quite comedic, if you think about it. I was packing a bag for us to head stateside for medical treatment/watching tv, when a reporter prematurely announced Baby Doc’s departure…which no, hadn’t happened yet. A dear Haitian friend of mine told me to get out as fast as we could as trouble was brewing. We did get out, and subsequently had quite a difficult time getting back. But we did return, on Valentine’s Day actually, ¬†but only stayed till the end of the year, moving to Boston MA… married, pregnant and loaded up with handicrafts to sell through my new business, which I called Kado D’Haiti…or Gifts from Haiti.


It was with great joy that I sold Haitian handicrafts for the following 5 years. Evolving my business from doing craft shows in MA and home parties in Kitchener-Waterloo and a booth at the St Jacobs Farmers Market, to courting wholesale accounts at the Toronto Gift Show.

All the while “life” kept going at a rapid pace. That first year of our marriage we moved from Haiti, to Boston MA ¬†to Cambridge Ontario. In the ensuing 4 years our family further grew and in 1991, with 3 children under 4 years of age, we packed up again and moved to Bangkok Thailand, ¬†at which time I had to give up my ¬†precious business, where we would stay for next 5 years before moving to Taichung Taiwan for 3 years. It would be 1999 before we would move to the State’s…first time for my brood of kids who had the gift of dual citizenship.

olbrych kids

Peacock Hill Farm arialNew Gloucester Maine would serve as home to our family for the next 12 years. Peacock Hill Farm was our glorious terra firma and  from where we raised our children, bred golden Copy (3) of ciniminivet.jpgretrievers and ran our business Antiques by Zaar, which specialized in importing and selling Chinese Antique Furniture. Seeing a pattern here? 



Busy busy time. Insane actually. No room to revisit my “Haiti Cherie”. ¬†Fast forward and I distinctive logo smallfind myself marking 4 years since selling the farm and moving to the Eastern Shore in MD. ..still selling Chinese Antiques and also repping a UK based company, selling Chesterfield Sofas…and JUST back from my first trip to Haiti in 17 years.

haitiI have always had opportunities to return to Haiti these past years …that’s a whole nother story/which I will tell in another missive, as this one is already too long! … but now was the first time that I felt that I was in the good space I wanted to be in, before returning. I knew that once I returned, after such a long hiatus, that, all “that” which was sparked as a 12 year old, and fanned as a young adult volunteering/living there, and supported by way of my first business, would be reignited, and it surely was.

There’s a whole lot more to share, but in the interest of not making this particular missive so long that you won’t read it, I want to simply say how excited I am to once again be in the business, just a little side business really, of selling Haitian handicrafts….really, do you think I could go there and NOT come back with a bag full of goodies? …continuing the response I had 30 years ago, with the creation of Kado D’Haiti. It is called Kado Encore, which means Gift Again…as this is a reinvention of that initial venture…and you can find a treasure trove of Haitian Handicrafts on my Etsy shop by the very same name.

apparant-130 plus years ago I was exclusively working direct with the Haitian artisans. There is a certain amount of that happening again, but I am also interested in supporting the many artisanal projects initiated there, by yes, foreigners. ¬†Know that with each purchase you are ¬†not only participating in helping a Haitian lift themselves up, by way of being gainfully employed, ¬†10% of all sales will go towards the work of FIDA, the community cooperative development project my parents started over 30 years ago…¬†seriously, that is a whole missive in and of itself. IE glossing over here now but will give it the attention due in short order. Similarly I do want to expound further on the actual experience I just had there…wanted to set the stage here if you will.

I look forward to hearing from you. I KNOW that many of you  have a Haiti Story to share, and I would love to hear yours. And of course, should you find yourself in need of a gift or a memento from Haiti, I might just have what you are looking for.

I welcome you all to my world!

May your Light Shine Brightly during this Special Time of Year. Thank you for your interest in my Story.


207 838 2675






Posted in Haitian Handicrafts, Just Me Sharing | 2 Comments

My High Point Market Experience: Spring 2015

ruth flowersYes, High Point Furniture Market has come and gone 2015-04-19 17.58.35again.¬†Almost 3 weeks ago already/only….but the right time to revisit what the¬†¬†Market experience was for me…..one that has evolved over the ¬†12 years I’ve been making my way to High Point twice/year for the “next 6 days that count”

Market is always always a jam packed, exhausting, yet exhilarating, time. To be in the midst ¬†of so much creativity, inspiration, design… all mixed in with the adrenaline produced when good business is being done…well, it’s a recipe for an incredible experience.

2015-04-19 13.47.10As always we enjoyed seeing those that came to visit at our permanent Showroom @ 741 West Ward, with highlight being our Sunday Lunch n Learn with Deb Barrett.  Thank you to Deb, who left her flock of VIP Inside Design Tour Participants (what a GREAT group of folks she and Jackie Von Tobel had under their care for this inaugural tour)  to come and give us an info packed World Tour on Trends.

¬†It was also great to ¬†meet new/reconnect with old, customers and friends from our 2015-04-16 18.13.54-1satellite¬†space in the Antique and Design Center….AND if I can, a shout out to the gals that run the show at the Antique and Design Center. What a class act! ¬†I can’t effuse enough with regards to the “experience” of being an exhibitor ¬†there…..the icing on the cake being the wandering minstrels that stroll by each afternoon. Had a little fun with a customer harmonizing to You are My Sunshine as the musician of the hour strummed away on his banjo. I believe it was recorded! I took to calling what they provided as a “concierge” Market experience. They don’t miss a beat and are attentive to the end…Love you ladies. And love what you provide and do for your ¬†Antique and Design¬†exhibitors and shoppers alike. Bravo!

2015-04-18 11.08.51My Chinese Antiques accented beautifully the Chesterfield Sofa line I represent…or vice versa if you wish. ¬†And porcelain pieces and glass cut mirrors from C & S Acosta topped it all off…that, and some peacock feathers. ūüôā ¬†Have been selling my antiques wholesale for 15 years, but this was the FIRST market presenting wholesale pricing to the line of, made in the UK, Chesterfield Sofas, by Distinctive Chesterfields, ¬†and what a great reception we had! If you didn’t get to visit the showroom, you can check out pix here. ¬†

In addition to all the wonderful people we were able to introduce our collection to, it 2015-04-20 14.54.00was great to  be interviewed  for an article on antiques/repurposed products that will be published in the  New Homes & Ideas magazine in the summer/fall. Thanks to dear customer/friend Linda Zoffer of Del Zio Designs for making that happen.

2015-04-17 21.12.18The High Point Junior League did a showhouse, which coincided with Market. Happy to have been able to attend the grand opening gala with a bevy of my friends to take in this amazing project and ¬†to support those talented Designers that I know and love that worked so hard to make this a showcase showhouse….Libby Langdon, Kara Cox, Lisa Mende, Traci Zeller and Madcap Cottage….just the ones I personally know but they ALL ¬†really outdid themselves and I am sure all are excited for all the money that they helped raise for the Junior League. ¬†My Showhouse photo album here.¬†

                    2015-04-17 20.09.33    2015-04-17 20.59.13

                    2015-04-17 20.12.29     2015-04-17 20.22.07

2015-04-19 08.58.48Kelly Wearstler’s discussion with the Trim Queen for the WITHIT Sunday breakfast was yet another highlight of Market….as was seeing my friend, the Trim Queen herself, present a CEU course on , of course, Trim, ¬†at the Robert Allen Showroom. Accolades to a wonderful presentation Jana!

2015-04-19 16.55.47

Soooo many product launches by amazing interior designers/many whom I know. Couldn’t get to them all/afraid to list out for fear of who I would miss. Simply wow, wow and wow.

Similarly it wasn’t in the cards for me to visit,¬†and take pix to # and instagram,¬†as many of my fellow business owners/exhibitors that I consider as friends as I would’ve liked. Was nice to check in with the folks at ¬†Van Collier, John Strauss, Legends of Asia, Touchwood UK, Dunes and Duchess, New Growth Designs, ¬†Taylor Burke, Cotton and Quill and Red Egg….but so many more that I was unable to get to. A smattering of photos here.

              2015-04-22 16.19.32    2015-04-22 17.57.13

            2015-04-19 09.50.59       2015-04-19 19.25.40

For those that are familiar with Market, the shopping/selling part of the day ends only to be picked up by the multitude of parties that are hosted by the various showrooms. And for me it didn’t end there, for, as at the end of it all I retreated to house full of the coolest housemates, yes we were all friends before we became housemates, a girl could ask for. You women, each of you, inspire, encourage, uplift and love so freely and contribute ¬†greatly to my sense of well being…which can be rocky at times in the midst of it all, and are an integral part of my Market Experience.

2015-04-22 19.36.49So ¬†we bid farewell to High Point Market Spring 2015 and hello to the many doors that opened during Market…. leading us all to further growth of our selves and our respective businesses. Yup, full plate. Onward.


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Shop High Point! We’re Here for You!

abyzaar market sq showroomAlthough I don’t live in High Point, NC, the physical side of my business ¬†does….a presence that has evolved over the past decade….starting with showing at High Point Market in 2004 and growing my commitment when I moved my inventory from Maine to High Point in 2007.

It’s been an interesting ride these past years, as I reluctantly weaned myself out of an “official” showroom, after having had such a presence for 6 years, but it was the right thing to do….with warehouse in place, it now would serve dual purpose and be my showroom as well.

