White Family to Receive ARTS Awards
Academy of Achievement Honor
—Multi-generation business and creative team behind Summer Classics, Gabby, and Wendy Jane to accept industry’s highest accolade at 33rd event—
DALLAS – November 17, 2022 – One of the leading families in the business of home furnishings, The White family, will receive the Academy of Achievement honor at the 33rd ARTS Awards taking place at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas on Friday, January 6, 2023.
The White family, including Bew White, William White, and Wynne White Martin own multiple furnishings brands and manage a total home assortment of compelling product categories under parent company Gabriella White including Summer Classics, Gabby, and Wendy Jane that serve the residential and commercial marketplace.
The ARTS Awards, presented annually during the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market, acknowledges preeminent manufacturers, retailers, interior designers, product designers, and sales representatives. The Academy of Achievement, the industry’s highest accolade, recognizes extraordinary contributions to the industry.
“The story of the White family is one of entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity, and generosity,” said Cindy Morris, president and CEO of Dallas Market Center. “They built a business that’s extremely well respected not only for their products and people but for their purpose. We look forward to celebrating their achievements.”
“The growth of the Gabriella White brands over the years would be reason enough to honor this family,” said Sharon Davis, executive director of ART. “However, it’s their deep values and strong leadership that are being recognized with this accolade. It’s truly an honor to present the Academy of Achievement to a beloved family who continue to lead with heart.”
For more than four decades, the White Family has designed and manufactured luxury outdoor furniture adding luxury indoor furniture, custom upholstery, lighting, pillows, rugs and accessories more recently. Today, Gabriella White delivers compelling and differentiated design in residential and commercial furnishings across their wholesale, contract and direct to consumer divisions via their Summer Classics and Gabby brands. They have become a trusted house of brands across the channels, customers and communities they serve.
Company founder Bew White graduated from Auburn University with a degree in textile engineering. In 1978, he began his own sales representative company, the Vista Corporation. Along the way, he started multiple smaller companies in an effort to build a national brand. In 1987 one of these, Summer Classics, began to gain traction and solid sales. Created around Bew’s idea to design and manufacture the outdoor furniture he would want for his own backyard, Summer Classics quickly began to be featured by notable retailers including Neiman Marcus, Crate & Barrel, Williams Sonoma, and Restoration Hardware. In 2008, Bew’s son William joined the company and now serves as CEO. In 2009, daughter Wynne also joined the company and now serves as National Account Manager and creative lead for Wendy Jane. In 2010, the company launched indoor luxury furniture brand Gabby and added Wendy Jane, a collection of handcrafted indoor and outdoor pillows, in 2018.
The White’s philanthropic endeavors are as passionate as their devotion to the company. They have been key donors to Lifeline adoption, cancer research, children’s hospitals with a national partnership with Children's Miracle Network, church rebuilding, Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way and various Christian ministries. The Summer Classics Halo collection donates a portion of all sales to cancer research in honor of long-time sales rep Susan Lambeth, who lost a battle to ovarian cancer. In 2013, company founder Bew White was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Society of International Business Fellows and in 2021 Bew White received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Casual Furnishings Association.
The Academy of Achievement honoree is selected each year by the ARTS Awards Committee in order to recognize significant contributions to the industry. The committee serves one year and their duties include a review of the process and selecting the Academy of Achievement honoree. The 33rd ARTS Awards committee members are: Colleen Visage, Progress Lighting; James Merida, Bountiful Home; and Leslie Taglio, Taglio & Associates.
Reservations for the ARTS Awards are now open. Tickets are $170 for ART members and $200 for non-members. Tables are also available.
Sponsors for the ARTS Awards include Aspire Design & Home; Business of Home; Décor News Now; Designers Today; Furniture, Lighting & Décor; Furniture Today; Gifts & Decorative Accessories; Home Accents Today; Home Textiles Today; Interior Design Society, and Sustainable Furnishings Council.
To make plans for upcoming markets, visit the Dallas Market Center website and download the Dallas Market Center and Lightovation Apps. Also, keep up-to-date on all information by visiting Dallas Market Center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the DMC Blog.
About the ARTS Awards
The ARTS Awards is the premier international awards program dedicated to the home industry. Up to 28 categories exist under the headings Manufacturer, Retailer, Product Designer, Interior Designer, Sales Representative, Green Award, and other specialty honors. Anyone in the industry can nominate including manufacturers, retailers, sales representatives, designers, suppliers, consultants, and other industry officials. Companies that have won an ARTS Award five times are inducted into the Hall of Fame. Current Hall of Fame members are: Arteriors Home, Beatriz Ball, Bella Casa, BJ’s Home Accents, C.S. Wo & Sons, Distinctive Designs International Inc., Elements at Home, Feizy Rugs, Fine Art Lamps, Global Views, HW Home, Loloi Rugs, Montaage, Natural Decorations Inc., Palecek, Paragon, Phillips Collection, Robb & Stucky, Schonbek Worldwide Lighting, Seasonal Living, and Vietri.
ART is the creative home furnishings network representing manufacturers, retailers, representatives and other individuals and companies interested in promoting and enhancing the market position of the home furnishings industry. Each year ART sponsors programs such as the ART conference, regional educational seminars, the ART card, and the ARTS Awards. The ART website is available at www.accessoriesresourcesteam.org
About Dallas Market Center
Dallas Market Center is a global business-to-business trade center and the leading wholesale marketplace in North America connecting retailers and interior designers with top manufacturers in home décor, furniture, gifts, lighting and fashion. Inside its dynamic, five million square foot campus, nearly 200,000 customers from all 50 states and 85 countries seek industry trends, business education and new products from exhibitors throughout the year via dominant trade events for gift, home décor, holiday and floral; the nation’s most comprehensive apparel and accessories markets featuring the latest styles from East Coast and West Coast designers; the world’s largest western marketplace, opening in 2021; the largest residential lighting trade event in North America; and the largest and most successful open-daily design center. The marketplace is located in the strongest economic zone in the country. In addition, more than 80 percent of Dallas Market Center buyers report that they do not shop other market centers. To make plans for upcoming markets, visit the Dallas Market Center website and download the Dallas Market Center and Lightovation Apps. Also, keep up-to-date on all information by visiting Dallas Market Center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the Dallas Market Center blog.