New York-based TOV Furniture debuted the Voice Collection—which features designs by prominent Black designers, including Atlantans Erika Ward and Justin Q. Williams—at High Point’s spring market in April. Other contributors were Carmeon Hamilton, Nile Johnson, Don Ricardo Massenburg, and Nicole White.
“We are thrilled to have collaborated with six well-known Black designers from across the US,” says Chaya Krinksy, who founded TOV Furniture in 2013 with her husband Bruce. “Erika Ward and Justin Q. Williams are powerhouse leaders in the design industry, and their unique contributions to this TOV collection are everything we hoped for and more.”
“From a cultural perspective, it was a high honor to be included in TOV’s campaign highlighting furniture design from the viewpoint of a Black designer,” says Ward. “The pieces we created only skimmed the surface of the breadth and depth of our work, but it was certainly a beautiful beginning. The TOV brand made both a statement and financial investment that truly solidified their commitment to amplifying our voices, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”
Since launching her business in 2006, Ward has expanded to working with clients nationwide. She serves as a spokesperson and brand ambassador for ADAC Atlanta, High Point Market, Home Depot, and others and was featured recently on NBC’s Open House series—though she says she’s most proud of her roles as wife to husband Chris and mother of their five children.
Ward created two elegant pieces for the Voice Collection. The Brooke Espresso Walnut Dresser, named after her daughter Brooke, pairs acacia’s natural wood finish with sophisticated accent insets. The other piece is a four-poster, King-sized bed—named after daughter Ava—with a faux suede headboard, acacia wood construction, and contemporary metal posts.
“The TOV project has been an incredible opportunity to flex my design muscles as it relates to a custom piece for mass production. It allowed me to give thoughtful consideration to designing a piece that married my design mantra of timeless and classic with TOV’s adventurous and current aesthetic, while also making it affordable. You could never look at my piece and put a date stamp on it,” Ward told Atlanta.
Williams, who recently appeared on HGTV’s Design Star: Next Gen, was inspired by his parents, who encouraged his interest in design while he was growing up in Alabama. He created four pieces for the Voice Collection, each named for family members and reflecting their personalities. The luxurious Jessie Sectional honors his grandfather—a quintessential gentleman, always well put-together and stylish, according to Williams. The Van Accent Chair, named for Williams’s father, is minimal yet classic, with velvet or vegan-leather tufted upholstery and a polished gold stainless frame. Williams used uniquely abstract, patterned fabric for the Crystal Chair to honor his mother, who he says is always the charismatic life of the party. Finally, his Alon Media Console gets its name and espresso hue from Williams’s standard poodle, while its brass legs and door pulls reflect gold accents from Alon’s collar.
“The TOV Voice collection was an initiative that is long overdue, and the name ‘Voice’ says it all,” Williams said. “This collection highlights representation in an industry where wildly talented designers are too often overlooked and underrepresented. The initiative means the world to me, as I myself have been overlooked after working twice as hard to produce beautiful spaces and content for all to enjoy. It’s a beautiful moment in time that I am truly grateful for.”