Namesake Award Recognizes Creativity, Excitement and Fun in Outdoor Living

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) gave this year’s Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award to O’Malia’s Living in Carmel, Ind. The presentation was made during the ICFA’s Educational Conference in Nashville earlier this month.

The single-unit retailer was lauded for its unique hand-crafted decorative accents placed throughout the store’s outdoor furnishings displays created by a longtime employee. About five years ago, Pat Flatley expressed interest in stepping away from her administrative role and utilizing her more than 20 years’ experience in the floral and corporate decorating business. Owner Scott Horvath set up a 1,500-square-foot laboratory stocked with acrylics, table linens and pillow covers. He says, “The result has been an opportunity to dress up our collections in an ever-changing way that keeps us fresh and looking great.”

The award was established by the ICFA Retail Council in 2017 in memory of Mary Fruehauf, whose Colorado outdoor furnishings store was known for its imaginative visual merchandising and entertaining promotional events.

All ICFA retail members were invited to compete for the award by sending information reviewed by a team of judges, who included industry veterans and close personal friends and colleagues of Fruehauf: Mariah Maydew, who succeeded her as president and CEO of Fruehauf’s in Boulder, Colorado, Cathy Galbreath-Buzbee, owner of ABSCO Fireplace & Patio, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Brian Lawrence, president of Emigh’s Casual Living, Sacramento, California.

The sassy plexiglass trophy was previously presented to Village Green Home and Garden in Rockford, Ill. twice; The Fire House Casual Living Store (now rebranded as Viridien) with stores in Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C. plus a store in Greenville, S.C.; and Great Gatherings, formerly with stores in Virginia and Maryland.