Issue Date: 2018 MAY, Posted On: 5/2/2018

05022018 Connie Post Shares Retail Strategy Behind Color-Injected Area Rug Collection By Rizzy Home
By Carol Tisch & Lisa Vincenti

Retail strategist Connie Post introduced her strategic, color-fueled Watercolors rug collection for Rizzy Home at High Point Market. 

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Retail strategist Connie Post's new collection of area rugs by Rizzy Home offers retailers and consumers an affordable, color-driven solution to design. 

In fact, Post's inaugural area rug range is less about introducing new designs and more about offering design solutions for both consumers and retailers. 

Rizzy Home and Post debuted her Watercolors collection of 12 twelve hand-tufted, multi-dimensional cut and loop wool rugs at a meet and greet event during April High Point Market.

The Rizzy team introduces new licensing partner, Connie Post, at High Point Market. From left, Larry Hedrick, Rizwan Ansari, Post and Steve Roan. 

The vibrant, graphic series emphasizes quality hand work and color at an accessible price (retail is $450 in 5x8). In addition, Rizzy and Post already are developing a coordinating pillow range to be on show in the Rizzy showrooms during summer markets in Atlanta and Vegas, with a top of bed line expected later this year. 

The retail maven, whose firm Connie Post Affordable Design, emphasizes affordability and return-on-investment, approached her first rug collection with the same criteria. And, according to Rizzy Home's Steve Roan, the response was impressive. 
"The new Connie Post collection was extremely well received with several major U.S. and Canadian furniture stores taking on the complete gallery." 

Below, RugNews.com sits down with Post who shares the strategy behind her rugs and what retailers like about her new rug program.

So, what is different about your area rugs?

CP: At High Point Market, when the rest of the world went neutral and beiges and subtle, I decided to go vibrant and colorful to emotionally connect with the consumer in a different way.

Connie Post's new rugs illustrate the ease of coordination from room to room, shown here with grey as the unifying color in three companion designs.

Why is color so important in your new area rug collection?
CP: Women like color and while they may buy a neutral sofa, in white, beige, brown, gray, black or sage, after a while it starts to feel a bit blah -- they may want to paint a wall or do something a little different. My collection with Rizzy is giving consumers an opportunity to be able to go in and put a fresh new rug on the floor that has a companion pillow to instantly update the home.
The consumer wants to have color. Most of the upholstery sold is in the neutral families, and sometimes it will have an accent pillow that has color or an accent chair in color, but the consumer grows tired of it and it is too expensive to change. If we can offer her an opportunity for a change with a rug and some pillows that match and coordinate, then she feels good about that room again, where she was tired of it before.

Connie Post's new area collection by Rizzy Home takes inspiration from watercolor paintings for her vibrantly colored designs. 

How does this color-driven approach help retailers?
CP: I designed Watercolors for retail. What will make a retailer's job easier? What will be an instant update on the floor that would be a breath of fresh air and bring new energy to the showroom?
The retail floor has a tendency to offer a lot of bland looks.  If you put these rugs on the floor with those gray sofas, your store will look very exciting immediately. And because we are about affordable design solutions, I am always looking for things that don't break the bank and in this scenario, your investment in a rug and pillows is 100 percent return -- once it sells, it is out the door and you've made money. Also, when you bring inventory in, it is going to affect the way that people feel about your brand:  they are going to see you as more modern, fashionable and colorful.
Retail at large needs to have this energy. You walk into a lot of stores and they're pretty dead because everyone went neutral -- everything is kind of monochromatic. There isn't a lot of vibrancy, but there is room for it. We threw the baby out with the bathwater. I'm making a collection, it's going to be about how I would want to live and my perspective on things. I'm always the color girl.

A best-seller in High Point, this floral design features Pantone's Color of the Year 2018 mixed with eggplant and greens.

How did you select the color palettes of your rugs?
CP: I use Pantone colors as my starting place any time I'm designing. I designed these rugs last summer but I had already selected the violet tone of the Pantone Color of the Year 2018 -- it was already on my radar as something that was important and in one rug I married it up with some eggplant colors and some greens for a look that can be used with traditional, cottage and contemporary
Also, some of the rugs contain the same color elements, so if you are re-designing an open plan room or an entire home they will work together, they are companions. 

Does creating companion area rugs help consumers or retailers?
CP: This was really important to me because I like to empower decision makers, which are mostly women, that they are making the right choice -- the fear of making the wrong decision is always the reason people don't buy. But if consumers know it's put together properly, you gain their confidence. If the rugs are married together in companion pieces, then she is able to spend more money if you give her a reason. If she has two rugs that she could put in her home for an update, she's going to buy both of them. You're empowering her and helping her make a decision, and you're also making her feel good about the fact that she did it.
Do you have a favorite design? 
CP: My favorite rug is the pink one [CNP108]. 

Above and below, Connie Post created companion designs unified color palettes to make it easier to update large rooms or different areas of the home. Above, Post's favorite design (CNP108) and, below, a complementary pattern.

Can you tell us how buyers are responding to the new program?

CP: They are thrilled! For example, Gardner-White Furniture committed to all 12 rugs for all ten stores along with top of bed and the whole program. Retailers like that each area rug has top of bed in development -- people who bought the rugs also wanted top of bed, which has a coverlet package, euros and throws all coordinated for each of those rugs. They like the consistency it offers. 

So what's next for Connie Post?
CP: I am excited about this concept and taking it to next level. I want to have lamps, tabletop and pictures, because I already have soft product. There are retail chains with multiple stores that have a hard time keeping the brand consistent across them -- this is another opportunity.

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