Home Furnishings Merchandising Student Earns Internship at Annual ART Conference
Sep 26, 2012

ART, the Accessories Resource Team, is a prominent home furnishings industry organization dedicated to the home accents and accent furniture segment of the industry. The 20th anniversary conference was held in New Orleans in May, 2012. Sharon Davis, Executive Director of ART approached Dr. Lynn Brandon, Coordinator of the Home Furnishings Merchandising Degree program at UNT, requesting an intern for the conference who would be involved in many aspects of the event. A student competition was developed that would identify a student to attend the conference and gain first hand work experience with Sharon Davis and other members of the event committee. Shelbi Owens delivered the winning submission and thus began a whirlwind five days of documenting and presenting every event of the conference. The conference is known for hosting recognized speakers who address current issues relevant to the membership. A highlight of the conference was the completion of a service project for a local housing initiative in which four teams of ART members selected, designed, unloaded, and installed the furnishings and accessories in four newly built homes. These homes were constructed by the Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative of New Orleans which is a neighborhood-based, non-profit that provides families with healthy, energy-efficient and affordable housing opportunities. 

Industry professionals at the conference were highly complimentary of Shelbi’s work and her work ethic. This was a great springboard for her into the home furnishings industry. 

Shelbi stated that “Attending the ART Conference was truly an invaluable professional development opportunity for me. I was able to meet and interact with professionals from so many different backgrounds within the industry. It really allowed me a great deal of insight and gave me a much more concrete understanding of what it means to be a part of this business. Listening to such wonderful speakers as Barry Dixon and John Gidding, and being able to work with the brilliant Sharon Davis, was so inspiring. The whole experience was remarkable, but I have to say that the highlight of the trip for me was photographing the Jericho Road project. Being able to capture the joy of one of the families as they walked into their brand new, beautifully furnished home was so unforgettable and motivating.”

If you would like more information about the Home Furnishings Merchandising degree program contact Dr. Lynn Brandon at Lynn.Brandon@unt.edu or for information about the Accessories Resource Team – ART, visit http://accessoriesresourceteam.org/

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