CALL FOR ENTRIES: WCMA PRODUCT INNOVATION
The entry deadline for the Window Covering Manufacturers Association’s (WCMA) Product Innovation Awards is Friday, January 6, 2006. 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.
The Product Innovation Awards Program is open to all manufacturers and suppliers of window covering products in the United States and Canada. Entries are 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 two overall categories: Product of the Year and Rising Star.
The awards presentation program will be held on March 29, 2006, in conjunction with the International Window Coverings Expo in Tampa, FL. In addition, all entries will be displayed on the exhibit floor and the WCMA Web site with a link to the company’s homepage.
For more information or to submit an entry contact Matthias Case at (212) 297-2119. Entry forms are available online at www.wcmanet.org.
NANCE NEW OWNER OF CUSTOM HOME FURNISHINGS SCHOOL
Margie Nance will assume ownership next month of the Custom Home Furnishings (CHF) School, the CHF Forums, the school store and SewWHAT? magazine. The school and the magazine were founded and operated by Cheryl Strickland, who announced the sale in September to be completed December 16.
Nance currently is the director of education for both the CHF School and its Educational Conference. She also is the moderator of the CHF Forums. She has taught at the school and at the conference for the past several years.
“She has put a lot of love, energy and terrific ideas into them over the years and was instrumental in their success and their growth. She deserves to benefit from all her hard work and dedication,” Strickland says.
The CHF instructors and the classes at the school will remain the same, but the school will move to Charlotte, NC, at the end of the year. For the past 10 years the school has been in Swannanoa, NC, near Asheville.
Strickland retains ownership of the Educational Conferences. Conferences are scheduled for Greenville, SC, and Phoenix, AZ, in 2006. She says she is “semi-retired and loving every minute of it.” She adds she will be spending more of her time involved in a new ministry at her church and hopes to see it grow nationally and even internationally.
NEW ESTIMATING SYSTEM RELEASED
Evan Marsh Designs has announced a new system for estimating and invoicing window treatments. Developed by Dawn Lang, co-owner of Window Fashions and Fabrics, Auburn, MA, (see D&WC, October 2005, page 30) DreamDraper® Quick Quote™ contains a comprehensive database of styles, options, labor and other cost factors. Users select the treatment type, size and options and then fill in the blanks to calculate an estimate on the spot.
Quick Quote integrates with QuickBooks® accounting software to automatically adjust inventories and produce financial reports, according to a company statement.
RM COCO BUYS STEVEN FABRICS' CUT ORDER BUSINESS
RM COCO has acquired Steven Fabrics’ current decorative fabric inventory. With the acquisition, RM COCO will become the source for the entire fabric line of Steven Fabrics including drapery, multi-purpose and upholstery fabrics. Warren Steven Window Fashions will continue all Hunter Douglas business, according to a statement released by RM COCO.
“The addition of Steven Fabrics’ inventory, along with its valued customers, will significantly strengthen RM COCO’s offerings. This acquisition not only gives RM COCO the quality products but also the talented, innovative customers who used Steven Fabrics to make their designs a reality. We are looking forward to building relationships and providing unparalleled customer service and continuing the Steven Fabrics tradition of delivering excellent products,” said Jim Rust, president, RM COCO.
The Steven Fabrics’ inventory was ready for shipping in mid-October. Customers should call RM COCO’s customer service department to place an order for any pattern in a Steven Fabrics sample book.
DECOR & YOU REPORTS MILESTONE IN RECORD
Decor & You®, Southbury, CT, a national decorating franchisor, announced in October that its first quarter retail sales for 2005 were up 88 percent over 2004’s numbers.
“[Last year] was a breakthrough year for us,” said CEO and co-founder Karen Powell. “We added more franchisees and regional directors in one year than in any year prior, and it seems the pace certainly isn’t slowing down in 2005.”
Powell and partner Josie Cicerale, COO, created the Decor & You franchise in 1998 from a concept that combined the best elements of their own four-year-old interior decorating business and prior experience as field managers for a home accessory company. They expanded on both concepts creating a model that offers franchisees the ability to provide clients with total solution-oriented interior decorating services.
G&L TECHNOLOGIES ANNOUNCES NEW FACILITY
G&L Technologies announces its relocation to a new building. The new site, now 20,000 square feet in size, is located at 1285 Oak Industrial Lane just north of Atlanta in Cumming, GA.
G&L’ s staff proved to be dedicated and motivated to continue production during the move, the company states. The company extends invitations to anyone who would be interested in seeing its production at the new facility. G & L is a leading manufacturer of automated machinery for the woodworking industry.
3 BLIND MICE OPENS NEW OFFICE SITE
Window coverings firm, 3 Blind Mice, San Diego, CA, has expanded its corporate headquarters and showroom from 200 to 5,000 square feet. The company’s operations offices and product showroom are now located at 8969 Kenamar Dr., Suite 106, San Diego, CA.
Scot Dietz, owner, states, “With our 900 percent revenue increase in 2004 it was obvious we needed to move from our original office space. The larger facility is in an excellent location and will allow us to continue to grow.”
Three Blind Mice Window Coverings provides window treatments—blinds, shutters and window tinting—to both private and commercial customers. It was founded in 2003 and currently has eight employees and uses more than 40 independent contractors. The firm also has representatives in Temecula, Riverside, Long Beach, Palm Springs and Los Angeles, CA, in Phoenix and northern Arizona, and Nevada.
SURFACES 2006 SLATED TO BEGIN THE YEAR
Surfaces 2006 is scheduled for January 31 to February 3, 2006, at the Sands Expo & Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV. The conference is designed to give retailers, builders, architects, designers, distributors and installers from around the world the answers they need for business success. Its goal is to help floor covering professionals set their sights on growing business and profits in 2006. Once again, Draperies & Window Coverings magazine will sponsor Surfaces’ Window Coverings Pavilion featuring many of the top window treatment manufacturers and suppliers conveniently in one area to offer visitors to the show additional profit centers for their businesses (see D&WC, December 2004, page 22).
Attendees can expect to see more than 1,000 exhibiting companies introducing thousands of new products. Close to 40,000 floor covering professionals are expected to attend Surfaces 2006 to scout the 500,000 net square feet of exhibit space.
In addition, Surfaces will continue to offer its 2006 Conference Program offering hot topics, fresh ideas, critical business information and new speakers. The 2006 Conference Program, sponsored by Mannington Mills, offers 42 courses covering business, marketing, sales, design, installation and window coverings. Margie Nance (see D&WC, January 2004, page 24) will introduce a new profit center in “Expanding Into Window Covering Sales.”
Pre-show workshops take place Tuesday, January 31 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Seminars take place 8 to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, February 1 through Friday, February 3, and 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 1 and Thursday, February 2.
The official sponsor of Surfaces is the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA), representing floor covering retailers, contractors and allied service providers throughout North America.