SPRINGS PARTNERS WITH KRAVET TO MARKET
Springs Window Fashions LP, Middleton, WI, will partner with Kravet, Inc. to market an exclusive line of Nanik brand window products to residential and commercial hospitality channels.
Kravet’s experienced national sales force and showrooms in major metropolitan regions will help Springs Window Fashions grow sales of its luxury line of window fashions.
Ron Zabel, Springs Window Fashions president, said, “Our affiliation with Kravet provides a solid foundation to grow our business by providing exceptional sales and marketing expertise and increase Nanik brand awareness.”
Nanik brand window products include a wide variety of custom-made wood blinds. Kravet will market these products to interior designers, fine hotels and other markets and will support Essex Sales & Marketing, Inc. in markets where Essex represents Nanik products. The Kravet sales force also will be a valuable resource for an existing network of Springs Window Fashions distributors who supply Nanik brand products to their customers. The Timberline® brand program from Springs Window Fashions is not included in the agreement with Kravet, Zabel said.
Nanik, Graber®, and Bali® brands are marketed by Springs Window Fashions LP, a subsidiary of Springs Industries, Inc. (see D&WC, October 2003, page 22).
WCMA PRODUCT INNOVATION AWARDS CALL FOR ENTRIES
The entry deadline for the Window Covering Manufacturers Association’s (WCMA) Product Innovation Awards is Friday, January 30. The awards program will be held on April 14, 2004, in conjunction with the International Window Coverings Expo in Baltimore, MD.
In addition, all entries will be displayed on the exhibit floor and the new WCMA Web site with a link to the company’s home page. Companies will be honored for their design creativity, technical advancement and overall innovation in the products and services of the window coverings industry during the past year (see D&WC, April 2003, page 28).
Entries will be judged in the following product categories: alternative shading products, cellular shades, curtains and draperies, horizontal blinds, motorization, pleated and roller shades, shutters, specialty applications, verticals, wood blinds/shadings (wood, faux wood) and merchandising. In each product category, awards will be presented for best new technical innovation, best new style concept, most innovative overall design and best safety innovation.
There also are three overall categories: Product of the Year, Safety Innovation of the Year and Rising Star. The Product Innovation Awards Program is open to all manufacturers and suppliers of window coverings products in the United States and Canada. For more information or to submit an entry contact Suprena Millet at (212) 297-2122.
BREWSTER, HEDSTROM LINK PRODUCTS
Brewster Wallcovering Co., Randolph, MA, and Hedstrom Corp., Chicago, IL, are joining efforts to expand each other’s businesses. Brewster is a one of the largest producers of wall coverings and Hedstrom is a leader in children’s play and leisure products.
Through collaboration, the two companies will work to build Brewster’s six brands of wall coverings along with Hedstrom’s proprietary technology of self-stick wall décor marketed as Stick-Ups by Priss Prints. Hedstrom will assist Brewster in gaining some of the most wanted licensed properties for its wall coverings, and Brewster will provide Hedstrom with designs to apply to Stick-Ups for the adult home décor category and the children’s category.
HUNTER DOUGLAS, TUPELO AWARDED VPP STAR SITE
Hunter Douglas, Tupelo (MS) has been recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for excellence in its safety and health program. An award ceremony was held October 9, 2003. The company was awarded one of the highest levels that OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) offers: the VPP Star Site. It is one of only 1,000 VPP Star Sites in the United States.
A Star Site meets all the safety and health requirements of OHSA’s VPP including a high degree of management support and employee involvement, a high-quality work site analysis program, hazard prevention and control programs and comprehensive safety and health training for all employees.
“Being awarded a VPP Star Site means that our company is a partner with OSHA, that safety is a part of the way we work and that the company cares and wants its employees to enjoy a healthy workplace, coming to work and returning home safe and sound each day,” said Mitzi Sartin, Hunter Douglas, Tupelo Safety Committee Spokeswoman.