2014-10-18 23.07.43  2014-10-17 15.14.05

May I digress just a tad and say how HOT the ZAAR showroom looked this past Market? We rocked it out of the park and you can expect more of the same next year. THANK YOU, Alicia Connolly of Alicia Connolly Designs, Amanda Brown of ID by AB, and Kimberly Stone of Sans Souci Sisters, for all the work you all put into such. You are ALL the Best. ¬†Didn’t see us at Market? Check out pix here.¬†


From the get go I have described ZAAR Design Center as my “evolving entity”….and that it has been, and continues to be…and I’m ok with that.

But nuts and bolts is that through this evolution my premise has always been and continues to be….

1. there is great value in a home furnishings business to be based in High Point….there is ahp heart certain cache in being in what¬†many people know it as, that being the “Furniture Capital of the World”.

2. there is value in collaborating with other companies to jointly showcase product….but not every company is a good fit….for a myriad of reasons.

3. there is value in making yourself available for To The Trade Business between Markets….and in my case, to my Retail audience as well.

hpdc logo squareYes, the face of High Point continues to change, and others ¬†join me in the quest to show the Value in doing/promoting business from there. High Point Design Center, of which I am a member, has at it’s core, the promoting of year round, to the trade, business. ¬†They work tirelessly to serve this mission and encourage Showrooms to be Open and Designers to come and get some great uninterrupted one on one with the HPDC members….see the impressive list of participating members here.

HP_CVB_stackedlogo-resized-600 (1)Similarly the High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau is chiming in/working hard to bring both elements together….retail and trade….offering consumers a Directory of Designers to work with and navigate them through what is an overwhelming array of companies available to serve them and their furniture and accessory needs. Accolades to them for their beautiful new website which highlights the Gift High Point is to so many.

There is also a ¬†growing number of folks working to revitalize the retail side of business in this town….just wanting to bring your attention to 2 new businesses right here.

MadCap Cottage:  128 Church Ave. Ph: (917) 513-9143


mad cap cottageThe gents at MadCap hardly need an introduction as if you haven’t heard of them yet then you are living under a rock….or maybe more aptly put, not connected with them on Social Media. They are one of the newest and coolest retail outlets in High Point and are very entrenched in doing their part,¬†and so much more, to revitalize retail in High Point….in addition to having a great repertoire to shop from, they will also point you in the direction of many other places to quite simply support shopping local. Stop by and shop….you won’t be disappointed.

English Home Interiors: 1345 North Main St. Suite 101. Ph: 336 887 0161

english home interiors signage

A store of much smaller scale but equal in relevance. British antiques and reproductions…customizations available too…. from a company that has been doing business in High Point for over a decade/but first time with a retail store front. ¬†Located in emerywood logothe cute little mall on the corner of Main (entrance on Main) and Lexington….stones throw from Emerywood restaurant…a GREAT place to dine or to have cater an event.…with retail and trade pricing available.

C & S Acosta: 1210 W Market Center Dr. (336) 882-2233

c and s acosta logoTo the Trade only, bring your designer and you’re all set, for those not in the trade, and although not a retail store, a true”find” of a place. You know, one of those “secrets” that shouldn’t be a secret. ¬†Don’t get frustrated finding them, as it is worth it….just that their 20,000 square 2014-04-09 14.11.16foot warehouse/showroom is tucked in off the street a tad. Call number above, or call me, and I’ll help direct you their way. Massive selection of Asian porcelain, bronze ware and mirrors. You can get an idea of what they have by checking out these photos, or swing by ZAAR , as we have a selection of their products showing/available to purchase.

ZAAR Design Center: 741 West Ward Ave.  866 868 9227/ZAAR

2014-10-15 15.12.46Open the 2nd Wednesday of every month/otherwise by appointment. What can I say which you don’t already know? My baby.

Wonderful and vast collection of Chinese Antiques and line of reproductions. If I don’t have what you’re looking for, just ask. Containers coming out of China quarterly.

2014-10-17 15.17.43-1


distinctive logo smallHome to UK based company, Distinctive Chesterfields….where you will find the true blue British Chesterfield sofa. And if we don’t have what you want on the floor, we custom make/shipping container full from UK to US every month. ¬†Check out what is on the floor here.

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bellascendaHome to VA based company, Bellascenda….THE original company making furniture to hide your flat screen TVs.

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And as bonus, cash and carry product available from Elizabeth Lucas Company….artwork…. Flambeau…lighting… New Growth Designs….artificial floral, and C & S Acosta…you already know.

Yes, High Point has many layers and so many opportunities for you to fill your home with fine furnishings and accessories.

Should you find yourself wending your way there, you might want to check any and/or all of the above…each offering something unique…each supporting business in High Point by making the commitment to base their businesses in nowhere but High Point NC.

Shop High Point! You’ll be glad you did/we’re here for you.

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High Point Market “Colour Me Happy” @ ZAAR

maria killamZAAR Design Centre is always about Color, and Fall 2014 Market is no exception. What is exceptional about this Market is that we are able to top ¬†off ¬†our affinity for color with a flourish by having the fabulous and dynamic expert on color Maria Killam, who also happens to be a fellow Canadian/and as such that is NOT a typo in the word “color”, as our guest speaker for our Sunday Lunch n Learn.

I had the pleasure of meeting Maria through WITHIT, “THE” networking group for Women in the Home Furnishings Industry, and am thrilled beyond words that she has agreed to make time,to her already busy Market agenda, to be our speaker. ¬†Drum roll please, as you read these credentials…

She is an internationally sought after colour expert, design blogger, author, trainer, decorator and stylist. She is passionate about all things colour and design, subjects she writes about extensively on her  highly successful blog, Colour Me Happy.

ZAAR flagJoin us: Lunch n Learn

Sunday October 19th, 2014

12:00 – 1:30

RSVP Appreciated/Not Required

ruth@zaardesigncenter.com/ call or text 207 838 2675

Deconstructing Whites for Interiors |The Essentials Every Designer Must Know

* Discover the 5 essential categories of Whites and how to discover which is right for walls, trim, ceilings and cabinets.

* Learn to help clients understand the “why” behind your color ¬† ¬† choices and how to confidently specify the right white.

* Get a sneak peak of her latest ebook “White is Complicated- A Decorators Guide to Choosing the Right White Every Time”


You don’t want to miss this opportunity to experience Maria, her energy, charm and learn from her expertise, which she passionately shares.

social media iconWant to get to know her better/If you don’t already….

Twitter: Follow her, along with the 4,803 followers she currently has. @mariakillam

Facebook: Happy times with her community of almost 9,000 followers at Maria Killam Colour & Design

…and of course Pinterest is a hotspot for her 13, 641 fans to be checking out her, quite simply as Maria Killam.

Nor is it any surprise that she was named “best of 2014” on Houzz.

…and, of course, there is her blog. Posting on whites, here, on How DO you Know if A White is Cool or Warm?

Yes, in addition to ALL of above, she is a social media maven.

Did I already say that having her at ZAAR is a really cool thing? Don’t miss the opportunity to meet, greet and learn from Maria. As hostess for the event, I look forward to welcoming you.


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Distinctive Chesterfields: US Showroom @ ZAAR Design Center


……it’s time for the Fall 2013 High Point Furniture Market, THE Trade show of all Trade shows. ¬†We at ZAAR Design Center are excited to serve as this UK based company’s US ¬†showroom, prepping ourselves for Market….making ourselves available for our trade AND retail ¬†customers alike.


ZAAR flag

Yes, next week¬†is all about being present for our “To The Trade” customers, but I would like to also extend an official invitation for any of our retail customers to come and visit us between the hours of 9:00- 5:00 from Wednesday October 15th, through to, and yes including the weekend, to Thursday October 24th. ¬†A prospective Distinctive customer from NJ has already scheduled an appointment for Saturday morning!¬†

Sunday October 20th, we will be hosting a Lunch n Learn, with lunch starting at 12:00 noon, followed by a not to be missed presentation by Katy Garrett “How to Think Like a Million Dollar Designer”. read about it here…. ¬†If you care to join, an RSVP would be appreciated, but is not required.

And there’s more!

abyzaar market sq showroomThis being the 20th time  my company Antiques by Zaar has participated as an exhibitor at the High Point Furniture Market, we are celebrating! Not only cake at lunch but the icing on the cake being  DEEP discounts offered on the wide array Chinese and English Furniture, other than Distinctive pieces, which are already discounted, in my showroom.

ZAAR Design Center is a 12,000 square foot showroom FULL to the brim of exciting….

zaarlogo small¬†furniture. from “away”, away being England, China and Mexico, AND Made in America.

          DSCN9449100_1264zdc overviewDSCN9435

zaarlogo smallaccessories. including lamps, pottery, prints, and faux decorative plants and flowers

100_1258100_1249100_1245Lorna Dewey 004

zaarlogo smallart. in many forms, as well as photographic works of art.

 100_1250100_2114100_1277 zdc rp kang chest

….and more. ¬†A true treasure trove, and, Distinctive Chesterfields, such a fitting addition to the plethora of product available.

ruth blue sofa cropped for abyzaar homepageIF you can’t make it next week, when the space will be manned daily, do know that we are good to take appointments throughout the year. ¬†In the meanwhile I am going back to preparing for “Market” and continue to look forward to taking your queries, by phone at 866 868 9227 or 917 244 9663 or by email at ruth@zaardesigncenter.com.

Look forward to meeting you/hearing from you!


P.S. If you haven’t seen these already, enjoy these 2 short, like 30 seconds each, video clips we’ve made to promote Distinctive Chesterfields @ ZAAR.

Distinctive Chesterfields: Available “across the pond”

Distinctive Chesterfields: What’s YOUR word?

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The Spirit of Santa AND Santa call ZAAR Home!

100_2114Surrounding ourselves with unique and distinctive furnishings and accents is one of the things we try to do here at ZAARDesignCenter . That is exactly what Kimberly Stone, owner of Sans Souci Sisters, brings to ZAAR with her beautiful custom Santa’s.

