Springs Window Fashions Division, Inc., Middleton, WI, has newly defined its relationship with Essex Shade, Hillside, NJ. Under the terms of the new agreement effective in early August 2000, Essex, formerly a distributor and fabricator of Springs' product lines of custom window coverings, will be restructured and renamed Essex Sales & Marketing Group, Inc.
Essex, owned and operated by Stan Yoskowitz and Gary Reinhardt, will be responsible for the sales of Graber and Nanik products within the markets it serves. Springs Window Fashions Division will fabricate Graber product for Essex.
COMFORTEX RECEIVES GLOBAL BUSINESS AWARD
Comfortex Window Fashions, Maplewood, NY, has been named the recipient of the Special Distinction Award presented by the Global Business Network. Thomas Marusak, Comfortex president, accepted the award at the Third Annual Excellence in Export Awards held in May at the Albany Marriott, Albany, NY.
The Global Business Network is a member-supported not-for-profit association of businesses and individuals pursuing global trade opportunities. Comfortex was selected for being a good corporate neighbor among local businesses while increasing the level of visibility of international trade in the Capital Region of New York. Comfortex products are distributed throughout 24 countries on five continents.
ALTERNATIVE WINDOW PRODUCTS OUTPACE OVERALL MARKET
Led by strong growth in shutters and newer categories such as faux wood horizontals and window shadings, the alternative window coverings industry in the United States is expected to continue to generate significant opportunities for manufacturers, suppliers, fabricators and retailers, according to a study released by Sullivan Marketing Group, a Frazer, PA-based business consulting firm.
"The Alternative Window Coverings Information Base: 1999/2000" is the fifth edition of Sullivan's industry study. It examines the U.S. residential market at the manufacturer, fabricator and retail levels. In addition, the report contains demographic and lifestyle profiles of buyers of hard window coverings and other window treatments based on its latest survey of U.S. households.
"This is an exciting time for all participants in the alternative window coverings industry," said Scott Sullivan. "The market is growing at a solid rate. Since 1997, total sales of alternative window coverings in the United States have advanced over four percent a year on average. Fashion-oriented products like window shadings, faux wood horizontals and Roman shades have made very nice, above-average gains. We expect growth in these categories will continue to outpace the overall market through 2004."
NANIK INTRODUCES COLOR PROGRAMS, NEW BROCHURE
Nanik, Wausau, WI, has introduced two new color programs and its new brochure, all of which highlight a designer's ability to customize products for clients.
Nanik's 2001 color selector features refined and sophisticated colors to keep designers on the leading edge of color trends. This new selector showcases a variety of new stains and paints including two new whitewashed stains and two new paints that are matches to Benjamin Moore's top-selling white paint colors.
With the addition of eight new colors and the retiring of five others, there will be a total of 41 standard colors in Nanik's color palette. Designers also will have 30 1 1/2-inch cloth tape colors (19 new colors) and eight new one-inch tapes available to them. Nanik's decorative trim program also will be enhanced with the addition of six new trims, primarily tone-on-tone textured trims.
"The biggest color news at Nanik is that our color palette is infinite because there's no extra charge for custom colors," says Jane Nemke, Nanik brand manager. The company's custom color matching capabilities can match a color swatch as small as one-half inch in diameter from a fabric sample, paint chip or wood chip. "You name it, we've matched it," explains Nemke.
Also kicking off this fall along with the color selector, is the company' new replacement color chip program that allows designers to quickly and easily request 3 1/2-inch replacement color chips of its standard wood blind collection. With this program, designers simply call an 800 number and a replacement color chip will then be shipped directly to them, at no charge, within one business day.
Registered designers with a 2001 color deck qualify for the company's free color chip replacement program. This new program also allows designers to quickly request additional color chips for story board presentations and client meetings while keeping their original color deck intact to serve as a complete, useful reference tool.
Nanik also has a new brochure highlighting these programs and emphasizing a designer's ability to create a signature look. The brochure focuses on the "Nanik difference" in an easy-to-use format. "We wanted to provide designers with a tool that not only contained stunning photography of Nanik wood blinds, but one that was easy for them to work with," explains Tammy Landrath, marketing communications coordinator.
Containing six tabbed sections, a designer will be able to quickly locate the product information he or she is in need of, whether it be horizontals, verticals, Nanik Naturals, specialty shapes, colors/tapes/trims, or custom options.
DRAPERY WORKS FORMS HOLDING COMPANY, SUBSIDIARIES
A recent expansion at Drapery Works, Lisle, IL, has resulted in the formation of a holding company, DWI Systems, Ltd., and four separate subsidiary companies.
Each of the subsidiaries will focus on a specific need in the interior design industry, according to a company statement. All four companies will be headquarted in Lisle, IL.
The four new subsidiaries are: Drapery Works, the original flagship company formed in 1978 is a custom workroom fabricating window treatments, bedding and accessories; Tomek Iron Originals, a new company manufacturing wrought iron rods, interior and exterior gates, stair railings and fencing; Creative Source Showroom, showcasing fine fabrics, trims, hard window products, area rugs, furniture and wall coverings; and Specialty Upholstered Products, manufacturing cornices, headboards, benches and ottomans.
DESIGNER BLINDS OPENS MINNEAPOLIS OFFICE
Designer Blinds, an independent Hunter Douglas Window Fashions fabricator, has opened its newest sales and service office at 7351 Kirkwood Lane North, No. 100, Maple Grove, MN. The company can be contacted at (763) 425-0261, or toll-free at (877) 473-9743. The primary coverage area for the new office is Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.
