Bringing joy to every table is the mission of the nora fleming company. And in an environment founded in trust, laughter and hard work, Nora and her team have found success. This July, Nora and her business partner/brother Jon Neidlinger join us for a chat with Gift Shop's Editor-in-Chief Julie McCallum. In preparation for the excitement in July, we asked Nora a few questions to get acquainted with her and her company.
How would you describe your signature style?
My style is a reflection of what I'm feeling at a particular moment or on a particular day, so it ends up being a combination of modern, edgy and traditional somehow all rolled into one. It also tends to be a mix of high and low, and definitely involves lots of color - always something unexpected!
How did you get your start in this business?
I had a paint-your-own pottery studio and thought how much easier it would be to celebrate different holidays or occasions with one neutral base. After drilling a few holes in the edges of platters and gluing a few sticks onto miniatures, the idea behind nora fleming was born.
Tell us about working with your brother? What are some highs and lows of working together?
Working with my brother Jon has been nothing but pure joy EVERY single moment of EVERY day. (If only that were really the case!) Honestly, it really has been good for both of us. We have different skill sets which were quite defined when we started out - I handled all creative and Jon handled manufacturing, sourcing and logistics. With time, lines have blurred and he has added his touch into many of the designs.
It was harder in the beginning when I had young children and Jon was not yet married. Now that we both have families, I think he better understands the demands of balancing work and home. As we both get older and our company is more established, it is much easier for us to manage our roles at work and our families.
What is your favorite holiday to celebrate and why?
I have always loved Halloween. The idea of decorating and celebrating for one day that is focused on children, and being able to dress up as something other than yourself has always appealed to me. Designing and creating minis for this holiday is one of my favorite things to do!
We love your commitment to giving back. Can you tell us about your work with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital?
Knowing children who have been diagnosed with cancer affects you forever. The work that St. Jude's has done and continues to do is instrumental in saving lives, and we are so proud to be a part of this effort. One of the most rewarding parts of owning a business is sharing with worthy causes, and we are honored to make this concentrated effort to help St Jude's and ultimately, many deserving families. I believe both retailers and customers want to find products that give back in this way - they are making our collection part of their homes, and they want to know that the companies they support have committed to giving back.
You’ve been exhibiting at AmericasMart for more than 10 years now – first in the temps and now in a permanent showroom. What keeps you coming back to Atlanta?
Market has been compared to a circus or carnival, but AmericasMart really is the greatest show on earth! The quality of retailers that comes through Atlanta is top tier - everything from larger retailers with a wide reach to smaller, independent mom and pop boutique stores. AmericasMart also attracts some amazing vendors, including ones we have "grown up" with like Freakers and Hester & Cook. We love to spend the week in January and July visiting with our retailers and our market family. It's part of the reason we set our showroom up the way we did - so people can come hang out and visit and we can all share stories.
On July 12 at 10 a.m., join Gift Shop magazine's editor-in-chief Julie McCallum for a fun and uplifting chat with Nora and her business partner/brother, Jon Neidlinger to discover the secret to growing a brand steadily and deliberately, all while maintaining a commitment to family, their team and their customers. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and get the first look at mini occasions, a beautiful keepsake book of entertaining, recipes and party planning from Nora herself. Add it to your Market Plan!
Immediately following the Q&A, don't miss a meet and greet book signing with Nora in the nora fleming showroom, Building 2, 915B.