D&WC: Please give a detailed description of your company and its history.
Moe Rouzati: In a 7,000-square-foot facility, with about eight personnel, we got our start manufacturing cellular shades in 1992. Our initial success and perception of upcoming market trends brought wood blinds into our product line in early 1993.
In 1996, I had the privilege of teaming up with my brother, Morteza, a Ph.D. of economics, and my friend Hossein Farahani, a B.Sc. in electrical engineering, who brought with them the skills, experience and expertise necessary for the creation of the Aveno Woodcrest Shutter. Combined with my background in mechanical engineering, our partnership has allowed Aveno to enter new markets with innovative and high-quality window treatments.
Today, we have more than 250 employees and our production facility boasts over 195,000 square feet.
D&WC: What window coverings products did you handle initially? What products do you handle today?
Rouzati: Initially, we only fabricated cellular shades and distributed mini- and micro-blinds. Today, Aveno manufactures an entire line of two- and 2 1/2-inch horizontal wood, PVC and composite blinds, which represents about 30 percent of our business; 1 1/2-, 2 1/2- and 3 1/2-inch Woodcrest shutters, which is another 30 percent of our business; as well as the Everst cellular shade and Sheer Solaret Window Shadings, another 30 percent of our business; mini- and micro- horizontal aluminum blinds and bamboo folds. In all our product lines, we specialize in specialty shapes and designs.
D&WC: What is your approximate sales volume?
Rouzati: After our first year, our sales volume totaled approximately $1.2 million. Our projected sales for 2001 is approximately $38 million.
D&WC: Is your business computerized? Do you have a company Web site, and how is it used to communicate with customers ?
Rouzati: Aveno believes in using the latest technologies available to advance the customer experience. We offer a B2B-enabled Web site, www.aveno.com. This site offers several interactive links that allow our customers to learn more about Aveno's marketing programs, enter their own orders, and check order status with absolute security. With an increasing number of customers adapting to e-business, our site places Aveno on the cutting edge of business in the new millennium. Our enterprise system also monitors and updates our production process from start to finish.
D&WC: Who are your customers? What parts of the country do you service?
Rouzati: Our customer base ranges from small retail stores to large interior design firms and retail chains primarily, but not limited to, the southeastern United States.
We employ a 25-person sales force to service our customers.
D&WC: How has your segment of the industry changed since you first began?
Rouzati: The most eminent change in our industry has been a shift in consumer demand from aluminum-based products to wood and PVC products. Through the use of technology and the Internet, the industry as a whole has become more efficient and customer-service oriented.
D&WC: Where do you see yourself and your company five years from now?
Rouzati: I believe that in five years, Aveno will be the most-respected manufacturer of window treatments in North America. We are continually researching new materials and concepts for application in the window treatment market. We are planning to launch an innovative composite shutter product next year, which will begin production in spring of 2001.
D&WC: What best describes your niche in the marketplace?
Rouzati: Aveno has clearly emerged as an industry leader for product quality and customer satisfaction. Although the products primarily associated with Aveno are the Woodcrest Plantation Shutters and our complete line of two- and 2 1/2-inch blinds, our company is striving to become noticed for the same excellence with its full line of window fashion products, especially the Sheer Solaret window shadings and the Eversest Honeycomb Shades.
D&WC: What are some of the key factors involved in your growth and success?
Rouzati: I would accredit Aveno's excellent growth and success to the graces given to the company from God. We begin the day with a prayer for our customers, employees and each other. Incorporating faith with business practices has proven to be the key that opens the path to opportunity and drives us toward excellence.
D&WC: What are your strengths in the marketplace?
Rouzati: We have been producing our product line for almost a decade, which has given us experience and name recognition in the marketplace; a name that is associated with high quality and unbeatable delivery.
We are constantly improving our production processes with state-of-the-art machinery developed by Aveno's own Farahani, our vice president of production.
Other contributing factors include our seasoned management team, knowledgeable salespeople, and excellent customer service staff.
D&WC: What advice would you give to other window coverings professionals?
Rouzati: In my experiences as president of Aveno, my advice to other window coverings professionals would be simply that total customer satisfaction is the key to success and that total customer satisfaction cannot be achieved without quality control, polite and prompt customer service, and a real passion and zeal for the industry which you are in.
D&WC: What trends and cycles do you see occurring in the industry?
Rouzati: Over the years, engineering technology has played a substantial role in shaping the window coverings industry. The use of engineered materials and the development of high-tech production apparatus has expanded the marketplace to include such products as PoliBlinds, Thermowood and Sheer Solaret. I foresee a definite trend toward the more extensive use of engineered materials as new production methods are developed. Currently, we are researching and developing and testing new materials that will find their application in the window covering forum.
D&WC: What distinguishes you from the competition?
Rouzati: Aveno is a family-owned business in which our customers are seen as partners with a common goal. This partnership gives the customer an advantage over the competition. We offer unbeatable delivery with our own fleet of trucks; we offer the most user-friendly applications for shutter installations, which makes the installation process a walk in the park; and we offer a wide variety of frame types for any installation as well as an entire line of products from a trusted name in the industry.
Aveno has a reputation for maintaining truly high-quality standards, together with very competitive pricing. This combination has proven to be an overwhelming success; just look at the numbers. Since 1996, Aveno has grown at a rate of almost 100 percent per year and continues to experience phenomenal growth.
D&WC: Do you educate your customers?
Rouzati: It is my firm belief that an educated customer is a valued customer. At Aveno, we strive to support our customers on every level. From sales seminars to measuring and installation classes, our sales team is highly trained to help our customers for any technical issues which they might have.
Aveno Window Fashions
4795 F Fulton Ind. Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30336
Fax: (404) 505-1512
Sales Offices: Atlanta, GA;
Union City, NJ; Boston, MA;
Toronto, Ontario, Canada