CACO ADDS NEW MANUFACTURING FACILITY
CACO, Inc., Window Fashions, Johnson City, TN, has recently expanded
its manufacturing space to two independent production facilities.
CACO now totals more than 50,000 square feet of manufacturing and
With the new building the company is able to boost its manufacturing capacity by having a dedicated plant exclusively for two-inch horizontal blinds. Included within the expansion are new corporate offices, a boardroom and showroom, as well as a larger and upgraded customer service department.
CACO staffs over 60 full-time employees and sells a variety of retail and commercial window coverings products throughout the United States, Canada and in the international market.
SUPERIOR ROMAN SHADES MOVES INTO NEW FACILITY
California based Superior Roman Shades™ has completed construction and has moved into its new 5,000-square foot fabrication facility in Southern California. The new facility will be used exclusively to create custom Roman shades.
Since introducing its custom Roman shade program last spring, the company has acquired several hundred dealers whose volume quickly exceeded the capacity of its original workroom. “This facility will enable us to take our production efficiencies and customer service to a new level, and make it easier to maintain our turnaround goals of five to seven business days,” said Hal Roman, a company spokesman.
The company’s old facility now will be used as corporate offices.
CONSO SELECTS HOOVER INK PR FIRM
Conso Products Co. (www.conso.com), Union, SC, has selected Hoover
Ink as its PR firm of record. Hoover Ink will develop and implement
a nationwide consumer and trade program that includes proactive
media relations. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Conso Products was established in 1867 as a manufacturer of millinery trimmings. Today, the company manufactures and sells private label products as well as its own Conso Trimmings and British Trimmings branded merchandise.
Hoover Ink is a Huntersville, NC-based communications firm that develops and delivers bottom line messages for businesses serious about their success.
OUTLOOK 2004 TO FOCUS ON CHINA, TEXTILE TRADE
The Outlook 2004 Conference will bring industry leaders together
to discuss important issues and challenges faced by the United States
textile industry, including the impact of China’s increasing
prominence in the global economy and the effects of changing U.S.
textile legislation. The conference will be held May 24 to 25, 2004,
at the Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC.
Conference topics will include: China in the Global and Market Economy, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Perspective on Free Trade Agreements, Textile Trade Legislation, Illegal Textile Transshipment and Proper Labeling Guidelines, the State of the Textile Industry, an Update on the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the State of the Economy, and China: Business Opportunities and Challenges.
Additional networking opportunities for participants will include a companion program, golf tournament and several receptions, breakfasts and dinners.
The Outlook 2004 Conference is co-sponsored by the Narrow Fabrics Institute (NFI) and the United States Industrial Fabrics Institute, divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI).
For more information regarding the Outlook 2004 Conference, contact Karen Musech, NFI Managing Director, at (651) 225-6948; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ELMAR ADDS BUSINESS CONSULTANT TO LEADING EDGE TRAINING PROGRAM
Elmar Window Fashions, Willow Grove, PA, is adding destination business consultant Jon Schallert to its three-day Leading Edge Training Conferences scheduled for 10 cities across the United States this year. Schallert will present his business strategy workshop “Reinventing Retail” to the entire Elmar retail network as part of the educational program designed for retail professionals in the window coverings industry.
Schallert, president of The Schallert Group, Inc., Sorrento, FL, is known for teaching independent business owners how to turn their businesses into consumer destinations capable of drawing customers from other cities past more dominant competitors. According to Schallert, becoming a consumer destination gives independent retailers an advantage when competing with superstores. “Despite today’s lackluster economy and competitive challenges, independent businesses can become extremely profitable if they create a compelling offering that is repeatedly visited by consumers,” says Schallert.
“We chose Schallert and his dynamic Reinventing Retail workshop over conventional speakers because Jon focuses on actual tactics and how-to information that retailers can easily implement into their businesses,” said Todd Garretson, Elmar senior manager of