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[bitsontherun AvX5TNb3]TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – It’s a busy time at the Tupelo Furniture Market.

Although the market officially kicks off Thursday,  many buyers and exhibitors are doing business.

“We’re very excited about the market,” said Butch Cook, owner of Vintage Flooring and Furniture. His northeast Mississippi based company makes one-of-a-kind tables, chairs and other furniture from reclaimed wood.

He has been a regular at the market for years.

“It’s one of the top markets in the country and we have  a good variety of people coming from all over the country and we’re the only one in this market that has material of this quality, making furniture out of it,” Cook said.

Furniture Market President Kevin Seddon says there’s a sense of optimism heading into this event.

“Economic indicators are in the right direction, the housing market is better and when housing market is better that’s usually a good indication for the furniture market that things are going to be better,” Seddon said.

Pre-market business was brisk Wednesday at the Standard Furniture showroom, where youth-related pieces were strong sellers, especially a line where kids can draw on the furniture with dry erase markers.

“We’ve actually seen a lot of customers here, this is a big market for us…we’re a domestic manufacturer,” said John Beard, southeast sales manager for Standard Furniture.

“We’re doing substantially well considering what the economy is doing so the plan is to probably buy more than what we have in the past,” said Steve Miller, a buyer from Indiana.

“We’re looking for deals, like always, seeing a few, we came a little early this year,” said Patti Watkins, a buyer from Woodland, Miss.

For the second time,  building one is open to the public with the Furniture and Home Accessories Show.  That’s where Deborah Gardner and her crew from Melange were busy setting up shop.

“We have some beautiful things. Spring is a big season and we wanted to be in the mix of all of Tupelo and this is a great place to be this week,” Gardner said.

There are some new things in store for the 20,000 or so people attending this spring market.  First , a scanner system for ID badges.  Each badge will be scanned and a person’s contact information will be placed in a database for buyers, exhibitors and Furniture Market personnel.

Also there is a lunch and learn lecture series, and of course the hospitality that keeps everybody coming back year after year.

For information, schedules and details, visit: www.tupelofurnituremarket.net


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