By Norma Stanley | March 2023
With more than 20 years’ experience in sales, fashion merchandising and retail management, Katrena Griggs decided to turn her innate creativity, business acumen and passion for home décor, art and fashion, into a business and open a multi-line home décor showroom.
The owner of Curated Home Brands, a design collective for beautiful spaces, Griggs is the first Black female principle of a showroom in Atlanta’s 65 year-old AmericasMart, one of the largest wholesale and exhibition trade centers in the world at over seven million square feet. Griggs’ showroom, which opened in 2019, boasts 2,500 square feet, and showcases various lines of home furnishings, bedding and accessories from brands like
“At Curated Home Brands, we work as a sales management agency that provides operations and systems consulting for manufacturers, showrooms and alternate leased areas of home furnishings, décor and accessories, we also showcase their products in our showroom,” shared Griggs. “We carry all kinds of brands, but I love finding and showcasing brands that have a boutique feel and products manufactured by people of color,” said Griggs.
The former vice president of Codarus, a showroom which represents bedding, home accessories, bedding, lighting, art and rugs from throughout the country, Griggs is now growing her road sales team across the U.S., Canada and international markets.
“I was always very creative and entrepreneurial, and my background in fashion merchandising and retail management has been invaluable in helping me run my company,” shared Griggs. “I’ve been the VP of showrooms for multiple companies, and when the opportunity presented itself for me to have my own showroom, I decided to go for it,” she continued. “I love the work I do and am very excited about the direction in which Curated Home Brands is heading,” said Griggs.
Griggs’ showroom is a favorite among some of metro-Atlanta’s top Black interior designers, including designers like Michel Smith Boyd of HGTV’s Luxe for Less, also recognized as one of the top 10 Black interior designers in the country by the Black Interior Designers Network.
Griggs was herself honored with the Kimberly E. Ward Icon Award from the Black Interior Designers Network, four years ago at their annual conference.
“It was such an honor and a surprise to receive that award from the Black Interior Design Network, as my showroom hadn’t really been open that long,” shared Griggs. “In addition, it’s really only been in the last eight or nine years that we began to see more designers of color come to the forefront. In fact, the home décor shows have been very instrumental in helping to bring visibility to the immense talent and creativity found among Black interior designers,” she explained. “I am also thankful to be able to call some of the top Black interior designers my friends, some of whom were my customers prior to me having my own showroom,” she said.
As a result of her being the first Black woman to own a showroom in AmericasMart, Griggs is considered a pioneer and she and her Curated Home Brands have been featured in top local and national media outlets covering home design, like Atlanta Magazine, Architectural Digest, Thrivewellbydesign.com, Businessofhome.com, etc.
In addition to running her own showroom, Griggs also manages the 13,000 square feet Global Views showroom, a nationally known home furnishings and design showroom located directly across from hers. Working with a small team of people, she works with vendors and travels the country periodically, to speak at industry conferences and attend the major and highly anticipated home furnishings and design market events in Las Vegas, NV; High Point, NC.; New York, NY, and Atlanta, GA.
“I am passionate about the design trade, excited about entrepreneurship and the work I do allows me to not only stay connected with designers I’ve worked with for a long time, but meet some new talented designers,” says Griggs, who is also the host of the Curated Conversations podcast. “I love seeing doors of opportunity open for interior designers of color creating and bringing beautiful products to the marketplace. This includes art, ceramics, accessories, bedding, textiles,
rugs, wall hanging, developing fabrics for wallpaper, etc.,”she continued. “And it’s also inspiring to see talented interior designers like Michael Smith Boyd, Andre Jordan Hilton and Nikki Chu grow from small business owners into celebrities, getting the kind of recognition they deserve,” she said.
As Griggs prepares to scale her business, moving forward she says she wants to grow into displaying some private label products at her showroom. In addition, she wants to be able to encourage young people to consider and pursue careers in the home furnishings industry.
“I am really hoping to do what I can to help young people see this industry as a viable career path,” said Griggs. “There’s so much opportunity in this business and so many different careers where they could use their gifts and develop their skills,” she continued. “Areas like product development, management, accounting, technology, sales, showroom design, and so many others. I’m thrilled to be part of this industry and work in such a beautiful environment, because who doesn’t want to be surrounded by beautiful things all the time?”