Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cute & Compact Steals the Show

The possibilities seem endless with Terra Nova Nurseries’ Heuchera Little Cuties™ series! A result of breeding excellence by the company’s plant gurus, all seven varieties have compact, ever-blooming habits ideal for a variety of plant combinations and garden or landscape designs.

Capitalizing on the series’ striking features and range of attributes, our branding aficionados here at ECPR created a press campaign about the varieties that had media representatives and attendees buzzing at the 2013 California Spring Trials.

One of the media interviews we secured and pre-scheduled for our client was with the editors of Greenhouse Management. The editors got the on-site scoop from Chuck Pavlich, director of new product development at Terra Nova Nurseries, and produced a video that is well on its way to being viral. The interview included several means of communicating information about the Cuties series to their readers and followers.

Whether you are a professional horticulturist, grower, retailer, landscape designer, or simply have a love of all things living, little and cute, check out the video below and get your “green” on!

The Heuchera Little Cuties™ series consists of seven varieties, including Heuchera ‘Blondie’, Heuchera ‘Coco’, Heuchera ‘Frost’, Heuchera ‘Ginger Snap’, Heuchera Peppermint’, Heuchera ‘Sugar Berry’, and Heuchera ‘Sweet Tart’.

Growers, wholesalers, re-wholesalers, retailers, landscape professionals, and home gardeners can learn more about these varieties by viewing the plant profile pages at

If you're interested in learning more about Terra Nova Nurseries' varieties that are bred for indoor and outdoor success, check out Greenhouse Management's recent article on great indoor varieties; this includes features on the company's Heuchera Little Cuties™ series and Begonia Cocoa™ series.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Multi-Task Designing "On Brand"

Our team, at Eberly & Collard Public Relations, unifies years of experience with a mix of expertise and skills across 11 industry sectors, one of which is interior design. On our blog and in near-countless published trade and consumer / mainstream publications each year, we byline articles and narratives to feature eye-catching residential and commercial design projects. One such project warrants recognition at the talented hands of the team at Koncept Design Studio.

Recently, Lennar Corporation, one of the nation’s leading home builders, turned to one-of-a-kind design firm Koncept Design Studio, for both marketing and commercial interior design support. These industry experts collaborated on the interior design of the clubhouse and other spaces at The Oaks at Johns Creek apartment homes in Johns Creek, Georgia. But, they didn’t stop there. The Koncept Design Studio staff created corresponding print and interactive marketing materials to reach the identified demographic of desired tenants.

Balancing modern with traditional, the new clubhouse boasts transitional design elements well suited for the community’s key demographic of urbanites. The large layout encompasses areas for entertainment, interaction and solitude that cater to a variety of activities and conveniences. Koncept Design Studio’s team had all this in mind as they installed comfortable seating in chat-formations with a warm, earthy color palette. The design provides an inviting look and feel to the space’s interior. 

Photo courtesy of Koncept Design Studio
Furniture in the deep- and wide-seating style was chosen and then placed to imbue settings that could be used by residents for multiple purposes- from group conversation and parties with invited guests to reading alone in a chair upholstered with carefully chosen plush fabric. One area was designed for watching television on a state-of-the-art big screen flanked by easy-chairs for viewers.

The clubhouse was given a grounded sense of place with a stacked shaped tile in a coco color, featuring area rugs boasting a juxtaposition of zig-zag motifs in corresponding browns, tans, creams, and pale yellows. To top off and highlight the room, Koncept Design Studio hung a breath-taking pendant chandelier showcasing the trendy spider-leg style hanging lights.

Koncept Design Studio worked closely with Lennar’s architects to enhance the clubhouse’s overall layout of space for design, function and execution. Team members across the companies worked efficiently and coordinated all aspects of communication, scheduling and delivery to ensure deadlines were met. An essential key to the project’s success also included the internal collaboration among Koncept Design Studio’s creative and interiors team. In-house partnerships were established to share insight on the clubhouse’s color scheme and overall design. This also allowed the company’s promotional experts to brand the community in line with the interiors.

