“It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago. She outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them.” – Mark Twain, 1883



    fun fact: In 1860 the Republican National Convention was held in Chicago. Illinois legislator Abraham Lincoln won the nomination there with strong backing from editor Joseph Medill’s Chicago Tribune

    The largest city of the American Midwest, Chicago, Illinois, was founded in 1830 and quickly grew to become a water transit hub. The city evolved into an industrial metropolis, processing and transporting the raw materials of its vast hinterland.


      The Merchandise Mart aka #theMart is a commercial building with a legendary past. When it opened in 1930, it was the largest building in the world.  The impressive Art Deco landmark is  4.2-million-square-feet and expands between Wells and Orleans streets on the north bank of the Chicago River. The building is a leading design trade destination and new hub for tech-centric giants like GOOGLE, Motorola and Lenovo hosting thousands of visitors and tenants per day.

      Like many au courant design centers, the Fall Market (DESIGN CHICAGO) is a two-day luxury design event and educational conference. The days are filled with inspirational presentations, showroom events, new product debuts and a nod to what’s in vogue. There was an Opening Night Celebration and another event called  ‘Ones To Watch Awards Ceremony’ celebrating the best in Chicago design.

      I was invited by the fine people of BRADLEY USA to moderate and group of extremely talented, successful and social media savvy textile designers.  Each designer has a different groovy theme in their work and intriguing, original social media platforms.  Our conversation led to a proclamation that ‘Instagram might be over’  – there was a gasp throughout the audience – Designers clutched their pearls – journalists began feverishly texting – an Instagram Celebrity stood up and then fainted back in her seat – after the lights stopped flickering – the statement was explained and it went like this:

      _ Instagram has changed

      _ It used to be more spontaneous

      _ It now has an impact on my offline world

      _ Now it seems more regimented and strategic

      _ Many threads and posts are sponsored by large companies

      As we began to wrap up, we reassured the audience of more than 150 that Instagram remains a valuable tool in todays design business and tends to reward those who share the most.



        Panelists: Payton Cosell Turner and Brian Kaspr, founders of Flat Vernacular; George Venson, founder of Voutsa; Susan Jamieson, founder of Bridget Beari; and Brett Beldock, founder of Brett Design; Moderator: Rio Hamilton, founder of Rio Hamilton Consulting,

        4 – 5 p.m. | Suite 6-157

        Join the BRADLEY showroom as rising textile design stars discuss tips and strategies to successfully build your brand and grow your business by developing consistent and creative messaging; engaging clients and consumers through social media and digital platforms; understanding and harnessing the power of public relations and much more. Moderated by Rio Hamilton, founder of Rio Hamilton Consulting with panelists: Payton Cosell Turner and Brian Kaspr, founders of Flat Vernacular; George Venson, founder of Voutsa LLC; Susan Jamieson, founder of Bridget Beari; and Brett Beldock, founder of Brett Design.












                          Rio Hamilton

                          Rio Hamilton is a business development professional with vast marketing and sales experience.He specializes in brand promotion for the luxury interior design and lifestyle industries. Rio works with companies, individuals and groups on concentrated brand identity and elevation. He has a popular website that chronicles "the who's who" at design and fashion events throughout greater New York.

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