Earlier this week I was in New York City for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), which is held annually at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Living so close to the City makes it easy to go in for the day to check out special events and exhibitions such as this one.

The diversity of the show was fascinating to me. Like most of you, I usually attend exhibitions that are specific to the stone and tile industries. So it was fun to stroll through the aisles and see funky lighting fixtures, beautiful textiles and unique pieces of furniture.

International Contemporary Furniture Fair

Antolini Luigi was among several stone and tile companies who exhibited at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), which was held this week at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

As I was taking it all in, I happened to look up at this one booth that immediately caught my attention. There were numerous stone pillars that had tops that reminded me of pencil tips. Of course, I shouldn't have been surprised when I learned it was Antolini Luigi's booth. Our publisher, Alex Bachrach, was by my side so we both stopped to talk with one of the company's sales representatives, who explained that the stone used for the pillars was a Spanish fossilized limestone in a veneer format. While the limestone is available in slabs, tiles and cut-to-size pieces, Antolini wanted to illustrate the design possibilities.

Those who know Antolini know that they are a brand that is always thinking outside the box. They push the limits of creativity and offer materials that inspire design.

But thinking outside the box doesn't have to be as grand. It can be something simpler that achieves the same results. I have sat in on a couple of fabricator forums lately, and one thing that comes up is that you should find your niche. See what customers are looking for and fill that need. Whether it is carrying a certain type of stone or offering a unique finish -- or just being known for top-notch customer service -- can make all the difference in the success of your business.

Antolini was among a few stone and tile companies that exhibited at ICFF. Those we spoke with said that the show was good for them. Exhibiting at a show that showcases a broad spectrum of products can be a smart idea if it is the right market. It is a way to set yourself apart from your competitors. Sometimes it just has to be a little thing you do that makes a difference and helps build a successful company and brand.