Designs Of The Interior (DOTI), Barrington, IL, is taking its high-end residential interior design studio franchise concept into retailing. DOTI opened its first retail stores in California and Illinois in May.
The new DOTI Design Stores are located in prime downtown locations in Sacramento, CA, and the Chicago, IL, suburb of LaGrange. They display a sampling of key upholstered furniture, case goods, accessories, lighting and rug lines; enough, says Jim Evanger, CEO of DOTI Franchising, Inc., to communicate the quality and selection that DOTI offers. In the "back room" professional staff designers will maintain a traditional DOTI Design Studio complete with fabric and furnishing samples, catalogs, wallpaper books and work areas, "thus allowing browsers to become full-service DOTI clients," says Evanger.
The Sacramento DOTI Design Store licensee is Terry DeSmet, formerly with Ethan Allen. The new DOTI Design Store in LaGrange, IL, is the former Fredrickson & Farrell, and will be owned and operated by Alicia Farrell. Negotiations are underway for more DOTI Design Stores in Kentucky, Florida and Illinois; also, several current licensees of DOTI Design Studios are considering adding the new retail component.
"DOTI's retail venture is a natural extension of our company-owned and licensed design studio operation," says Evanger. "Our clients want to see and touch the array of products from our vast resources." He says the DOTI studios in Austin, TX; Mequon and Green Bay, WI; Denver, CO; Lexington, KY; and the Chicago suburbs have been "eminently successful" in presenting and selling products in clients' homes. But, Evanger adds, "walk-in customers appreciate the chance to sit in our chairs, feel the fabrics and see vignettes of accessories in a live, retail environment."
SKANDIA RELEASES SEMINAR SCHEDULE
Skandia Window Fashions, Tallahassee, FL, has released the schedule for a series of one-day workshops as an opportunity for window coverings professionals to learn more about the company's easy-to-use and profitable product lines.
Skandia Milestone 2000—SunQuest Shutter Seminar begins this month and runs through early November. Sessions are held in cities across the United States. The dates and locations are listed below. For more information or to enroll call Debra at (800) 523-1250, ext.: 211.
July 24 Nashville, TN Wednesday,
July 26 St. Louis, MO Friday,
July 28 Corona, CA Monday,
August 28 Houston, TX Wednesday,
August 30 Chicago, IL Monday,
September 11 Santa Clarita, CA Wednesday,
September 13 Livermore, CA Friday,
September 15 Sacramento, CA Monday,
September 25 New Orleans, LA Wednesday,
September 27 Newark, NJ Friday,
September 29 Denver, CO Monday,
October 30 Orlando, FL Wednesday,
November 1 Baltimore, MD Friday,
November 3 Phoenix, AZ
WORKROOM EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE SCHEDULED
The Fourth Annual Workroom Educational Conference sponsored by Cheryl Strickland's SewWhat? Newsletter is scheduled for August 25 to 28 at the Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, NC. It is billed as the only educational and networking event exclusively for professional drapery workrooms.
This year 63 classes are slated covering window treatment fabrication, window treatment design, bed covering fabrication, pillows and accessories, slipcovers and upholstery and business and personal growth. Course levels of difficulty will range form basic to advanced. A faculty of 31 instructors will lead the sessions.
The conference also features vendor displays of fabric, trims, hardware, workroom equipment and business tools. Hands-on vendor demonstrations are scheduled every 20 minutes during the last two days of the conference.
For more information, call (800) 222-1415.
SPRING PRODUCT DEBUTS FOR HUNTER DOUGLAS
New window fashions and advanced systems technology highlighted the spring product introductions by Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, Upper Saddle River, NJ. The products were officially launched at a luncheon in early May held in New York City, although were seen first in the company's booth at the International Window Coverings Expo in Baltimore, MD, in April.
Serenette[TM] SoftFold[TM] Shadings is a light-diffusing vertical window ensemble with privacy and light control options. The louvers are 4 1/2 inches wide, made of doubled fabric panels that diffuse light. The louvers rotate for degrees of light control and may be drawn to the side.
The new Country Woods® Collection[TM] includes three lines of painted or stained hardwoods with decorative tapes, valance and cornice options. Country Wood Reflections[TM] offers a wood blind with a 2 5/8-inch slat beveled to resemble the look of shutters.
Country Woods Select[TM] brings the warmth of natural wood with three rustic looks and five premium choices in genuine oak, cherry and maple.
Named the Best New Safety Innovation of the year by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA), the exclusive LiteRise Touch[TM] System is a hidden control system with no external cords. (See D&WC, May 2000.) Especially well suited for large windows, the system makes even large blinds easy to lift by hand.
Home automation has been brought to the Duette® with PowerRise® battery-operated shades. An adapter and infrared transmitter work with an X-10 system to control shades all over a house using signals transmitted through the AC home wiring.
OXFORD HOUSE EXPANDS PRODUCT DISTRIBUTION
Oxford House, Oxford, IN, has expanded distribution of its Sheer Radiance vertical sheer-wrap product through more than a dozen fabricators/distributors.
"Wholesale dealers like to purchase products from their local suppliers as often as possible, such as suppliers they know by name and have good working relationships with. We believe that through local fabrication and distribution, the wholesale dealers will be better supported," said Oxford House's Polet Senesac.
The company's new distributors are: Window Modes, New York, NY; Onthank, Des Moines, IA; DDI, Los Angeles, CA; Unique Wholesalers, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; DSC, Arvada, CO; MGN, Des Moines, IA; Heritage Window Fashions, Naples, FL; Franklin, Grandview, MO; Wyman/Empire, Sacramento, CA; Custom Blind Fabricators, Warren, MI; Krohns Coverings, Colorado Springs, CO; Start, Grand Rapids, MI; and Blinds by Vertican, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.