Yes, Santas, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have this Santa Spirit with us year round.

When our kids were younger, we made a really big deal out of Santa… for too many years actually…husband dressing up as Santa and waking them up with bells well before sunrise on Christmas morn.¬†When asked by them if I believed in Santa, I quipped I believed in the Spirit of Santa, and that they should too….even after they “knew”.¬†So, on a personal level I couldn’t think of a more pleasing add on to our offerings at ZAARDesignCenter.¬†

Last April, after 3 years showing in the Suites at Market Square, Sans Souci Sisters IMG_0637debuted at ZAAR. ¬† We were thrilled that ¬†they were looking for a new place to call home, and even happier that the collaborative atmosphere that ZAAR Design Center provided was exactly the kind of venue they ¬†they were looking for. And how great was it that her customers followed her here after their introduction at her Suites location…shown here with designer Linda Zoffer, who did just that last April.

Kimberly, along with her mother and sister, are, in essence, running ¬†a true “Santa’s Workshop” designing and creating one of a kind Santa‚Äôs in nearby Winston Salem NC. Available in six sizes they have a Santa to fit every need you have, be it professional or personal, ¬†for Holiday d√©cor.

Their absolute specialty is taking family mementos  that you provide them with,  and weave these treasures into a thoughtful and meaningful Santa that can be displayed each Christmas as a tradition.

If wanting a Santa as a finishing touch to a beautifully staged room or for a breathtaking window display, they will work with you, the designer/shop owner, to create the Santa you want in your desired color pallet.

ss sister santas at zdc

Or, you can simply buy off the floor. During October Market¬†¬†they are selling their Santa‚Äôs bc pink bowthat will be on display for the duration. And, as¬†a show special they are displaying their ‚ÄúFight the Good Fight‚ÄĚ Breast Cancer Awareness Santa, which they are auctioning off as a fundraiser. ¬†Bids will be taken on this Santa up until November 27th at midnight with 20% of the proceeds going to the Meme Brown‚Äôs ‚ÄúFight like a Girl‚ÄĚ scholarship fund. Meme, the namesake for this fund, was a close friend of Kimberly‚Äôs niece, Victoria, and who lost her brave fight with ovarian cancer last October at the too soon age of 21.

Whichever route you go you can be rest assured that the creation you purchase is made with care to detail, precision, and tender loving care. The end result being a truly amazing and one of a kind work of art.

Yes, so many reasons to be thinking Christmas in October, as it really isn’t that far away!, ¬†and ZAAR is your one stop shop for your personal Christmas Santa. You can buy off the floor and you can bid on the Breast Awareness Cancer Santa and/or you can meet with Kim and get the wheels rolling on having your very own personalized Santa. Order deadline for Christmas 2013 is already past but good to get on something like this sooner than later for the upcoming Holiday Season.

To make an appointment with Kim you can reach her at sanssoucisisters@yahoo.com .

Or if you’d like for her to share with you, and a group of your friends/colleagues, the intricacies that go into making these Santas, she is available for presentations. Last December we were thrilled to have her present at ZAAR’s first Christmas Bazaar, to fellow WITHIT members. Highly recommended!

Check out their website, or follow Kim’s heartwarming blog¬†to get to know the gal behind each Santa. You’ll quickly see the depth of the speciality of each of her creations.


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How to Think Like a Million Dollar Designer-Lunch n Learn

katy g…with Katy Garrett, founder and ¬†CEO of Connexionsoft, Design Tech Summit Executive Producer, and Design Camp Counselor.

Not that she isn’t busy enough already with the Summit, see more info/links below,¬†she has agreed to swing on over to ZAAR Design Center and give one of her signature presentations on “How to Think Like a Million Dollar Designer”.

So, come and learn how thinking like a million dollar designer is the first step in becoming one! ¬†¬†Katy believes that¬†¬†‚Äúthe¬†way you get things done in your design business becomes more important as you become busier and more competitive. That‚Äôs when your time becomes valuable both to you and to your design clients. Top competitors know that every hour counts which is why it’s imperative to understand how to think smart and to use your time wisely in an age where technology savvy designers win.‚ÄĚ

Katy devotes her time and energy to the professional development of interior designers hpmkt design tech logonationwide. Helping designers become high dollar design professionals using proven strategies  and technologies to streamline their  business processes is Katy’s passion, which is obvious by what she has orchestrated with regards to this inaugural Design Tech Summit, hosted by the Antique and Design Center and sponsored by Customized Walls, and The Kaleidoscope Partnership.

Yes, we are beyond excited to have her ¬†join us at ZAAR Design Center and share how a changed mind set truly can change the course of your business. ¬†So please do plan on joining us for lunch, followed a presentation you don’t want to miss…

Sunday October 20th. Lunch will start at 12:00 and 12:30 we will give Katy the floor.

ZAAR Design Center: 741 West Ward Ave. Go Anywhere Bus will happily transport you.

RSVP appreciated but not required.  ruth@zaardesigncenter.com  866 868 9227.

AND, be sure to attend any/all of the 3 tracks that are organized for the Summit. You won’t be disappointed.

hpmkt design tech summitt


Click here for more information on the Design Summit.

Click here to go the Design Summit facebook page.

Click here to view an interview with Katy by Laurie Laizure for the Google Plus Interior Design Community.

P.S. As a side note, the connection made between Katy and I happened at the most recent WITHIT Conference, where we both participated in the round table led by Lisa Ferguson of Decor Mentor….who ALSO will be presenting at High Point Market…see schedule here. ¬†She mentioned her Design Summit. A conversation ensued. I asked, and she said yes. Further to my blog on Asking ūüôā

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ZAAR Welcomes Legacy Fine Casual (Outdoor) Furniture

In true ZAAR fashion, we have once again come across something we didn’t know we were lacking until it came our way. Isn’t that always the way?

IMG_0078In a time where designing a home no longer stops at the back door, we are so pleased to introduce a line that addresses just this, Legacy Fine Casual Furniture.  Each piece made in the Mexico based factory is hand crafted with metal frames, designed to enhance any living space, outdoors or in. 

You can see the quality created by true artisans as they define the very best of Legacy Fine Casual Furniture with the wide array of intricate decorative finishes over weather resistant metal frames. Beautiful seating is offered in solution dyed fabrics by several industry suppliers and is designed to meet your everyday lifestyle.


Jeanne Glenn, Legacy’s North Carolina representative, will be taking appointments and working with us at ZAAR to give you all the information you need about this exciting and beautiful line of outdoor/indoor furniture. And as a long time friend of ZAARDesignCenter and we are pleased to have this opportunity to work with her through Legacy.

With market right around the corner, we hope that you will make it a point to stop by ZAARDESIGNCENTER and look at the Legacy line as well as the many other unique and desirable things we offer in our 12,000 square foot showroom.

Open 9:00-5:00 during Market (October 19th through the 24th) and the 2nd Wednesday of every month, and otherwise by appointment.


866 86 ZAAR/9227


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Doors Open to The Joys of Selling Online…

…OR, just DO IT!

ruth at marketCan you believe it?  I have been selling Chinese antiques online for 13 years!  Antiques by Zaar broke in as the first online only seller of Chinese Antiques back in 2000, and is still here, going strong.  YES!!!

Should you have suggested this to me just 2 years prior to the onset of this business I most certainly would’ve scoffed. Yes, we had lived in Asia ,¬†Thailand and Taiwan, for nearly a decade. Yes, we liked Chinese food and culture. And yes, we ¬†liked the Chinese antique furniture. But, sell it online, from our new farmhouse in Maine? Maybe home accent pieces, but furniture???? Well, that would become a yes before I knew what was happening to me. And guess what? ¬†After all is said and done, selling Chinese antiques online and Ruth Olbrych fit like a glove!

zaarlogo2From the onset, Antiques by Zaar has been a very personal venture. The family olbrych kidsis represented in the name (ZAAR, for my kids,  Z achary, A rianna, and A very, with R uth anchoring the lot.) and the logo, if you could read Chinese,  you would know  it to be my name. And if you want the whole personal skinny on how this all came about, you can read the extended version here at Our Story on the website.

And from a sales perspective the personal muller console and head mudroomaspect continued, which not only made sense due to the nature of what I was selling, but also suited me as my ability to draw things out of people, in addition to what particular need I was able to meet for them….putting who they were, as the buyer, in context, came quite naturally to me. ¬† Such would be reciprocated in my online newsletters, which couched the facts of a new buy, or an event, with personal anecdotes that were readily available with 3 adolescents in the house, raising Copy (3) of ciniminivet.jpggolden retrievers on a farm in Maine…and, as appropriate, drawing on past experiences living overseas, can add Haiti to the list as well. Canada, as my home country, where we lived for 4 years prior to the Asia stint, ¬†doesn’t count as an overseas experience ūüôā¬†, and having one’s own business….this was my 2nd. First one was selling Haitian handicrafts, which I had to pass on when we moved to Asia.

So, no, I didn’t dream about having a business selling Chinese antiques online, and frankly art-deco close in th april 2010should we have done any amount of ¬†market research to determine whether this was viable or not, we probably would’ve been discouraged against trying. But we didn’t. Instead we forged on with confidence that we had a winning formula and that it would work. No, failure was not an option.

So, I, of course, was happy to discover that I was pretty good at this online selling of  antiques and thus contribute to the financial well being of my family, and still be very present with my brood. And, the fact that I was providing a goods and service that people were well pleased with, well, just made my day and continues to do so. Yes, happy customers do make my world go round!

Fast forward more than a few  years and yet another such door would open to me through my recently established ZAAR Design Center in High Point NC.

