Tuesday – Friday | August 25-28, 2020

Georgia World Congress Center | Atlanta, GA | USA


Closets Symposium

Symposium Code: CLO

Sponsored by: Weinig/HOLZ-HER

Presented by: Closets & Organized Storage magazine and Woodworking Network


  • Michaelle Bradford, Editor: Closets & Organized Storage magazine
  • Lisa Carlquist, Artisan Closets
  • David Biggs, Woodworking Network
  • Michele Weitzel, Northern Contours
  • Phill Hunt, Dream Closets
  • Eric Marshall, Kitchens and Closets by DEA
  • Mike Carson, Inspired Closets
  • Keith Morgan, Bespoke
  • Eric Pothier, Richelieu Hardware
  • Amanda Eden, Director of Public Relations: Stoner Bunting Advertising

Presented by Closets & Organized Storage Magazine, the 2018 Closets Symposium is an all-day event dedicated to closet designers, builders, and garage businesses. Speakers and panelists will discuss latest design, color, and material and hardware trends, business opportunities, and offer plenty of audience interaction. The audience will learn design ideas to sell more home organization projects. Topics will include everything from marketing to manufacturing to the latest industry trends. The Closets Symposium is a must for industry professionals to learn “What’s Next.”

The symposium is one of several taking place the day before IWF starts. There will be a joint coffee & carbs meet-up during the registration process and a joint luncheon for all symposia attendees.


The storage and home organization market is estimated at nearly $9 billion and will only continue to grow as home owner demand for organized spaces increases. This expanding market will provide numerous business opportunities for closet and cabinet firms.

The IWF Closet Symposium will be held August 21, 2018 in the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta, the day before IWF exhibits open on the show floor.

The full-day session, developed and presented by Closets & Home Organization magazine, will focus on trends in storage and home organization, best business practices for small firms and how determine if buying a franchise is right for you. Final and detailed descriptions of presentations are not yet available. Here are some general subjects that will be part of the program:


8:00 AM - 9:00 AM - Coffee & Pastries

9 am – 10 am
How to Grow Your Business
Lisa Carlquist, Artisan Closets
Real life ideas from a closet firm that saw dramatic growth, going from zero sales to nearly $9 million in about 7 years. Get business tips on everything from personnel and hiring to marketing.

10 am – 11 am
How to use PR effectively
Amanda Eden, Stoner Bunting Advertising and David Biggs, Woodworking Network
Have you completed a high-profile project or hired a well-known designer? Learn how to attract media attention and gain coverage of your firm by using effective PR strategies with digital marketing and social media.

11 am – 12 pm
What’s Trending in Colors and Textures
Michele Weitzel, Northern Contours
Whether in urban centers or smaller metro areas, European furniture designs are increasingly popular. This presentation will provide a look at the hottest styles from Europe and how to apply them in a successful business strategy for the North American market.

Noon to 1 pm Networking Lunch

1 pm – 2 pm
The Ins and Outs of Closet Manufacturing
Phill Hunt, Dream Closets
See how this North Carolina company evolved from a dealer to a wholesale manufacturer of closet systems, cabinet components and furniture.

2 pm – 3 pm
Best Business Model: Manufacturing or Outsourcing?
Eric Marshall, Kitchens and Closets by DEA; and Mike Carson, Inspired Closets and Phill Hunt, Dream Closets
Hear real life experiences from two industry vets on the pros and cons of manufacturing and outsourcing as well as best practice tips on how to make your business a success regardless of the model.

3 pm – 4 pm
Business of Design
Keith Morgan, Bespoke
Keith Morgan, who has won numerous design awards, will discuss the importance of design-oriented professionals from the front office to the shop. He will also discuss how to work with wealthy clients and the need to employ professionals that understand market-viable design and long-term design trend history. He will address how Bespoke has successfully linked itself to other luxury brands and will also discuss the importance of hiring talented people and what Bespoke does to retain them.

4 pm – 5 pm
Micro Living and Multifunctional Spaces
Eric Pothier, Richelieu Hardware
With Boomers downsizing and Millennials preferring smaller living spaces especially in urban areas, creating interior designs that accommodate micro units sizing 300 square feet are less is more important than ever. Learn what products and materials are best suited for these small spaces.


Closet and storage industry professionals needing to stay current with market trends and to network with their peers are the key target audience for this symposium.