True to the same color palette for the interior design deliverables, Koncept Design Studio’s celebrated creative team executed a range of print collateral and digital materials to reflect the interiors and overall ambience of the new community. The company created a colorful, information-filled brochure as a hand-out for potential residents and a website to provide an online glimpse of the apartment home floor plans, a photo gallery and local amenities. Staying “on brand,” as we like to say at ECPR, they also produced a two-minute video for the new apartment community to yield a truly interactive experience online.
Photo courtesy of 
Serving as an industry leader in branding for almost 20 years, Koncept Design Studio has offered the addition of interior design services for the commercial sector since 2009. With interactive, creative, interior, and promotional studios, the company’s portfolio expands across nearly every genre of design work. Flawlessly executed branding campaigns and innovative interiors have earned Koncept Design Studio national recognition and several accolades. The company’s ability to assist and guide its clients through both the design and branding process is a unique trait, one our own publicity team can both appreciate and applaud.

The Oaks at Johns Creek apartment homes are a great example of building, commercial interior design and marketing collaboration. Apartments are now available to lease, and interested tenants can learn more about the community and its amenities by visiting:

Friday, May 17, 2013

Designing a Brand that Lasts

Mary McDonald & Martyn Lawrence Bullard
Photo courtesy of Dwell magazine
As public relations practitioners, it is our role to establish and strengthen media relationships, stay abreast of the latest social media trends, and help our clients improve upon their branding techniques and publicity strategies. One way to keep the creative ideas flowing for our team as well as for clients is staying on top of activities, events and seminars within our 11 industry sectors.

Last week, our team members were fortunate enough to attend one of DESIGN ADAC’s keynote presentations, “Building your Brand as an Interior Designer,” which featured VERANDA editor-in-chief Dara Caponigro and celebrated designers Mary McDonald and Martyn Lawrence Bullard.

Caponigro moderated for McDonald and Bullard, who unveiled how they entered the world of design as well as shared the ways in which they uncovered the secrets to building, maintaining and growing successful brands.

Given our more-than-decade-long experience managing branding and public relations for designers (among others) here at ECPR, we enjoyed hearing them refer to “being published” as an essential business function for designers to achieve success.

Photo courtesy of 
Two of our team members, Dominique de Bruin and Katherine Merkel, reflect in this blog post on the event’s topic and how it translates to the services ECPR offers its own clients.

Katherine’s Observations…McDonald and Bullard honored a room of design enthusiasts with a glimpse into their back-stories and how they’ve continued to grow their talents into highly marketable services and product lines around the world. As a PR practitioner, I was especially intrigued to learn which branding techniques they feel are essential for designers.

Aside from their natural ability and unwavering devotion to all things related to high-end style, McDonald and Bullard admitted they got their starts in the industry by a series of positive happenings, perhaps even some being coincidences. Clearly, we would say, their magnanimous personalities, hard work, and impressive design talent had something to do with their successes. Designers and PR strategists alike, we all know that only with the combination of experience and diligence it is possible to earn a renowned presence in the design field. Undoubtedly, it takes immense amounts of work.

Ringing true in my mind, the panelists agreed a major factor in their success was having their design work published. According to McDonald, one of the best ways to break onto the design scene is to decorate your own home and strive for it to be published. I found this comment to be spot-on; we work with editors and bloggers all the time to cover designer-clients’ homes. It is one of the most published types of content in home, design and shelter publications, both in print and online.

Individually, each designer reflected on the importance and benefits that come with a published design feature. McDonald was quick to point out that if a designer’s work is good it will be published, and once it’s out there people will call. However, once the job requests start flowing in, Bullard made sure to stress the significance of strategically accepting and declining jobs to boost one’s career.

At that point Bullard and McDonald offered guests what I thought was the best branding advice a designer can have. “It’s not what you accept, it’s what you turn down,” said Bullard. “You need to find the jobs that pay and the ones that move your career forward,” McDonald added. “To make a business grow you have to find better jobs, not necessarily bigger ones.”

~ Katherine

Photo courtesy of 
From Dominique…Using humor and wit, McDonald and Bullard captivated their audience, me included, with fun anecdotes whilst revealing their best-kept secrets for brand awareness. Most known for their roles on the Bravo TV hit “Million Dollar Decorators,” McDonald and Bullard are two of the industry’s most successful interior designers. With A-List clients and celebrity status, these two designers do not shy away from success, they embrace it.

This brings me to one of the aspects I found most interesting during the brand building session. It wasn’t until McDonald and Bullard reached stardom that they grasped the importance of outsourcing public relations services. Both were adamant that without the help of PR practitioners at this point in their careers, they simply would not have time to secure opportunities to have their design projects published in magazines. They also stressed the role of PR service-providers as being key in attaining certain speaking engagements or connections around the globe. They noted, as a designer, your design work is first and foremost the main priority.