The premise for ZAAR was simple. to give opportunity for affordable showroom space to other companies,  and thus provide a bigger draw to a single location for the design community that uses High Point as  resource for their projects. That in and of itself was what I wanted to provide.

So, no, I did not anticipate becoming the US based sales rep for the 3 UK companies are distinctive logoshowcasing product with me at my ZAAR Design Center, but that is the door that opened when asked last October if I cared to serve as sales rep for Distinctive Chesterfields, after we had met/per introduction by Touchwood, and they had positioned their product in my showroom,¬†and I said, “sure, why not?”

ruth blue sofa cropped for abyzaar homepageAnd so it is that I ¬†now am wearing a new hat….answering the phone for both, Antiques by Zaar and Distinctive Chesterfields. Another good fit for me. A very personal purchase as each item is handcrafted for each particular customer, and customizations are definitely available. With the UK office supporting me/teaching me the ins and outs of their product, I confidently ¬†present myself as the company’s sole US based sales associate. And with me in place, ¬†now sending leather swatches and catalogues, the entire process of responding to our customer’s queries has accelerated greatly. Check out what pieces are currently at ZAAR, on Pinterest, which, yes, includes the blue sofa I’m sitting on here.

With the success of adding this line to my sales repertoire I am excitedly working on adding product from ALL, that would be more than a dozen companies, that have product at ZAAR Design Center, online at Pinterest and Houzz, will keep you posted,  as we work to develop a more sophisticated website to serve as a central location to view all.

So, I am here to say….

100_1964Doors do open. You don’t know what may come of it when walking through, but going through is probably a good idea. Welcome the surprises at the other side of it.

Selling product online is a great gig. Not tied, financially or physically, to a geographic location not only broadens your sales audience, but also keeps overhead low, a savings you can pass onto your customer as you price your product. AND it is the way of the world now.

Nuts and bolts I am a “people person” and doing what I do has and continues to open my IMG_0006world to people that I would not have otherwise met and now are part of my world. ¬†Not only my customers, many who have grown to be good friends as well, but also other people in the industry….through High Point Market, High Point Design Center and WITHIT and more….

I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to share and likewise¬†for those of you that read to the end of what has ended up being a rather lengthy posting. ūüôā

If you have an example of unanticipated doors opening that you walked through, please share….or if you have an online based business that you’d like to promote, please share that as well.

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Drexel Heritage Furniture Factory Re Purposed to High Point Showroom?


abyzaar market sq showroomMy¬†commitment¬†to High Point and High Point Market is as strong now as it was in Spring 2004 when I ¬†contracted my first High Point showroom, in the Historic Market Square, for my online business, Antiques by Zaar….however this¬†commitment¬†has manifested in ways I couldn’t quite anticipate 9 years ago.

2008 I further entrenched myself  when I moved my entire warehouse of Chinese Antiques from Lewiston Maine to High Point North Carolina.

And, due to the economic down turn my warehouse defaulted to become my showroom Fall of 2009, and has been since. 4 years, and 3 warehouse moves later,  I FINALLY have found my HOME for not only Antiques by Zaar, but also for ZAAR Design Center, an entity I had brewing in my brain since I transplanted my inventory base from Maine to NC.

The Drexel Heritage Factory, a 300,000 square foot structure, located at 741 West Ward, on the corner of Ward and Green, quite literally a straight mile down Green from the heart of High Point Market Center….and yes, the Go Anywhere Shuttle¬†does come to us!¬†would be purchased in 2011 by Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery ¬†re purposing¬†the metro truckbulk of this ¬†furniture manufacturing facility into a furniture shipping facility. And I, a customer of said company, would be invited in to have 12,000 square feet allocated for my showroom/warehouse. ¬†No, I didn’t want to move again, but it seemed the right move to make should I be serious about making it as easy as possible for people to find me, not only during the High Point Furniture Market, but also between Markets, as we are indeed open year round….the 2nd Wednesday of each month, as a member of the High Point Design Center, and otherwise by appointment.

So ZAAR Design Center, anchored by Antiques by Zaar, is here for YOU, and I invite you to come and discover the many treasures we at ZAAR have to offer.

zaarlogo smallthe single largest inventory of Chinese Antiques in High Point. Antiques by Zaar

Traditional Leather Chesterfields, from the UK. Distinctive Chesterfields

zaarlogo smallLarge collection of reproduction English Antiques and sculptures.  Lorna Dewey

Fine craftsmanship from NC artists. Sans Souci Sisters, Wood n Clay Studios, Art by    Katy and The Oriole Mill.

zaarlogo smallFurniture specifically made to lift/hide flat screen TV’s. Bellascenda

Professional Photography by Bruce Barrone and Sylvia Walks.

zaarlogo smalland product to buy, off the floor, from the following companies which have Showrooms during Market:

Flambeau Lighting:  200 N Hamilton, N CT Suite 201

Touchwood UK: SAMS G-2043

New Growth Designs: 200 N Hamilton, N CT Suite 337

Elizabeth Lucas Company: IHFC Interhall IH503

Cabeen Originals: SAMS G-6048

Fortunata: SAMS M-7034

100_1728I invite you to come and shop the 3 rooms,¬†totaling¬†over 12,000 square feet, of showroom space…either during Market,the 2nd¬†Wednesday¬†of the month, or by appointment.

Also, would like to further extend an invitation for you to join us Sunday, April 21st, at 12:00 for a Lunch n Learn. Yours truly will be speaking on Building Relationships Online, drawing  from 13 years of doing such for my online business, Antiques by Zaar. Read this recent blog posting giving backdrop to this presentation.

RSVP appreciated, not required.

ruth@antiquesbyzaar.com/ 1 866 868 9227

Look forward to meeting and greeting you next week in High Point, THE Furniture Capital of the World!


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New Website for ZAAR Design Center

100_1375ZAAR Design Center is what I affectionately call my “evolving entity”….as it has been in my head for what seems like forever, well ok since 2009…a year after I had finished the move of my warehouse from Lewiston Maine to High¬†Point¬†NC, and also the year that I started to exclusively use my warehouse as my High Point Market Showroom for the High Point Furniture Markets, in which I, with my business Antiques by Zaar, had been exhibiting at since 2004.

Bellascenda would soon come on board to sublet space and would also come on board and join as a member of the High Point Design Center, where we would both be open for hpdc logo“Designer Wednesdays”, as well as, of course, during Markets….or by appointment for anyone that couldn’t hit those dates.

Fast track to 2011. Two more warehouse moves later, yes, am on 4th, and if I can help it, final, ¬†I feel I have landed in a location that I can promote with confidence….ie, one that is as close as I can get to the center of High Point without being in the center of High Point…a mere mile down Green Drive, in what was the former Drexel Heritage Factory.

ruth at warehouseHere I’ve leased 12,000 square feet from Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery who took ownership of the building in 2011, and with whom I do the bulk of my blanket wrap shipping. About 9,000 square feet is used to show/sell my inventory of Chinese Antiques, and the rest is dedicated to, you got it, ZAAR Design Center, which has blossomed to include, in addition to Antiques by Zaar, no less than 15 companies that have product to show/sell at this venue.

Some companies have showrooms in the main buildings during Market but maintain a presence with us for in between Market business. Some are folks  like me, and are solely 100_1261exhibiting at ZAAR. Some are from the UK (3 actually) and the rest of us are from various states, from New England down to NC.   ALL of us are creators and believers. Similarly ALL of us are the heart and soul of our respective businesses. ALL of us have a passion for our product and respective businesses, and ALL of us believe in the value of being available in High Point for our To The Trade Businesses.

I am honored and delighted to have so many people come together to create what is, if I say so myself, a most pleasing venue with a wide variety of product, beautifully displayed, thank you Sherry Mitchell, there for your shopping pleasure. Yes, you can buy off the floor anything that is there. But even more so we want to ensure you are aware of these companies and their product lines for your future design projects.

100_1260And today I am pleased to share with you that I finally have a website for ZAAR Design Center, where you can get a sense of what we have to offer at ZAAR, with links to respective websites, and also find a list of resources that it pleases me to promote. Also, there  you have opportunity to sign up for our online newsletters and link to our social media portals.

Yes, ZAAR Design Center has it’s own blog, your’re reading it here, ¬†and face book page, please feel free to go and show some love fb like iconover there :). Note that I am on twitter as @antiquesbyzaar but tweet there for both entities, and similarly on LinkedIn, I have a group for antiques by zaar where I also post ZAAR Design Center material. Pinterest and Houzz are also used for both entities but twitter fb and linkare under my name Ruth Olbrych/Antiques by Zaar. Yes, ZAAR Design Center is piggy backing on the long standing reputation of my 12 year old business Antiques by Zaar, zaarlogo smallbut with this website is showing some autonomy :).

I hope you enjoy visiting us at the new website, which although brings us to the next stage of development, is itself a toddler. Look forward to having it serve as a venue for you to familiarize yourself with what we have to offer and further to having you come and visit us in High Point NC, THE Home Furnishings Capital of the World.


1 866 868 ZAAR/9227


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Great Deals to be had in Lexington NC @ Carolina’s Warehouse

carolina warehouse pic 1One of my great pleasures is sharing resources that may not quite be on your radar but are certainly worthy to explore. One such resource is the Carolina Warehouse in Lexington NC. Jim Green and his team have created a wonderful shopping experience for anyone that is looking for top quality product at exceptional ,read below wholesale, prices…in home furnishings and accessories.

I had a designer call me for something that I knew I carolina warehouse pic 2didn’t have and I suggested she visit ¬†the Carolina Warehouse, which she did, and which I heard was a great experience for all involved! She found what she was looking for and more.

