Family behind Summer Classics, Gabby, Wendy Jane to receive ARTS Awards honor

Bew White, far right, with his son William White and daughter Wynne White Martin.

DALLAS — The family that owns Gabriella White — parent company of Summer Classics, Gabby and Wendy Jane — will receive the Academy of Achievement honor at the 33rd ARTS Awards taking place at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas on Jan. 6, 2023.

The White family — including Bew White, William White and Wynne White Martin — own multiple furnishings brands and manage a total home assortment of compelling product categories that serve the residential and commercial marketplace.

The ARTS Awards, presented annually during the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market, acknowledges preeminent manufacturers, retailers, interior designers, product designers and sales representatives. The Academy of Achievement, the industry’s highest accolade, recognizes extraordinary contributions to the industry.

“The story of the White family is one of entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity and generosity,” said Cindy Morris, president and CEO of Dallas Market Center. “They built a business that’s extremely well-respected, not only for their products and people, but also for their purpose.”

“The growth of the Gabriella White brands over the years would be reason enough to honor this family,” added Sharon Davis, executive director of ART. “However, it’s their deep values and strong leadership that are being recognized with this accolade. It’s truly an honor to present the Academy of Achievement to a beloved family who continue to lead with heart.”

For more than four decades, the White Family has designed and manufactured luxury outdoor furniture adding luxury indoor furniture, custom upholstery, lighting, pillows, rugs and accessories more recently. Today, Gabriella White offers residential and commercial furnishings across their wholesale, contract and direct-to-consumer divisions via their Summer Classics and Gabby brands.

Company founder Bew White graduated from Auburn University with a degree in textile engineering. In 1978, he began his own sales representative company, the Vista Corp., and in 1987 another of his start-ups, Summer Classics, began to gain traction and solid sales. The company quickly began to be featured by notable retailers including Neiman Marcus, Crate & Barrel, Williams Sonoma and Restoration Hardware.

In 2008, his son William White joined the company and now serves as CEO. In 2009, his daughter Wynne White Martin also joined the company and now serves as national account manager and creative lead for Wendy Jane.

In 2010, the company launched indoor luxury furniture brand Gabby and added Wendy Jane, a collection of handcrafted indoor and outdoor pillows, in 2018.

The Whites have been key donors to Lifeline adoption, cancer research, children’s hospice, church rebuilding, Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way and various Christian ministries. The Summer Classics Halo collection donates a portion of all sales to cancer.

In 2013, Bew White was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Society of International Business Fellows, and in 2021 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Casual Furnishings Assn.

The Academy of Achievement honoree is selected each year by the ARTS Awards Committee in order to recognize significant contributions to the industry. The 33rd ARTS Awards committee members are: Colleen Visage, Progress Lighting; James Merida, Bountiful Home; and Leslie Taglio, Taglio & Associates.

Reservations for the ARTS Awards are now open. Tickets are $170 for ART members and $200 for non-members. Tables are also available.

Sponsors for the ARTS Awards include Aspire Design & Home; Business of Home; Décor News Now; Designers Today; Furniture, Lighting & Décor; Furniture Today; Gifts & Decorative Accessories; Home Accents Today; Home Textiles Today; Interior Design Society; and Sustainable Furnishings Council.

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