New Kids at The Mart Take Gold



On Thursday, September 30, the team from Mantra Inspired Furniture (Mantra IF) arrived at the Merchandise Mart in Downtown Chicago to prepare a one-of-a-kind, pop-up showroom. As first-time exhibitors at NeoCon – the most important event of the year for the commercial design industry since 1969 – Mantra IF had anticipated this opportunity to introduce its collections on a national stage for many months. Returning after a 2020 pandemic-forced hiatus, the annual event shifted from June to October and welcomed its familiar frenzy of renowned vendors who plan their year with this gathering in mind.


With multiple levels of exhibitors breathing innovation into floors, ceilings, furniture, fixtures, and everything in between, there is no substitute to being onsite for this designers’ paradise. Right there in the mix were hand-picked pieces from Mantra IF’s Ellis, Clayborne, and Lowe Loop collections, attracting the notice of peers and judges.


To our delight, the judging panel announced on Monday, October 4 – the first full day of the exhibit – that the Ellis Benching System won Gold for Best of NeoCon 2021 in the Benching category. This innovation from Mantra IF received the prestigious award based on design, function, and overall quality. As thousands of people wandered through our showroom over the next three days, our trophy and the Ellis desk-with-storage benching system said it all. Mantra IF came to NeoCon and found its place.


Click HERE for the full list of Best of NeoCon award winners.




Ahead of the NeoCon awards, the Mantra IF team had a big reason to smile when Interior Design magazine honored Susan Pilato – our founder and CEO – with the HiP for Greater Good award in the Furniture Manufacturing category on Sunday, October 3. Now in its 8th year, these awards honor commercial industry pioneers and achievements in product design. Susan’s recognition for her tireless and dedicated efforts towards the design and creation of Mantra IF was the icing on the cake of our inaugural NeoCon experience.


Click HERE for the full list of HiP award winners.



Back at the office, the fun (and the work) begins anew! We made inspiring connections in Chicago with colleagues who provided positive feedback about Mantra IF and its future in the interior design industry. Our passionate message of sustainability resonated in our introduction of the Ellis Bench, Lowe Loop Desk, Clayborne Credenza, and Clayborne Conference Table. While we couldn’t bring every piece with the Mantra IF name stamped on its side, we are confident that the introduction leaves everyone with an emerging commercial design plan wanting more. We approach 2022 with a sharpened strategy and our eye on continued growth and recognition. Solid wood proves it has a place in the workplace, and we are here to help it stand out or fit in, as needed. We are excited to see you in ’22.