You might want to check them out. OPEN 1st weekend of every month, or by appointment. See below.


Carolina Warehouse Enterprises, LLC

Furniture Market Showroom Sample Sale

Accessories & Furniture

Sale is February 7th, 8th, and 9th 

8 am ‚Äď 6 pm Thursday & Friday 8 am ‚Äď 4 pm Saturday

Can’t make the sale РCall  for appointment 336-237-1147 or 336-862-3375

802 West Center Street, Lexington NC 27292

(Old Stanley Furniture Building, entrance off West Center St Ext ‚Äď back of building, look for signs)¬†¬†¬†¬† Samples from over 40 showrooms

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Hand Crafted Leather Sofas from the UK

touchwood tableI was very excited when Steve Hickman, of Touchwood-UK, a ZAAR Design Center member since 2010, suggested to his friend, fellow Brit and owner of Distinctive Chesterfields, that should he want to grow his US presence of his 10 year old UK based biz, that, in addition to showing in High Point, he should consider aligning with me/ZAAR Design Center.

Steve Laidlaw, the heart and soul behind Distinctive Chesterfields, took his friends advise to heart and last spring, after his debut Market, showing in the Salon at Suites at Market Square, moved over the remaining showroom samples to ZAAR Design Center. What a lovely addition to our growing collection….and that was the beginning.

dc holyrood

Doesn’t the Holyrood 2 seater, in antique red leather look great with this chest from Antiques by Zaar, floral accent from New Growth Designs?

In addition to having some floor samples for people to “test sit” and sell at ZAAR Design Center, I have happily accepted ¬†the job of being the companies US based sales representative. Why not eh?


In the last 3 months I have enjoyed learning all about what makes Distinctive Chesterfields a brand worth representing….hint, it’s all about quality, not only of the product, but also the people behind the product,¬†and being the voice for Distinctive Chesterfields in the US. I have sold floor samples from the showroom and also helped customers with¬†their¬†custom orders.

dc sofa

So, should you have any interest in learning more about the fabulous line of traditional 100_1375tufted sofas, as produced by Distinctive Chesterfields and represented by yours truly and ZAAR Design Center.


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High Point NC: Promoting the Home Furnishings Capital of the World….

100_1230…..through the High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau, AND with the help of more than a handful of High Point based furniture companies to support this, namely….


Fabric Forum

Huffman Paint & Wallcoverings

Theodore Alexander Outlet


William Thorpe/Giltwood100_1228

Zaki Oriental Rugs

Antiques by Zaar

antiques by zaar prizeYes, Antiques by Zaar is thrilled to be in the fine company  of those listed above, to deck out the reception area of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is conveniently located at 300 South Main, or more specifically on the corner of Green and Main St.

100_1225Although all these companies cater To The Trade, they/we have all bought into the value in ¬†keeping the fire alive for High Point to maintain its status as “Home Furnishings Capital of the World” to the non trade visitor to High Point as well.

Can you believe that “this” was all started way back in 1889 when the first furniture factories opened in High Point, and then in 1909, ¬†High Point hosted the first Furniture Market…..a trade show that over the years has grown to be the largest trade show in the world, spreading over 10 million square feet of showroom space in 180 buildings, attracting 100,000 vendors/buyers twice a year, from over 100 countries….

….all of this has merited the small city of High Point (population just over 100,000) two high point logo colortitles…one as “North Carolina’s International City “AND also as the” Home Furnishings Capital of the World”, as mentioned above. That’s quite a load for this unassuming city….that literally comes alive twice a year, like you’ve never seen before.

hpdc logoYes, High Point is a MUST VISIT to shop owners and designers alike, ¬†but note that although Market is when all are revved up for the masses, that MANY showrooms are open year round, including Antiques by Zaar/ZAAR Design Center, ¬†and have joined forces as members of the High Point Design Center to promote such…….BUT there as just as many non trade folks out there that wend their way to High Point to shop the finds they expect to land on in this furniture mecca….

So, thank YOU, Joyce Allen-Crawford, for giving all of us the opportunity to contribute to promoting High Point….ALL in the interest of maintaining High Point’s status as THE Furniture Capital of the World.



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Making Days Count in Goa India

Has not been my inclination to write posts on this blog which are more personal in nature, scott and katybut I’ve let the noise around me (and in my head) be quieted enough to sit back and ponder this Gift of Life we have been Given and how we choose to Live it and the desire to introduce you to Scott Morgan and Katy Allgeyer (ZAAR Design Center member) trumps all inhibitions to put this out there…as they are Living very Intentionally, in Goa India.

scott morgan goaKaty Allgeyer, ¬†is on what she, and her boyfriend Scott Morgan, ¬†have called a “trip of a lifetime”….a trip that was planned after Scott was diagnosed with in operable cancer this past October.

I simply want to encourage you to follow them via Katy’s blog (where Scott also contributes) Going to Goa, as it is so very heartwarming and real…yes, real is what it is most.

I personally spend alot of time feeling I don’t make each day count enough/¬†scott morgan every day is a good dayletting myself get in the way of truly Living Fully/Giving Fully….and then I think about Scott and Katy, how they are making each of their numbered days count in Goa India.

I am touched by the courage that it must’ve taken (maybe not/maybe Going to Goa was really the easy decision to make?! After reading this, I would say yes to that.) to embark on this journey which has as at the core of its mission one of LIVING exactly HOW and WHERE, and with WHOM you CHOOSE to. So many decisions are taken away from you when diagnosed with a life threatening disease, but Scott, you took the bull by the horns and ran with it, and Katy, ever by your side.

Scott and Katy. You know you have friends and family the world around. You personify the adage that a stranger is just a friend you have yet to meet…especially you Scott….coming from a gal that crashed one of your parties, as led to by your friend Charles Simmons, and is now in that friend¬†category. ūüôā You have, and continue to touch the lives of so many. I just want to thank you for being so kind to share your days, your travels, your thoughts/feelings with us as you so openly…sometimes soberly, sometimes with humor, peppered with photos and artwork, but always with candor and always with heart, via your blog. I do feel like I am there with you. Hope you can feel that the 1,200 plus people that read your blog are indeed there with you as well, with mere miles¬†separating¬†us…

Yes, this is THE trip of YOUR, both of yours, Lifetime, and you continue to touch OUR LIVES by sharing how you are Living Intentionally. Thank you again.

With great affection and in the Spirit of Friendship,


P.S. And, if you feel that you want to “do” something in response, then I encourage you to contribute to the Scott Morgan Education Fund, which has been set up in his honor.

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ZAAR Design Center Warmly Welcomes WITHIT with Christmas Spirit…

We Welcome You!

….and ¬†an opportunity to contribute to the Traub Memorial Scholarship Fund, as 10% of every dollar spent at this by invitation Christmas Bazaar you are being apprised of here, ¬†is going to said fund…which, by the way, will be matched 2-1… a generous gift by Peggy Traub, WITHIT co founder and founder of this Fund! read more about this fund¬†here....

Yes, it will be a shopping extravaganza and more!

Where: ZAAR Design Center. 741 West Ward Ave. We’re in the former Drexel Heritage Factory on the corner of Ward and Green. Entrance is on Green.

When:  Wednesday November 14th, starting at 5:00 pm. ..yes, that is next Wednesday!

¬†What to Bring:¬†Pot luck, so bring your own party snack...we’ll provide beverages…and bring a prospective WITHIT member…and oh yes, don’t forget your checkbook and/or credit cards, as you will want to shop!

Special Speaker:¬†Did you know that Santa had a workshop in Winston Salem? Yes, Kimberly Stone (withit AND new zaar design center member) is the Heart and Soul ¬†behind a very special workshop, the Sans Souci Sisters, ¬†that hand makes heirloom Santa Claus’s and Holiday Decor right in NC! And yes, she will have Santas and decor for sale!

Other WITHIT members that are part of ZAAR Design Center, that will be showcasing/selling their product are Cabeen Originals, Kathleen Holterman and Company, and the anchor of ZAAR, Antiques by Zaar.

….and for all of you that have drooled over my “girl power” ring, ARIA, will have product, including this ring, you all know you want one, at the Bazaar.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so no more chatter…but rather some eye candy to entice you to come and find some treasures you won’t find elsewhere in this 12,000 square foot showroom, of Furniture AND Accessories, all at Trade Pricing, open¬†exclusively¬†to WITHIT members and friends … even more pix here.



Not to mention it is going to be a GREAT time…I for one, as a WITHIT member for past 4 years, have yet to attend a WITHIT sponsored event, whether in NYC or NC, that I have not¬†thoroughly¬†enjoyed. So, come and join in on the fun, be part of the buzz and welcome the Christmas Spirit with your WITHIT friends. So very much look forward to welcoming YOU next Wednesday.


RSVP Appreciated/Not Required.  ruth@antiquesbyzaar.com  207 838 2675.

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High Point Market and NOW What’s Up Between Markets….

High Point Market has come and gone and it was a Great time to celebrate with ALL that were there… ALL of us, in the midst of what continues to be challenging economic times, as exhibitors or as buyers…BUT we were all indeed there because we are still ALL in business. Accolades to us!

At ZAAR Design Center, the 15 companies with product showing there, enjoyed a steady stream of customers visiting our 12,000 square foot showroom, located in what was the former Drexel Heritage Factory….with an influx of 35 attending our Lunch n Learn on Sunday, with Designer Traci Zeller. See pix here…Traci offered such great tips on how

Thank YOU Traci!!!!!

Designers can become relevant with an active online presence, offering the advice that in order to be effective it matters greatly that you define your niche/your unique mark, as it is that which will define you/attract the kind of clients that work for you. And she similarly noted that it was something that had to be nurtured and fostered/not something that would happen overnight.