In addition to being a sales and service office, Designer Blinds has installed the new Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Gallery to showcase the manufacturer's window fashions and technologies with working samples and sample books. The Window Fashions Gallery provides Designer Blinds' dealers an opportunity to share the complete range of Hunter Douglas products with their clients.
Designer Blinds also has offices in Omaha, NE; St. Louis, MO; and Lenexa, KS
YOURBLINDS.COM LAUNCHES ONLINE BUSINESS ADVISORY
In the face of increasing competition and changing consumer needs, YourBlinds.com, Austin, TX, has launched an online business advisory offer to those in the window coverings industry.
The site, www.yourblinds.com, has developed practical how-to's and tools to help business owners in the window coverings industry address concerns critical to them, covering issues such as remaining competitive and maintaining and improving margins. To obtain a password to the site's Offers to Dealers section, e-mail your name, company name, and telephone number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOMEPORTFOLIO, GUILD.COM BRING ORIGINAL ART TO WEB
HomePortfolio, Newton, MA, and GUILD.com, Madison, WI, have launched a new co-branded Web site within the HomePortfolio.com network that will provide Internet-savvy consumers and designers with easy access to the world's largest online collection of original contemporary art.
Visitors to the HomePortfolio site, www.homeportfolio.com, now will be able to search GUILD.com's inventory of 10,000 original works from 1,700 contemporary artists. The collection, juried by an advisory panel of art experts, includes original paintings, photographs, sculpture, ceramics, glass, quilts, tapestries and many other items.
A link to GUILD.com will be provided within a new "Recommended Sites" area located on the HomePortfolio home page. This link will connect to a co-branded Web site created by the two companies.
In the coming weeks, GUILD.com's textiles, lighting, furniture and other home décor objects created by artists will be integrated into HomePortfolio's online catalogue. With 30,000 individual products, this catalogue is the world's largest database of premium home design products.
FASHION EXPANDS TERRITORY WITH COMMAND
Fashion Wallcoverings, Cleveland, OH, has been appointed exclusive distributor for the Command Wallcoverings brand throughout a newly expanded territory, which now includes New England.
With its expansion, Fashion's commercial trading area for Command now includes Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, upstate New York, Ohio, western Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and West Virginia.
"The combination of our experienced sales force and Command's responsiveness and commitment to quality will enable us to better serve all sectors of the commercial market," said Mike EuBanks, commercial sales manager for Fashion.
CHS, PDRA JOIN IN CANADIAN DÉCOR SHOW
The Canadian Hardware and Building Materials Show (CHS), Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, has announced a new alliance with the Paint and Decorating Retailers Association (PDRA), Fenton, MO. The new relationship will significantly enhance and expand the home trends and décor category in Canada's national hardlines trade show.
The PDRA formerly co-produced Interiors, the annual Toronto-based décor showcase attended by more than 6,000 people. The association now will support CHS as its exclusive Canadian trade show.
PDRA will have its own Décor Showcase within the Home Trends and Décor section at the CHS show. In addition to the increased paint, décor and sundries component of the show, educational opportunities at CHS will be broadened with the addition of on-site PDRA seminars and certification courses.
CHS is the largest hardlines trade show in Canada comprising more than 1,500 booths and attracting 20,000 trade visitors. The 96th annual Canadian Hardware and Building Materials Show runs February 4 to 6, 2001, at The National Trade Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For show information call (905) 821-3470; (800) 268-3965; fax: (905) 821-8946; e-mail: email@example.com.
UNEXPECTED CAREER PATHS FOCUS OF IFDA'S STUDENT SEMINAR
"Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg: Explore Unexpected Career Paths in Interior Design" is the focus of a student seminar to be staged by the Education Committee of the International Furnishings & Design Association's (IFDA) New York Chapter during Design Days in New York. The event, scheduled for October 5 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Steelcase, 4 Columbus Circle, features speakers from diversified areas including government and public service; construction and developer; manufacturer and dealer; architecture and interior design and media communications.
Moderating the panel discussion will be Steven Viscusi, president, Viscusi Group, an international search firm, and star of the weekly ABC radio show, "On the Job with Steve Viscusi." Guest panelists include: Anthony J. Waller, MPA, IIDA, deputy director, Center of Expertise Management Office, Public Buildings Service, United States General Services Administration; Joshua Horowitz, RA, AIA, senior vice president, architecture, Tishman Realty & Construction Co., Inc.; Christine Carroll, vice president, design and project management, Empire Office Equipment; and Stephen Apking, partner, Skidmore,
The audience for the event, which is being sponsored by Steelcase New York and the IFDA Education Foundation, will include students from major colleges and design schools throughout the Northeast participating in Design Days. An annual event in New York, Design Days, is sponsored by major firms in the interior furnishings industry.
DDI ADDS TWO PREFERRED SUPPLIERS
Decorating Den Interiors (DDI), Montgomery Village, MD, has add Greeff, a division of Waverly, and Hickory White to the company's list of preferred industry suppliers. Greef offers a designer-oriented line of fabrics and wall coverings; Hickory White is a high-end casegoods and upholstered manufacturer.
The announcement was made in mid-August by Bobbie J. Haseley, DDI senior vice president and general merchandising manager along with Cindy Clarken, account manager, and George Ruch, business sales manager.