May 17, 2021
Patti Carpenter receives Gift for Life’s Industry Achievement Award

Gift for Life, the gift and home industries’ sole charitable organization, announced that global trend ambassador Patti Carpenter will be honored with its 2021 Gift for Life Industry Achievement Award during the 70th Annual Retailer Excellence Awards (REA), taking place virtually on Tuesday, August 3.

Now in its 70 th year, the REAs have served as the longest running and most prestigious awards program for independent retailers in the gift and home industry. Gift for Life’s Industry Achievement Award, which has been presented at the REAs since 2009, recognizes overall excellence and contribution to the gift and home industry – whether as a thought leader, standard-bearer or overall industry influencer.

“Patti’s keen eye for style and trend, coupled with her passion for artisan development and entrepreneurship, make her so deserving of this recognition,” said Cole Daugherty, chair of the Gift for Life board. “Her imprint on the gift and home industry is indelible, and her influence on diversity and equality for artisans and designers will help create new opportunities within our industry for years to come.”

As an international expert in trend research, analysis and forecasting, Carpenter is principal of carpenter + company, an award-winning firm focused on identifying trends in home décor, personal accessories, fragrance and gifts. She began in the world of fashion, and has since developed a career identifying the impact of global color and trends on the world of interior design. She has traveled and worked in 57 countries and has spoken and written on Color + Trend and Design around the globe. She is as an active board member of SERRV International, which is a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization, and an Advisory Board Member of the Black Artists and Designers Guild (BADG).

Currently, she co-chairs the Kaleidoscope Project, a Designer Showhouse venture which spotlights the diverse talent within the creative design industry. The project comes to fruition in May 2021 when the Lenox, MA-based Cornell Inn opens its doors, showcasing the creative talents of 23 Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) designers in 21 bespoke rooms.

“I am both humbled and extremely honored to receive this 2021 Gift For Life Industry Achievement Award. Having now been in this industry for two decades, the support, kindness, care and camaraderie that I have experienced has allowed me to fully realize the passions within me for design and development and to continue to champion diversity. By opening your doors to me at trade shows, showrooms and conferences you have demonstrated what a global family of colleagues can achieve,” said Carpenter.

“Please know that I am empowered by your encouragement. There is no greater example of that than the sheer numbers of you that have supported us in the Kaleidoscope Project for which I will be forever grateful. Through my work with so many of you, I have become a better version of myself. You demonstrate daily the high standards to which I must adhere. My parents initially instilled in my sister and me that to whom much is given, much is required. Your 29 years of example with the work Gift for Life has continuously achieved is a beacon to us all. ‘Thank you’ falls far short of the overwhelming emotions that I am experiencing around this honor. But I do truly thank you all for your faith in me. It means the world and I am blessed to have you all in mine.”

The 2021 Gift for Life Industry Achievement Award will be bestowed to Carpenter at the 70th Annual Retailer Excellence Awards (REAs), which will be presented virtually on Tuesday, August 3. The Retailer Excellence Awards recognize excellence in seven retail awards categories, as well as the vendor and manufacturer’s rep of the year distinctions.

Gift for Life was founded by Peter Schauben of Appleman Schauben in 1992 in response to the tragic loss of industry lives to AIDS.  The organization’s first meeting at the National Stationery Show brought together a cross-section of the industry’s leading publishers, market centers, sales reps, manufacturers and retailers – all willing to convene and work together towards a common goal.

Since that time, Gift for Life has raised nearly $6 million for AIDS research, education, treatment and care through nationwide at-market events, cause marketing programs and direct donations. With COVID-19 temporarily causing cancelation of in-person events at industry markets, Gift for Life has pivoted towards online digital events for the balance of 2021, with a specific emphasis on COVID-related food relief. Adam Glassman, creative director of Oprah Daily, serves as Gift for Life’s 2021 honorary chair and spokesperson. More information is available at

Stationery Trends ST Spring 2024 cover
Get one year of Stationery Trends in both print and digital editions for only $15.

Interested in reading the print issue of Stationery Trends?

Subscribe Today »