It appears to me that the world has become upside down if you will, in that, in the past you needed a brick and mortar to validate your business. Now it is your online¬†presence¬†within the realm of social media and directing all to your website that validates your business. Nuts and bolts, the fostering of your online image is not something to be ignored, or scared of, but rather embraced as an opportunity to broaden your business exposure in a way that not so long ago didn’t even exist.

So after 2 weeks of all the hoopla that goes with Market time, High Point has once again settled into what appears to be more of a sleepy mode. But Don’t let that outside appearance fool you, as there are more than 50 companies ¬†with doors open for business year round. Yes, we are members of the High Point Design Center, the City of Showrooms…encouraging Designers to shop our showrooms year round. Some of us are staffed daily but many of us are by appointment. BUT, the 2nd Wednesday of every month, there is a good lot of us OPEN throughout the day, which, if you sign up (free/here) ¬†for the newsletter, you will get listing of who is open/what specials are to be had, prior to each event, ¬†for what we call Designer Wednesdays.

ZAAR Design Center is revving up for this first Designer¬†Wednesday¬†post Market with a Christmas Bazaar, featuring one of our new additions to the year round offerings, by the talented team at Sans Souci Sisters, who are the ultimate Santa’s workshop,¬†hand stitching¬†heritage Santa Clauses. Kimberley Stone will be there to share about how you can custom order personalized keepsake Santa’s and, of course a selection of Santas will be available for purchase…..that and SO MUCH MORE.

If hand made jewelry is on your Christmas list, for any someone/including YOU, then we will have several options for you to consider. Hand made thrown pottery  and wood turned bowls will be available, as well as the creators of these crafts, to share with you the story behind their work.

Artwork by 2 local artists, Katy Allgeyer, and Kathleen Holterman, and a lovely array of artificial plants and trees by New Growth. Professional photographers Bruce Barone and Sylvia Muller have framed works of art presented and Elizabeth Lucas Company and Flambeau lighting round out the accessory offerings ¬†with more artwork and a line of specialty lighting….and that is just touching on the accessory side of things.

We have furniture too! Chinese and English antiques as well as reproduction furniture from both countries, from Antiques by Zaar, Lorna Dewey Company , Touchwood UK AND ¬†a fine line of leather upholstery by Distinctive Chesterfields…also of the UK.

Not done yet. We have US made furniture too. Made in Chatanooga TN by Cabeen Originals and NC by Total Design Source….a fine line of handcrafted wood furniture and upholstered chairs.

Are you getting the gist? ¬†We are all ramped up to share with you the festive Christmas Spirit BEFORE you get swamped by all that gets in the way of us enjoying this special time of year….and if you want to see yet more photos, feel free to click here.

So, yes, Market has come and gone, but ZAAR Design Center is warming up to what will be one Great in between Market Season and we’re kick starting it with a Christmas Bazaar! Hope I’ve enticed you to join us!

RSVP appreciated/not required.


ruth@antiquesbyzaar.com/ 207 838 2675/ 866 868 9227

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Kat Burki Floor Samples GREATLY REDUCED!

…not going to want to miss the great deal going on @ ZAAR Design Center, 741 West Ward Ave (corner of Green and Ward) with the Kat Burki’s (made in America) Collection.

OPEN ALL DAY Wednesday 9/12/12.

                       ALL of below upholstered items will be sold with an ADDITIONAL

                                                            50% off of trade price!

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….and a wide array of sculptures too

…from the Lorna Dewey Collection.

Look forward to seeing you on Designer Wednesdays…the 2nd Wed of each month @ ZAAR Design Center, 741 West Ward.


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Lorna Dewey adds European Antiques to mix @ ZAAR

A picture is worth a thousand words. So, let the pictures here speak for themselves/sharing with you some of the fine pieces now available for purchase @ ZAAR.

This is just a teaser….to fully appreciate and if in the vicinity of High Point, be sure to come and see for yourself @ the ZAAR Design Center @ 741 West Ward…open the 2nd Wednesday of every month, during High Point Furniture Market or by appointment year round.


207 838 2675/ruth@antiquesbyzaar.com

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HPDC Designer Appreciation Day/Dessert @ ZAAR 9/12/12

….and, of course, plenty to shop.

Look forward to meeting and greeting,¬†and saying THANK YOU, to the Designers that continue to bring business our way….¬†as a member of the¬†High Point Design Center, and specifically, as owner of¬†Antiques by Zaar¬†and representative¬†of all those showcasing product at ZAAR Design Center.

We’re serving dessert in our freshly reworked showroom, debuting at this event.¬†Sneak peak¬†here¬†of some of what we have to offer.

Come on by! 741 West Ward Ave, just a mile down Green, @ the corner of Green and Ward.

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New Growth Designs & Bruce Barone Photography add to the Home Accent mix @ ZAAR

High Point Market has come and gone, but for some of us, ie, members of the High Point Design Center in particular,  business in High Point hums along throughout the year as we make ourselves available to our Trade customers.

So, if you didn’t get by to see us during Market, you just might want to come by and see us at a time that works for you…. ¬†KNOW that we are open the 2nd Wednesday of every month, next one being this Wed May 9th, ¬†9:00-5:00 and otherwise by appointment.

Thrilled to share that not only do we have the Photos, Paintings, Pottery, Throws and Wood Turned Bowls, as announced prior to Market, in this blog, but can also add to this a colorful selection of artificial flowers and plants by New Growth Designs, and as well as a Soulful selection of photographs by Bruce Barone, both who exhibited @ Market and now have in between Market presence @ ZAAR.

….a few photos of home accent product available for cash and carry, just to entice you in for a visit.

….this gorgeous photo by Bruce Barone was also Style Spotted by Traci Zeller. It is an eye catcher! ¬†His collection of 20 includes a mix of black & white and color photographs.

…just one of the many gorgeous real like floral arrangements, by New Growth Designs, available for cash and carry @ ZAAR. Also have trees and ferns!

Exclusively available at ZAAR, a line of Asian inspired pillows and throws by the Oriole Mill.

The Fortunate Flower Series, by local artist Katy Allgery, debuted @ Market and has pieces still available to purchase, or you can talk to her about commissioned pieces.

NOTE: Katy will be available to talk about her artistic skills, as a mixed media artist and as Feng Shui expert, at our May Designer Wed. Come for a casual conversation. You will be impressed!

The poster says it all, succinctly and visually. Beautiful pieces available to purchase from these local artists, who happen to be husband and wife. Guess which does the pottery and which the wood turned bowls?

….scenes from walking the walk in Long Island, through the eyes of Sylvia Muller. Selection of black and white and color photos available for purchase, with or without frames.

….works of mixed media art from the Elizabeth Lucas Company. You might’ve seen them in their IHFC showroom?

….and fun light fixtures from Flambeau Lighting, who you might’ve seen in Suites at Market Square.

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Photos, Paintings, Pottery, Pillows, Throws and Wood Turned Bowls…

…. ALL of that which will be added to the line of what is already available at ZAAR Design Center, ALL debuting for the Spring 2012 Market. They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words, so let me¬†pictorially¬†offer a sneak peak of a smattering of what is new @ ZAAR this Spring.

Photos by “Sylvia Walks” ¬†bring the colors, scents and scenery of Long Island into your home by way of ¬†Sylvia Muller, who truly walks and shoots her way though East Hampton, where she and her husband Gary run a fabulous retreat, known as the Mill House Inn.

Showcasing 12 photos each, a black and white scenic ¬†folio, and “fruit and veggie” folio….available framed or unframed. You’ll have to agree she certainly has a way of capturing the essence through the lens of her camera.

Debuting the “Fortunate Flowers” series, Katy Allgeyer is a mixed media artist,based out of High Point, that has a heavy fashion and textile background, and also does more than dabble in Feng Shui, and enjoys writing a blog, called Feng Shui By Fish Girlhas a nice ring to it doesn’t it?

Her colorful series is created using all manner of¬†specific¬†Chinese themed images that she has found from all manner of sources, and so beautifully pulls together to create this unique grouping of original paintings...just a couple of which I’m sharing here.

The Oriole Mill, based out of Hendersonville NC, is an entity unto it’s own, and is so well portrayed by the Vintage Traveller , who visited recently and efused about all she experienced, I’m linking here to her¬†blog. Yes, they are bringing yet more color to ZAAR with their 100% cotton throws and pillows…the vibrancy of the fabric you can feel in these photos taken, showing the fabric not yet off of the loom.

and finally….Wood n Clay Studios, a labor of love by husband and wife team Dave and Barbara MacInnes….she¬†hand builds¬†pottery and he turns wood.

Although they have been showing and selling¬†their¬†wares at various retail venues throughout NC, this is their debut into “Market”, and we welcome them, and¬†their lovely hand crafted treasures.

Am so excited to have these fine people and their fine fine product, all making their debut this Market. Be sure to stop by and take a look at all in person….and don’t forget, we’re hosting a “lunch and learn” on Sunday, with Designer, Blogger, Market “Style Spotter” Traci Zeller…it’s gonna be great too!

And to Market we go!


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High Point Market: Oh, the People I’ll see…

Oh my, where does one start at the people one sees/expects to see, ¬†at Market? I know I am not alone by going from the extreme of ¬†sitting on my computer/phone, working alone in a home office, to not shutting up or sitting down during the “next 6 days that matter“….and I LOVE it! Yes, the High Point Furniture Market is where it’s at to promote and grow your business, and I’m excited for what will be my 17th Market.

With my key roles, in both businesses, Antiques by Zaar and ZAAR Design Center, there is no shortage of people to see/connect with. The obvious being the customers that come specifically to purchase my Chinese Antiques.

