The High Point Market Authority  (HPMA) recently won the EXCITE Award  for Best Use of Social Media for its Style Spotters  program. The program, which launched in October 2011, recruits eight interior designers and design bloggers to post a limited number of their favorite market finds to Pinterest . Exhibitors featured receive a sign to display in their showroom with a QR code that links to the board featuring their product. Market attendees can vote for their favorite board by repinning or “liking” the choices displayed, and the winning designer gets a free trip to the next High Point show.
For the upcoming Oct. 13-18 show, HPMA added a ninth Style Spotters slot, which they left open and selected 15 contenders  to compete for the honor. Somehow, I made the cut!
Each finalist had to use an online app called Olioboard  to design a room using only a finite array of products that were introduced at the April market. Part CAD tool, part community, Olioboard is free to use, but does have pro features that require an upgrade.
Anyone can cast a vote  for a finalist’s board between now and Aug. 22. In fact, you can even vote  once per day. The site just requires you to create an account in order to vote . The board with the most votes will determine the winner.
While the Olioboard platform is fairly intuitive and I certainly make product selections everyday for the magazine, designing my entry gave me a whole new respect for the professionals who go to school for formal training in interior design, and who are paid a well-deserved fee for their services.
For that reason, I don't necessarily expect to win going up against a dynamic field of real decorators. I even titled my board  “I’m Not an Interior Designer, but I Play One at HP” as a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement of my amateur status. But I’m just competitive enough to ask for your vote . And I honestly think I’d make a darn good Style Spotter, particularly because I would inevitably give greater exposure to the lighting category with my finds.
So I’m humbly asking for your vote . Click the plus sign next to my board , create a free account on Olioboard (if you’re not already on it) to make it official and you’ll be one step closer to enabling a lighting gal to spread the gospel and regain her dignity.