BUCKEYE LAUNCHES WEB PRESENCE
Buckeye Metals Industries, Cleveland, OH, has joined the host of window coverings industry suppliers with a Web presence by launching its own home page: www.buckeyemetals.com.
Visitors to its site can view drawings and specifications for the company's lines of drapery and blind hardware including vane weights and metal brackets and installation clips. The site also provides e-mail connections to contact the company and to request more information on products.
WINDOW MODES ADDS FIVE SHOWROOMS
Window Modes, Ltd., Elmsford, NY, announces it has expanded into five new representative showrooms.
The new showrooms are: Charles Osborne, Atlanta, GA; John Edward Hughes, Inc., Dallas and Houston, TX; Windows of the World, Miami, FL; and Blinds & Designs, Detroit, MI.
This expansion program will bring Window Modes' exclusive product lines to major markets across the country, according to a company statement.
BAMBOO ABBOTT RELOCATES
Bamboo Abbott Florida Corp. has relocated to 750 NW 33rd St., Ste. A, Pompano Beach, FL, 33064. The company can be contacted at (800) 486-3449.
The new location is a 25,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility that will enable the company to increase production. "The new facility will allow us to stock more items and offer our customers a wider range of products and services," said Alan Rakitin, president. A launch of new product lines is planned for this fall, he added.
The company had occupied its previous location for more than 20 years and had been planning its move for more than two years.
MARK WINDOW PRODUCTS EXPANDS
Mark Window Products, Santa Ana, CA, has opened an additional production facility for custom window fashions. The new 24,000-square-foot factory began production in May and joins the company's existing facilities in Orange County, CA, to bring the company's total production capacity to 70,000 square feet.
"Phenomenal sales growth in all product lines created the need for our expansion," said Bob Jackowski, president. Mark Window Products began in business in 1962 and is a leading fabricator and distributor of window fashions marketed throughout the world.
ITA OPENS NEW DISTRIBUTION CENTER
ITA, Inc., St. Augustine, FL, has established a new distribution facility in Oxnard, CA, for the company's MikronWood[TM] product line.
The new center was opened to fulfill small quantity orders. Any orders received by noon will be shipped the same day, the company says. Large truckload orders will continue to be serviced from the main distribution center, it adds.
MikronWood is a composite material for two-inch horizontal blind slats that combine wood fibers with thermoplastic resin alloy manufactured by Mikron Industries.
CUSTOM SHUTTER SERVICE ADDED
DC Custom Drapery Workroom & Expert Installations, Westmont, IL, is expanding its custom shutter measuring and installation service. The company now offers a premium design, measuring and installation service to its clients in the design community.
Through this program, company personnel will visit the site, design, measure, schedule and install plantation shutters and provide photographic design and documentation. The cost is based on order size, travel expenses and time to complete the project. The company says the program is offered to save time, increase efficiency, limit errors and assure the success of a designer's shutter project.
INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITORS BOOST HOME TEXTILES SHOW
The 17th semi-annual New York Home Textiles Show® featured its most extensive collection of international exhibitors to date, according to show organizers George Little Management Inc. Held March 31 to April 3 in New York's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, the bed, bath and home accessories show presented 413 exhibitors in nearly 80,000 square feet. In addition, 7,500 retailers from around the world attended, a 10 percent increase over last year.
The spring show featured 146 international exhibitors including 79 individual foreign-based companies and six government-sponsored international pavilions comprising 67 companies. The show's attendees included many national retail department and specialty store chains, mail order and catalog merchandisers and interior designers.
The show featured bed and bath fashions, table linens, kitchen textiles, area rugs, window treatments, fashion hardware, decorative accessories, accent furniture, tabletop, decorative pillows and infant and juvenile merchandise.
The 18th semi-annual show is scheduled for September 22 to 25 also at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
RECORD SESSION FOR MAISON & OBJET
A record session was reported for maison & objet, the international home decoration, giftware and tableware exhibition held January 14 to 18 in Paris, France. In all 13,427 international buyers (26 percent of the total attendance of 50,908) attended.
A survey by the show producers indicates an increase in the number of buyers from the United States and a return of Asian buyers with a strong presence from Japan and Korea. From Europe, there was a strong increase in Italian and German buyers.
The next session of maison & objet will be held at the same time as Lumiere Paris from September 8 to 12 at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre. For information visit www.promosalons.com and www.maison-objet.com.
HULSMAN ADDS TWO DIVISIONS
William Hulsman, Ltd., Atelier, a division of William Hulsman, Inc., Beverly, MA, has added two new divisions to its operation.
Among the first in the home design industry to emulate a concept introduced by fashion couturiers, Hulsman now offers a ready-to-wear line for windows, beds and tables. But unlike ready-to-wear clothing that comes off the rack in pre-set sizes, these fashions are customized to fit.
Hulman's new hardline window products include painted and wrought iron hardware, shutters, woven shades and wood blinds. The products are produced by handpicked manufacturers and available on Hulsman's private label. Also available are motorization systems for draperies and shades.
FSC SCHEDULES LEARNING CONFERENCE
FSC Wallcoverings, New York, NY, has scheduled its fifth annual Learning Conference for Interior Solutions for July 27 to 29 at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel in East Rutherford, NJ.
There are 145 select retailers in the company's Interior Solutions program, chosen for their progressive retail strategies, says Susan Colicchio, merchandising manager and event director. The conference provides the opportunity for independent retailers to brainstorm and exchange strategies and preview the company's wallpaper, border and decorating accessories.