McDonald and Bullard are incredible case-studies that showcase the power of publicity. Their career paths to achieve star status were dotted with print, online and on-air coverage of their expertise and design installations.

For most designers, star status or simply becoming well-known most often occurs by way of a diverse design portfolio combined with an ongoing professional public relations plan. Budgets may be tight in today’s economy, but the importance of getting your company’s name and projects consistently in front of potential clients is worth the return on investment.

Our goal at ECPR is to help our clients convey company and product collection or design service information in the ways in which their important audience members (their clients, media contacts and others) want and need to receive it. For more information about ECPR’s public relations services, visit our firm’s website at Contact us with your comments and questions.

~ Dominique

Dara Capinigro, Editor-in-Chief VERANDA magazine
Photos courtesy of
Our thanks to ADAC and VERANDA for planning one of the best design engagements of the year, and our gratitude to McDonald and Bullard for sharing their insights with those of us who were fortunate enough to attend.

Monday, May 6, 2013

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: STRIKER®

The ultra-thin FLEXiT Light by STRIKER® will be showcased at the National Hardware Show this week in Las Vegas. A hands free, flexible, LED, task light, FLEXiT allows an unlimited amount of light projections. Thanks to its durable Shape-Loc™ frame, consumers can easily bend, fold, wrap, stick, or hook the product on or around objects to create a focused spot or broad flood of light.

One of the most unique and innovative task lights on the market, FLEXiT uses 16 Lumen Tech™ LEDs with three light functions; low, medium and high. The product includes a durable ABS base that holds 3 AA batteries, an electronic switch and circuit, two large neodymium magnets, and a loop to hang or mount the light. The FLEXiT is 0.85 inches thick, 7 inches wide, and 13 inches tall.

Stop by STRIKER’s booth at NHS to witness FLEXiT’s countless capabilities. Attendees can check out how it wraps around tubes, bends into tight corners or magnetically fastens to metal objects. Learn more about STRIKER’s FLEXiT by visiting

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: 3M

3M is bringing the latest technology in wall repair to this year’s National Hardware Show, which kicks off tomorrow. 3M™ Patch Plus Primer will make its NHS debut as the only product on the market that uses nanotechnology to create a quick-drying, strong, even patch in just one easy step. Designed with pro-painters and DIYers in mind, this product creates an easier prep-process that addresses common challenges when patching a wall; such as shrinking, cracking and changes in paint sheen.

Featuring all the benefits of a lightweight spackling with the strength of a heavyweight spackling, 3M Patch Plus Primer delivers strong repairs up to three times faster than other products. Advanced acrylic resins offer great paint anchoring and the specially engineered fillers pack together to resist shrinking and provide strength. For optimal performance, this primer should be used on drywall, plaster, wood, stucco, and concrete surfaces.

Engineered nanoparticles create a primer-like film on surfaces, allowing the repair to be virtually invisible under dried paint and offering professional-looking results. Square packaging was developed to easily accommodate a three-inch putty knife, and the product’s lid was created to be easier to open than traditional spackling products that require a putty knife to remove the lid.

Innovative and ahead of the industry, there is no doubt the 3M Patch Plus Primer will be a success at NHS 2013. For more information, visit or follow @3MNews on Twitter.

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Nexgrill Industries, Inc.

The KitchenAid® Deluxe Stainless Steel Gas Grill will be heating things up at the National Hardware Show this week. Nexgrill Industries, Inc. will be showcasing the KitchenAid Grill and its exclusive Even-Heat™ Technology. With stainless steel burners, angled porcelain flame tamers and enhanced grates working together to distribute consistent heat across the entire grill surface, this product offers consumers grilling at its best!

Equipped with 52,000 BTU’s, five 304 stainless steel main burners that individually ignite with push and turn electronic automatic ignition and a total grilling surface of 696.8 square inches, this grill leaves others in envy. On top of a phenomenal cooking performance, its heavy duty 304 stainless steel wrapped cooking grids makes cleaning up a breeze. The KitchenAid Grill is built with the industry’s highest corrosion-resistant materials. Its 32-inch firebox is constructed with porcelain-coated steel and comes with a dual-walled stainless steel main lid that insulates heat during cooking. A deluxe temperature gauge sits atop the main lid to easily maintain and adjust cooking temperatures. For added convenience, the fuel supply can be converted from liquid propane gas to natural gas with a natural gas conversion kit.

The KitchenAid Grill will be a top item at NHS 2013. Its extreme durability and reliable 10-year warranty on the 304 stainless steel burners will have everyone talking. It’s safe to say this product will keep consumers grilling in style for many years to come!

