D&WC: Please give a detailed
description of your company and its history.
Jeffrey Loupe: Creative Designs International was founded in 1992 by Dan Morgan and I with a single product: the Gothic Drapery Sconce (Style #1000). Working from home and using the garage as a warehouse the journey began.
Within a few months we outgrew the garage. Our product list had grown from one item into a full line of finials and wood accessories. By 1995 we had added a 5,000-square-foot warehouse with a paint booth in Escondido, CA.
In 1997 we purchased Western Wood Products of Seattle, and thus started another new company. We now had three facilities. Our garage became a four-desk customer service center, we had Creative Design production in Escondido, and Western Wood Supply in Seattle, WA.
In 1998 we moved all the wood working machinery from Seattle to Escondido and increased our space to 18,000 square feet. It was a bit crowded, but functional.
In early 2000, we moved both companies into an 83,000-square-foot building in the San Bernardino International Airport development, which also houses such major distribution centers as Mattel toy company, Pep Boys and Kohl’s, to name a few.
In 2001 we added our metal shop, where we cut and bend metal for the local trade.
Last year, Sun-Cal Worldwide joined our growing family and, thus, our third company, Sun-Cal Global was born. This company specializes in plumbing fixtures such as showerheads, faucets, glass sinks, towel bars, etc.
This year we started our fourth company: Jeffrey Daniels, which specializes in lamps and decorative accessories. This line was shown recently in the Dallas (TX) International Gift and Home Accessories Market and received honors as the “Freshest and Newest Look” in decorative lighting.
We have added more than 300 new customers in the past year and have contracted additional space in a manufacturing plant in China.
Later this summer, we’ll start our in-house custom stain and paint mixing business to help with more consistent finishes and to provide custom paint matching services. We also hope to start faux finishing.
D&WC: What products do you handle today?
Loupe: Our products are: Creative Designs resin sconces and finials; standard wood poles and accessories from 3/4-inch diameter poles and accessories to four-inch poles and accessories up to 16 feet long; twist poles; the Resina Design Collection, which is our high-end line; plumbing accessories; and lamps and decorative accessories.
Our stock for immediate distribution includes more than five million wood rings; more than 200,000 finials; over 100,000 brackets; and more than 100,000 poles.
Our capacity is endless! We usually can provide what any customer wants. We currently have more than 95,000 SKUs.
D&WC: Who are your customers? What parts of the country do you service?
Loupe: We ship our products to distributors and interior designers throughout the entire United States as well as Europe and South America.
Our goal is to find more distributors that can service the interior designers in their local markets.
D&WC: Where do you see yourself and your company five years from now? Are there additional areas within the industry that you would like to get involved in?
Loupe: Our goals for 2005 include adding e-commerce to all our companies; expanding the Jeffrey Daniels Collection by designing and adding a furniture line; expanding our packaged product line; and getting our in-house custom paint mixing business going.
Our five-year goals are to add a complete, unique wrought iron line to the Creative Designs Collections; add a furniture line to the Jeffrey Daniels Collection; expand the product lines of the Sun-Cal Global Collection; increase the number of distributors of the Western Wood line; expand our wood contract business; open up the first of a chain of Jeffrey Daniels Fabric Stores; build and move into a new 250,000-square-foot building; and to expand our metal shop to start producing metal drapery hardware.
Dan Morgan: My No. 1 personal goal is to hire competent persons to handle the daily projects and retire by starting in the residential home building industry within five years.
D&WC: What are some of the key factors involved in your growth and success?
Loupe: There are several keys to our success. Top among them are blessings from God, praying and supportive families.
Another is loyalty. We remain loyal to our customers and suppliers. Some people change from one supplier to another and never develop the utmost relationships with suppliers that are willing to be team members. Unfortunately, not all suppliers are loyal to their customers. To some companies, you are only an account number.
We sometimes find that when we have a new product developed—our uncommitted suppliers will take the idea and sell our product to other customers of theirs. We do not stay with these suppliers long. When we contract to make a product for a customer, we do not sell it to other customers unless we have it in writing that the contracted customer allows us to do so.
No matter if it’s a customer or a supplier, if you want respect and the best possible price, you must honor the people you are dealing with by taking care of their needs, whether it’s a telephone call that needs to be made or a check that needs to be sent. And always do it on time!
Respect is another key. We try to treat our customers with the greatest amount of respect, and treat them as if they were our only customer.
When looking for material suppliers, we always evaluate the persons involved and try to perceive their intentions for long-term commitments to us as their customer. They are hard to find, and usually we will have to use those that don’t act as a partner until we find one that does. We are extremely loyal to our committed suppliers, and we expect the same. Every invoice is paid when due and we treat them with the greatest amount of respect.
Morgan: My personal keys to success were implanted in me by my father, the Rev. Lester H. Morgan:
Be committed; be loyal and unified with everyone you deal with; be respectful to everyone; do whatever it takes to do it right the first time even if it takes longer to complete; always remember the person on the other side of your communication is the most important person at that moment; always be on time, whether its paying bills or meeting a supplier or a customer because they all deserve the respect of being on time; and always do your best.
I have found that if you can instill these foundation habits, you can do anything! The sky is the limit to what you can do.
Long-term success is contingent on these keys. Success is measured on how long you are committed. Most people are limited in success only by themselves. The average person puts limitations on his success because most people either think the worst or quit before they have completed their maximum output of work. Successful people do what it takes and keep a positive attitude.
If you can think it, if you can dream it, you can do it.
D&WC: What distinguishes you from the competition?
Loupe: Our highest goal, and it’s an actual company policy, is to do whatever we can to get the quality products the customer wants and to get it to them when they want it.
We have a no minimum purchase policy and a lowest price guarantee. We will meet or beat any competitor’s price for like products with documentation. We will meet or beat any discount pricing structure of any competitor with documentation.
D&WC: What advice would you give to other window coverings professionals?
Loupe: Always remember that you are a servant to your employees. Your employees are there to do the job you want done. You need to do whatever is necessary to help them do the job.
Develop partnerships with your customers, suppliers and your employees. Make them all feel like family members—that is, as long as you have a good family.
If you take care of the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves. The more you
buy, the better the price or discount.
Creative Designs International
294 South 2nd Ave.
San Bernardino, CA 92408
fax: (909) 382-0777