Recall in early days, back when I only had a representation of my line available to view first hand, how I would excitedly share how I had a website where they could see ALL of my product, and I would hear “oh, that’s nice”…and now, when I offer the same info I get “that’s great!”….my, how times have changed! And NOW they have both. ALL of my merchandise to see, first hand AND on line!

The need to be “present” as representative of ZAAR Design Center ensures that I am “out and about” as much as I can be in between appointments, and with my showroom manned by a strong team, led by Jeff Moore, who has been working with me for the past 5 years, I am able to do this ….scouting out new prospective trade partners, connecting with current ones that are manning their Market spaces, ¬†fostering relationships with other businesses that support the collaborative Spirit we need to keep the fires burning in High Point, and simply letting people know who we are and what we’re doing….a job that goes on well into each evening.

Yes, the “next 6 days that matter” are like 6 never ending days FILLED to the brim with reconnecting with people, so¬†many that have become good friends over the years, and making new connections. Truly, one of the great great things about my business is the wonderful people that come into my world by way of it!

And so, here we are, on the cusp of the Spring 2012 Market, where it will once again all culminate, ¬†as each of us brings something to the table to make this event what it is…not only buyers and sellers, but ALL the support people that¬†tirelessly¬†work to make Market happen….and a place to do good business.

If you should be heading to the High Point Market, and are reading this, know that I shall very much look forward to seeing you/meeting you, in what is but a week away!


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High Point Market: So much to do….

Attending the bi annual High Point Furniture Market, has been part of my schedule for the past 9 years now…hard to believe really.

In my early years at Market I worked solo and thus was pretty much glued to the confines of my showroom…never venturing far away. ¬†But with consolidating my showroom and warehouse into one singular space, in 2008, ¬†and with the manning of said space done by the competent and committed sales associate/ come warehouse manager, Jeff Moore, I have taken it upon myself to be the one “out and about” mingling with the masses/spreading the ZAAR word, secure in the knowledge that my showroom is well managed…and that I’m just a phone call/text away.

The events, educational and social, are numerous….something for everyone, at every time of the day…overwhelming really. ¬†For a complete listing you should visit the event calender as published by the High Point Market Authority.

HERE, I am going to list out what I plan on attending this next Market. How did I hone in on these? Well, if WITHIT is sponsoring it, you’ll know that it is good, and thus why the¬†preponderance¬†of WITHIT events on my list….and some that I’ve noted, although aren’t WITHIT sponsored, the speakers are WITHIT members….Allison Paladino is a long term AbyZaar Customer…no brainer/gotta hear her. Dr. Nido is responsible for land breaking developments at the High Point University…you know he will have something interesting to say…even if it’s at 7:00 am! ¬†And, of course, I look forward to welcoming folks @ the ZAAR Design Center’s first “Lunch and Learn” with Traci Zeller…

So,  here goes. Contact info noted beside each event, so should you be interested in attending info is readily available, but again, more details found at HPMA website.

Note this is only the “educational” events…and only through to Monday…yes, I do have other things on my plate as well during the “next 6 days that matter”….”social” events is a whole nother thing!

Furniture Fellowship Prayer Breakfast: Friday April 20th 7:00 am.

¬†Dr. Nido Qubein, President of High Point University. “From Success to Significance”

Can still make reservations, 25.00/ticket, up until April 16th. Click here to buy tickets online.

WITHIT: President’s Welcome Reception: Friday April 2oth 6:00 pm.

Seasonal Living Showroom, IHFC Interhall #306.  No charge, but rsvp required. Contact WITHIT.

Market Square Antique and Design Center: Saturday April 21st. 10:00- 11:00

Leslie Carouthers and Jennifer Mehditash: Pinterest and Olioboard. From Inspiration to Income.

WITHIT Educational Breakfast: Sunday April 22nd, 7:30-9:00 am

Lifestyle Trends: Kathy Wall, Jason Oliver Nixon , Krissa Rossbund, Elaine Markoutsas

No charge, but RSVP required. Contact Leigh Chastain:  lchastain@imcenters.com

ZAAR Design Center Lunch n Learn: Sunday April 22nd 12:00- 1:30 pm.

Traci Zeller/Traci Zeller Designs: Do I Blog, Tweet, Facebook or Pin? (And what happens if I do nothing?)

No charge. RSVP appreciated/not required. Contact yours truly: ruth@antiquesbyzaar.com

Monday April 23, 10:00- 11:30   220 East Commerce

Branded! Make a Name for Yourself and Increase Your Business: Tobi Fairley, Lisa Ferguson, Debbie Green

Sponsored by IHFC and IFDA:  Monday April 23, 12:00-1:00

Allison Paladino: Why the Bad Economy has been the Best thing for my Business.

20.00 fee to reserve seat/includes lunch. Contact Leigh Chastain. lchastain@imcenters.com

WITHIT: Competitive Intelligence/Trends Forecast:  Monday April 23, 6:30- 8:30pm

Crystalyn Stuart: Power of Pinterest.

No charge, but RSVP required. Contact Sarah Findle  sarahf@imre.com.

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Catch a Deal In Lexington NC: Monthly Sale on NOW, or make an appt…

Carolina Warehouse Enterprises, LLC

Furniture Market Showroom Sample Sale

Accessories & Furniture

Sale is April 5th, 6th, and 7th

8 am ‚Äď 6 pm Thursday & Friday 8 am ‚Äď 4 pm Saturday

Can’t make the sale РCall us for appointment 336-237-1147

802 West Center Street, Lexington NC 27292

(Old Stanley Furniture Building, entrance off West Center St Ext ‚Äď back of building, look for signs)

Samples from over 40 showrooms

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Why base your Home Furnishings Business in High Point?

Answer: ¬†Because ¬†“it”, that being BUSINESS, is happening in High Point ALL YEAR LONG!

Yes, the High Point Furniture Market is THE event that the city of High Point ramps up for with excitement twice/year, and this is a wonderful thing to anticipate….and which is one month away…. and participate in, BUT….

….there is so much more to gain from having one’s business based in High Point…. and why I am so over the moon happy for having decided to move my warehouse, for my online based business, from Maine to High Point what is now 5 years ago…AND at same time join the High Point Design Center, which, at the core of its mission statement, is to service the Interior Design Community Year Round!

….so,¬†BEFORE launching into all that which leads to “THE” Market, I am intent on sharing my delight for all that goes on BETWEEN Markets.

Specifically to the recently held UNITY in Design event, as sponsored by the HPDC…. ¬†¬†well,¬†I hardly ¬†know where to start, as to the value I see this creating for designers ¬†and design students alike…can you believe it we had close to 100 design students join us this year?, to¬†those showrooms that were open for biz and those that made¬†themselves¬†available for assorted breakfasts, luncheons, presentations or cocktail parties, AND those vendors that chose to show their wares at the Trade Show, a feature which was added to the event 3 years ago.

Case in point…below, a ¬†note I received from Bethanne of Oriole Mills, who had a booth at the trade show, and who I enjoyed dining with one evening, and who I KNOW made many inroads for her business, which, participation¬†in this event, served as a spring board for her to grow her business from High Point…

“The conference was great and a wonderful surprise. ¬†I had no expectations but even my highest expectations would have been exceeded. ¬†We were welcomed by great women, established in the trade — what a fabulous gift. ¬†It was a lovely chain of women linking us to others. ¬†Wow. ¬†What a rare and amazing phenomenon. ¬†Thank you for being one of those to welcome us and to offer an opportunity.”

…and while on the topic of “women linking women” ¬†I cannot fail to include the valuable work of WITHIT, which does that and more.

This valuable organization is all about, through an amazing network of professional women, ALL in the home furnishings industry, making business happen. And yes, the headquarters of this international organization are in High Point, appropriately so.

...with Karen of the Art & Antique Center

Aside from my obvious exuberance for the work of these 2 organizations, of which I am a proud member, and what they do to promote business in High Point, I am further delighted by the number of individuals that I continue to meet that understand what can be gained by working together in a Spirit of Collaboration. Each and every time I go to High Point I am introduced to yet another opportunity for collaboration. It is so gratifying to grow our presence, and yes our respective businesses, by reaching out for each other. It infuses me!

Yes, there are many of us that have chosen to base our home furnishing business from High Point….and I’m here to let you know, that, as much as we’d like to see you during Market, that if we don’t, do know that we are there for you all year long…ready to do business!


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Bienenstock Furniture Library $5.00 Book Sale is on NOW!

¬†…coinciding with the High Point Design Center 2nd Wednesday Event on 3/14…ie, bunches of showrooms open/including ZAAR Design Center…a Great opportunity to get some great deals on books…see details below.

$5.00 Book Sale

The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library

1009 North Main Street

High Point, NC  27262

March 12th ‚Äď 14th, 2012

9:00 AM ‚Äď 5:00 PM

Hundreds of titles all on sale for $5.00 each!  Add to your office or home library, purchase books for your showrooms for the April 2012 Market, or shop for gifts for family and friends.  Interior Design, window treatment, color, and furniture books are available.

Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Checks and Cash accepted.


Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to stock up on furniture related titles for just $5.00 each.  If you have questions, call Karla Webb at 336.883-4011

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Traci Zeller: Designer/Blogger/Speaker…and now Style Spotter!

….yes, ¬†Traci Zeller, who will be speaking at the ZAAR Design Center ¬†luncheon next week….yeah us!¬†¬†has been selected as one of 8 Style Spotters for the Spring High Point Furniture Market. What GREAT news and just wanted to say congrat’s to Traci for being chosen to do this.

