EP 224 | The Supplier Perspective hosted by Annie Elliott

June 1, 2021

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The pandemic has not been bad for the interior design field. As we know, the pandemic has made consumers want to improve their homes. That, in turn, has created high demand for interior designers, contractors, and realtors. But what about our vendors and showroom reps? After all, they’re a critical part of your A Team – connecting you to manufacturers, factories, and artisans.

In this episode, Interior Designer and BOD™ Member, Annie Elliott, speaks with 3 vendors on her A Team about their experience over the last year. She’s joined by Debbie Pegher of Century Furniture, Dorothy Myers of Schumacher, and Dean Buchanan of Stark Carpet.

In this episode you will learn:

  • The lockdowns affected showrooms for a very limited time. Those who were already advanced online were able to pivot quickly.
  • When there are issues with merchandise – broken supply chains, foam shortage, etc. –make sure your vendors paint you a vivid picture of the circumstances to relay to your clients.
  • Envisioning socially distanced workers in a NC workroom really helps clients understand that production is affected and delays are unavoidable.
  • Not only did demand in general increase during the pandemic, but demand for certain items increased.


Design Intervention

These professionals all agree, the best piece of business advice they’ve received is an oldie but goodie: hire slowly and fire quickly. A fit with the organization’s culture is critical; there are no shortcuts!


About Guest Host Annie Elliott

Annie is a recovering art historian who developed her eye and aesthetic sensibilities studying 20th-century art and working in some of the nation’s top museums.

In 2004, armed with a master’s degree in art history, interior design coursework at the Corcoran College of Art + Design (now part of GW University), and incredible naiveté, Annie opened “bossy color.” Today, the homes created by Annie Elliott Design feature a distinctive, exuberant mix of antiques, art, and modern furnishings.

Annie is an Associate Member of ASID, and her design work and insights have appeared in HGTV Magazine, This Old House, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Washingtonian, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. NBC4 recently aired a segment about Annie and an interior design project AED did 100% remotely during COVID.


About Debbie Pegher

Debbie Pegher is the Showroom Manager of Century Furniture located in The Washington Design Center, and she has 30 years of hands-on experience as an interior designer. The colorful showroom represents the Rock House Farm family of brands that includes Century, Highland House, Hancock & Moore, Jessica Charles and Maitland-Smith. Her leadership has earned the DC team Century’s Showroom of The Year three times, most recently in 2018, with the best sales on record for the showroom.

Debbie worked as an interior designer for 30 years in Pittsburgh prior to shifting towards showroom management. In her years as a designer, she worked in retail, a design studio, and as a business owner. Debbie runs a design minded, problem solving, collaborative showroom with an entrepreneurial spirit to create the process of doing business easy, simple and fun.

Debbie currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Washington Design Center, and regularly hosts events for the design community in her 5,000 square foot showroom. She also served as the Membership Director of the ASID Washington Metro Chapter from 2014 to 2016.


About Dorothy Myers

Dorothy has lived in the Washington DC metro area for over 30 years, working in the high end/luxury goods market to both residential and commercial clients.  After graduating from Howard University with a double degree in International Business and Finance, she started her career in the international arena working at the IMF and World Bank but longed for creative pursuits. After studying at what was then the Corcoran College of Art & Design, she transitioned to the interior design field and hasn’t looked back.  She started her own company, Haven Interior Design, while also working with such industry leaders such as Robert Allen/Beacon Hill, Kohler Company and Quadrille.  She is now the Territory Manager for F. Schumacher Company responsible for the Washington DC Metropolitan area, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia.


About Dean Buchanan

Dean Buchanan is the Showroom Manager for Stark Carpet in Washington DC.

His journey has been eclectic and wide-ranging. Dean graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University after studying Human Ecology and built environments. He then sought out experiences to explore the relationship between culture, design, and our living environments. Dean went on to participate in an affordable home building program through J. Sargent Reynolds Community College in Richmond. He helped build passive solar housing in the Boston area and spent a month in Central America, where he ‘cut’ coffee and built housing and latrines.

Dean joined his father-in-law to run J. Asher (formerly Design Center Carpets) in 1998. He found that he loved working with interior designers and architects and especially learning about textiles. In 2014, J. Asher merged with Holland and Sherry Interiors. He was the Manager for H&S until 2017 and then joined Stark Carpets as an Account Manager.


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