Instead of going into the office, like every other day, yesterday I was awarded the opportunity to go to a Reverse Trade Show, as part of my training for future trade shows. It was a very unique experience for me, and despite the fact that I had to be at work at 5:30 that morning, it is definitely something I would do again.

It was a different experience to be able to mingle in such a way with potential clients. In past jobs that I have held, making a connection with a client was a short-term service. It was nice to be able to present myself to a person I may hear from in the future. The trade show was more about building a real connection with a potential buyer. One of the biggest connections we made was with our real competition in the state-run department-the Jail. I hadn’t realized how many markets we weren’t able to get a firm break into until Adrienne (our Human Resources manager), John (one of our engineers) and I had spoken to the schools, the different counties and other state-run organizations. For State-run schools and offices, they are required to get their furniture from the Virginia Correctional facilities. Making a connection with them puts us in the way of jobs where facilities may need more custom work than those facilities can provide.

While we were there, we learned of other similar opportunities to make some connections with potential customers and suppliers. The entire experience made me feel even more excited about the Healthcare Design trade show I will be exhibiting at in November. After listening to Adrienne present an overview of what our company does and how we might be useful to the exhibitors, she threw John and me into it feet first. “It’s your turn,” she said. I was nervous at first, but after a couple of booths, I had really gotten into the swing of things, and so had John. I learned how to interact with potential clients, how to network, and most importantly, how to pretend like my heels weren’t absolutely killing me. A tip for anyone who may be wearing high heels to any kind of walking and standing event-bring a pair of flats for your downtime, like lunch and presentations. At least some insoles. Maybe something to read during the long lunch between the exhibit hall and the final presentation. (Lunch is really long. Do some networking if you have nothing else to occupy your time. It can only help.)

In the end, the tradeshow was nothing but fun for me. I can’t wait to go to another one, if only for the free pens and candy. (Kidding! Sorta…)


In a regular work week, I work from 8am to 5pm with an hour lunch, sitting at a desk next to my file cabinet and a rather large printer. I make copies, write blogs and send out finish samples. However, as a small company, we all have to do our part to aide in the actual production of pieces, so I spent my Saturday helping out in the factory.

As a desk jockey, it is a bit hard to remember that my job is an easy one compared to those who work out in the factory. It’s hot, it’s loud and it’s kind of monotonous. Not a job I could do day in and day out. I get grumpy when I’m too warm.

I am astonished when I go into the factory to find only smiling, albeit sweaty, personnel. Throughout the day, I notice employees joking with each other and having a good time while piecing together such well crafted furniture. It was a big change from the quiet office.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget about all the work that goes into making such quality furniture, and the people who make it really happen. The factory staff at Sorrentino Mariani is a more than capable, highly skilled, task-oriented bunch. I couldn’t imagine a better crew putting together our custom furniture.

When I started working at Sorrentino Mariani as a part-timer, the factory was in the midst of making and packing the Cheshire line. One of our newest lines, it is one of the most beautiful sets of furniture I’ve ever seen. I have a special attachment to to this line. It is the first group that I saw being made, I supervised the photoshoot, and then I put each image up on the website. Picking up a few extra hours, I even helped work on some of the furniture. I cleaned a few pieces, getting rough edges off and smoothing away excess finish.

This furniture has been sent and is ready to use at the Cheshire Inn in St. Louis, Missouri and I have never wanted to stay at a hotel more than I want to take a vacation to the Cheshire. St. Louis doesn’t interest me personally (but neither does anything west of Pennsylvania). Even so, I have an almost overwhelming desire to see the furniture that I saw through from the building to my actual job as the Marketing Assistant at the most fulfilling job I have ever held.

In truth, the custom furniture we made for the Cheshire Inn is just as beautiful as the Inn itself. The Inn looks as though it has been transplanted straight from England. In the midst of renovations, this St. Louis landmark will restore it’s 1920’s glory to mingle with modern conveniences. Anyone who has ever stayed there only seem to have positive experiences, including a plethora of long-lasting marriages. With a heated outdoor pool and daily tea service, how could anyone, especially myself, ever say no?

You know we are all prepared to make custom furniture to suit your needs, but now you can really see exactly what that means. 7X7.com did an excellent write-up about the Renovated Casa Madrona hotel, which is not only a good way to learn about an amazing getaway location, but a great place to see our furniture in the habitat it was created for. After you’re done, feel free to check out our Sausalito furniture line on the Sorrentino Mariani website! You won’t regret doing either.

Now, there is more to love about this excellent hotel than just our furniture. Originally a mansion for the Barret family in 1885, Casa Madrona became a hotel at the turn of the century. After switching hands a few times since 2002, the hotel got its new stability, as well as its renovation, from MetWest and the Terra Resort Group. With MetWest’s realty experience and the Terra Resort Group’s excellence in hotel management, this hotel will see it’s former glory fully restored.

Welcome to the Hutchess at SMFurniture, the official Sorrentino Mariani blog where you can get an in-depth look at what we do. We are extremely proud of our furniture, lovingly made in America, where we can offer you a quality product that suits your needs.

I am the Hutchess, otherwise known as the Marketing Assistant here at Sorrentino Mariani and I will be keeping you up to date here as well as on Facebook, Twitter and various other social media websites so that no matter what, you can all know what is going on around here. I will answer any questions you may want to ask and provide as much information as you need to keep up-to-date.

I hope you’ll enjoy our furniture as much as I enjoy working for Sorrentino Mariani. Have a Lovely Day.