So excited….for next week’s event, AND for the acknowledgment Traci has been given by being selected to share what she thinks is HOT!

If you’d like to join us for lunch/presentation, please go to the High Point Design Center¬† to register, OR contact me….

ruth@antiquesbyzaar.com/ 207 838 2675

Look forward to welcoming you all in High ¬†Point next week…and if you can’t make it, don’t worry, I’ll give you the benefit to enjoy virtually!


P.S. You can get a taste for what Traci likes by following her on Pinterest, which is where she will be posting her High Point finds.

…and if you don’t already, do check out her popular blog!

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Touchwood UK: Growing Their Year Round Presence in High Point…

….yes, yet another shipment is on it’s way from the UK to High Point NC, to provide even more of their fine product to those Designers that like to shop High Point between Markets.
All pieces shown below are either in High Point, or on their next container to High Point, leaving the end of Feb, AND, in addition to pieces below you can check out the pieces they already have available at ZAAR Design Center, which will be OPEN for the UNITY in Design Event…Feb 29-Mar 2.
  Each piece made available by Touchwood has been through a thorough restoration process within their own workshops wherein each piece has been repaired, restored and re-polished in a sympathetic way to retain their original beauty.    Prices in USD include shipping into High Point, NC.  Prices in GBP exclude delivery/shipping Рplease contact Steve @  touchwooduk@btinternet.com   for a delivery/shipping quotation, additional photos, or any further info.  Sold on a first-come, first-sold basis.

Extra Large Antique Four Door Cupboard

This truly is an amazing looking piece.  This item would grace any empty space with elegance and beauty.
Length 130″ (2870mm)
Depth 15.5″ (395mm)
Height 55″ (1400mm)
Price: USD 2495  GBP 1350

Antique Pine Dresser and Rack

This item is of a great size, has a great colour and is overall, a great looking piece.
Width 74″ (1880mm)
Depth 18.5″ (470mm)
Height 86.5″ (2200mm)
Price: USD 1780  GBP 920

Victorian Pine Shabby Chic Style Dresser Base

This item is ideal as a kitchen piece and has a wonderful looking old pine top and aged painted finish.
Length 63″ (1600mm)
Depth 26″ (660mm)
Height 33.25″ (870mm)
Price: USD 1545  GBP 830

Old Pine Turned Leg One Drawer Farmhouse Table

This item has been made in their own workshops and is not an Antique.  This piece can be made to any size required with any finish.

Length 75″ (1905mm)Width 41.75″ (1060mm)

Height: 30″ (760mm)Inside Leg Measurement 51.75″ (1310mm) ¬† ¬†¬†Price: USD 905 ¬†GBP 480

Antique Oak 17th Century Coffer

Beautifully restored Oak Coffer with some wonderful character which only comes with age.
Length 49″ (1245mm)
Depth 22.5″ (570mm)
Height 24″ (610mm)
Price: USD 1195  GBP 490

Antique Oak Writing Desk

A good solid writing desk with plenty of drawer space.
Length 49″ (1250mm)
Depth 20″ (510mm)
Height 32″ (815mm)
Price: USD 995  GBP 460

Pair of Old Pine Wine Racks – can be sold individually

Made up within their own workshops out of old reclaimed pine.  The wine racks are old but not certain of the age, made from a combination of metal and wood.  These are truly beautiful looking pieces and each rack holds up to 70 bottles.
Dimensions of each:
Length 29″ (740mm)
Depth 13″ (330mm)
Height 46″ (1170mm)
Price (of each): USD 1350  GBP 595

Antique Solid Mahogany Drop Leaf Table

Beautifully restored solid mahogany drop leaf table with new brass castors.  Wonderful size, wonderful colour and wonderful finish.
Length 54″ (1370mm)
Width 78″ (1980mm) (when open)
Height 29.75″ (755mm)
Each leaf is 24″ (610mm)
Price: USD 2590  GBP 1490

Antique Demi-Lune Card Table

Beautifully restored early 19th Century Demi-Lune with beautiful detailed in-lays and new baized playing surface.

Diameter 36″ (920mm) (when open)

Height 29.25″ (745mm)

Price: USD 1240  GBP 690

Antique Mahogany Two Over Three Inlayed Chest

Beautifully restored Mahogany Two Over Three Chest with wonderful inlays and overall a great sized chest.  All Oak Lined Drawers and back.
Length 49″ (1250mm)
Depth: 19.25″ (490mm)
Height: 45.5″ (1155mm)
Price: USD 1695  GBP 995

Antique Early Victorian Mahogany Book Case

Truly a wonderful example of a book case of this era.  Beautifully restored with beautiful flamed mahogany effect and old rippled glass.
Length 37.25″ (945mm)
Depth 16.25″ (415mm)
Height 90.25″ (2295mm)
Price: USD 1995 GBP 1125

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2012 High Point Design Center UNITY in Design SAVE THE DATE

ZAAR Design Center will be OPEN!!!!


…catered by EMERYWOOD CAFE

…followed by a¬†PRESENTATION¬†by Charlotte based interior designer, TRACI ZELLER

Online Registration OPEN @ www.highpointdesigncenter.com!

Leave time, or come back…to shop product by our trade partners: Bellascenda, Kat Burki, Touchwood UK, Cabeen Originals, Total Design Source, Flambeau, The Elizabeth Lucas Collection and Antiques by Zaar.

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Words to Wrap My Head Around in 2012

…just a little diddy on how I am approaching this next year, for my business/my life.

Last week I shared, in¬†this blog, ¬†my ‚ÄúLife‚ÄĚ words. And here I just want to share with you one more missive on ‚Äúwords‚ÄĚ for my year.

The concept of capsulizing ¬†in a handful of words what I resolve to prioritize for my New Year is something I‚Äôve done for the past 3 years now‚Ķa¬†practice¬†I find more useful than resolutions, per sea . For instance, in 2011 I honed in on Focus, Presence and Growth, ¬†and which I wrote about in¬†this blog‚Ķ.2010 was ¬†Structure and Discipline,¬†although¬†in retrospect the 3 words that would best describe the ‚Äúessence‚ÄĚ of that year would be¬†determination,¬†ownership and accountability‚Ķthe year before that was Responsibility (at ALL levels)‚Ķyou get the drift.

These words¬†are not to be simply replaced with new words, but more so¬†relevant words are grabbed onto to couch the essence of the priority for the year‚Ķeach years words serving to build up from one year to the other‚Ķ.with continuity of ¬†‚ÄĚSpirited Vision‚ÄĚ being the constant that serves well to make Life more a continuum than a series of ends and beginnings‚Ķ.at least that‚Äôs the way I like to look at it.

Before moving onto 2012 I feel the need to ponder just some of the landmarks for me this past year‚Ķthings that I could grab onto and say, ‚Äúhey, I did that and it mattered in my world. yeah me!‚ÄĚ

This can be as simple, but certainly relevant, particularly after I got over the issues of adjusting to each change , as the fact that in 2011 I  upgraded all computers, data base systems and accounting/credit card processing software.  Or the unanticipated but opportunistic, move of my High Point NC warehouse this past August, to a location that really hits it on the mark, and where I am happy to call HOME to my inventory and also the evolving ZAAR Design Center…which, by the way, now has grown to have 8 partners showing with Antiques by Zaar!  Or that my participation in the blogging world was acknowledged by my peers at WITHIT, who asked me to moderate a round table on blogging at their annual conference last August. Or, on a personal level, that a decision was made, and acted on,  to sell the family home, after 12 years, in Maine, AND to that end had it listed just prior to Thanksgiving.  I know there is so much more,  but these are some of the building blocks laid last year that serve as foundation for this next year.

And so, with this backdrop I share with you here  my 3 benchmark words for 2012.


…my Self, my Family, my Friends, my Business, my Vision, my Talents, the Gift of Life I’ve been Given, the Opportunities that come my way….the renewed Commitments I’ve made to ALL of the above manifested by Being True to All and Living a Life that is one of diligent steadfastness…and fun!


‚Ķ.or ‚Äútrust‚ÄĚ ¬†in My Self, in the goodness of those around me that are there to Love and Support me, in the Value of ¬†My¬†Commitment¬†and the Gift given from Hard Work‚ĶBELIEVING that my efforts will be Honored and that it is simply for me to do the work and BELIEVE that I will be compensated accordingly‚Ķ And that it is Mine for the Making And Taking.


Who and what is stopping me? Can be painfully honest here and say it is ME. Yes, the economy has participated in¬†offering challenges to me and my business/life‚Ķbut, nuts and bolts is that it comes down to ME, what I do, what I HONOR, what I BELIEVE, what I FOCUS on, how I make my¬†PRESENCE¬†known and what I do to foster my GROWTH‚Ķ.see, last years words all here¬†¬†‚Ķ.and, as simple as it sounds, Believing that ‚ÄúIt Is¬†Achievable‚ÄĚ gives me no out, as, that it is!

A tall order here….this blueprint to help me plot and plan and move into 2012… with  the effervescence of all these wonderful encouraging and inspiring sentiments couching my every move.

2012. Bring it on!


P.S. …and if you have words you’d like to share that serve you well for this coming year…I’m all ears.

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Things to Look Forward to @ ZAAR Design Center in 2012

It’s a new Year. Welcome, Welcome.

It’s a fresh start for all of us, to make what we can of the days/months/year before us….be it for ourselves personally and/or professionally. For those of us that fuel a business the balancing act continues, but the MISSION/Focus of our Passion, spurs us onward… in spite of roadblocks….be it that they come from economic conditions, or self inflicted conditions…dare I be so bold to suggest suggest the latter has more impact than the former? Whatever the case may be, it is for each of us to overcome and reach forward, and so….onward!