To learn more about the KitchenAid Grill visit the company's website at

Friday, May 3, 2013

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Nufoot

Revolutionizing indoor footwear is the innovative alternative to socks and slippers, Nufoot. Appearing next week at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, the protective footwear is a patented design that contains anti-microbial and is water-resistant. With skid-resistant soles, they are the perfect footwear to use while cleaning hardwood floors or taking a shower. Nufoot also offers a more durable, sanitary alternative to traditional patient socks and are worth packing in the overnight bag before a hospital stay.

Sleek and durable, Nufoot is made of a four-way stretch material that is available in both adult and children sizes. The product is accommodating to all shapes of feet, providing unparalleled comfort while retaining moisture to relieve cracked skin and heels. 

Whether kids slip them on before running around for an inside game of cops and robbers or mom takes a pair to the spa, Nufoot is the ultimate protective footwear option for all members of the family. Its multi-use appeal and various design styles with countless colors options will be more than enough to turn heads at NHS 2013.

To learn more about this revolutionary footwear product visit Nufoot’s website at

Thursday, May 2, 2013

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Scoot Products

Scoot Absorbent Powder is one of the easiest, most effective cleaners on the market! This product will take the hard work out of scrubbing stains away, saving consumers time and money.

The powder absorbs and deodorizes liquid spills and pet accidents without perfumes. Tested and used by professional carpet cleaners for 20 years, Scoot Absorbent Powder has an amazing formula comparable to a thousand tiny sponges. By covering the spill with a thin layer of Absorbent Powder and allowing the application to fully dry, the product neutralizes pH levels and absorbs 60% of its own liquid. Once the excess powder is vacuumed the carpet or upholstery will look and feel clean.

Scoot Absorbent Powder may be a household product, but it is professional grade. With 20 years of success on the market, Scoot Products’ booth at NHS will undoubtedly be packed!

To learn more about Scoot Products and Absorbent Powder visit the company's website at

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: MAS Un Limited

MAS Un Limited’s “Simply Dump It” pivoting wheelbarrow handles have definitely captured the attention of the ECPR team. The patented pivoting handle grips enable users to lift, control and deliver heavy loads more safely and easily, which ultimately makes gardening projects seem a little less daunting.

Winning the top award at the 2011 Ergonomic Conference and Expo and a Top-10 honorable mention at the 2012 World Ag Expo, consumers are flocking to garden centers and retail stores to purchase “Simply Dump It” wheelbarrow handles. “Reports show that retail store sales of wheelbarrows increase 20%-30% when the 'Simply Dump It' pivoting handles are installed, displayed, and demonstrated on a wheelbarrow floor-model,” says John Zaza, director of sales for Simply Dump It / MAS Un Limited.

The durable, nylon grips install in minutes on most wood or metal wheelbarrow handles. Physician-endorsed, these handles pivot when lifted which helps protect wrists from excessive rotation and weight loading. In addition, the handles aid in reducing the torque on elbows and lower backs.

Retailers and media members, stop by MAS Un Limited’s booth (8747) at the National Hardware Show to see live demonstrations of the “Simply Dump It” wheelbarrow handles. And, for more information about this innovative product, visit

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Think Mint Incorporated

There are no comparisons to Think Mint Incorporated’s MagniMoist™ basket liners. The smart fiber is an all-natural, U.S.-grown formulation with a 100% recycled binder, allowing plants to fully hydrate before water escapes. Available for use in wire baskets, potted plants and landscapes, this revolutionary soil-hydration fiber will be showcased at this year’s National Hardware Show along with several of the garden industries’ latest innovations.

Magnimoist fibers are easy to cut and shape, fitting into a variety of containers and planting beds. Sizes are available for round wire baskets, wall baskets, window boxes, liner sheets, mats and bulk rolls. When placed below the growing medium, the liners deflect water into the dry medium, successfully spreading water throughout and hydrating the plants. After full saturation, the pads and liners become porous, releasing only excess water, ultimately reducing runoff and enhancing plant uptake to save gardeners more fertilizer.

Magnimoist will give this year’s NHS attendees a lot to talk about with its proven ability to improve the look and health of plants by magnifying the water-holding capacity of potting soil. Be sure to stop by their booth to see how MagniMoist liners can help gardeners and landscapers grow more vibrant and colorful hanging baskets this season.

To learn more about Magnimoist visit the company’s website at