SOMFY ACQUIRES HARMONIC DESIGN
Somfy Systems, Inc., Cranbury, NJ, a wholly owned subsidiary of Somfy
International, SA, has acquired Harmonic Design, Inc., Valencia, CA.
The acquisition positions Somfy as the preeminent supplier of motorization
solutions across the entire range of window covering applications,
the company says.
Somfy is a worldwide manufacturer of hard-wired and plug-in motorization
systems for window coverings, retractable awnings, rolling shutters
and other products. It has played a leading role in the development
of the market for motorized window coverings in North America over
the last 25 years. Harmonic Design is a leading manufacturer of battery-operated
motorization systems for window coverings.
The addition of Harmonic Design, Inc. as an independent operating
division within Somfy International will strengthen Somfy’s presence
in the traditional design/retail and D-I-Y distribution channels both
in North America and around the world. Coupled with Somfy’s longstanding
presence in the high-end residential and contract markets, the acquisition
enables Somfy to offer a motorization solution suitable for virtually
any window covering application.
HUNTER DOUGLAS BUYS RICHMOND TEXTILES AS
Richmond Textiles, Inc., Chicago, IL, a privately held fabric converter
specializing in the U.S. hospitality market, has been acquired by
Hunter Douglas, according to officials at both companies.
In the acquisition, Richmond Textiles will continue to operate independently
from its Chicago headquarters as a division of Tapestria, Hunter Douglas’
Web-enabled textile distribution business. Richmond specializes in
bed and window treatments within the hospitality industry. With Hunter
Douglas, it now will market an extended range of fabrics, initially
in North America, coupled with Tapestria’s Web-enabled distribution
system and network of suppliers, according to Paul Richmond, founder
of Richmond Textiles.
“Being part of Hunter Douglas allows us to accelerate our expansion
plans and gives us worldwide access to product and marketing opportunities
that the hospitality industry will certainly embrace,” said Robert
Harnach, president of Richmond Textiles.
Richmond Textiles has an extensive history of innovation and customization
in the hospitality design arena. Founded in 1987, the company has
grown to become one of the most respected converters of Avora®
FR fabrics for bedspreads and draperies in the North American hospitality
Hunter Douglas is headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and has
management offices in Luzern, Switzerland, and U.S. operations offices
in Upper Saddle River, NJ. The group comprises 147 companies with
63 manufacturing and 84 assembly operations in more than 100 countries.
WINDOW FASHIONS, INC. ACQUIRES FRANKLIN
Window Fashion, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, announces the acquisition of
Franklin Custom Window Fashions, Grandview, MO. Franklin is a preferred
Graber fabricator/distributor that has been serving customers for
more than 35 years.
Window Fashions, Inc. will continue to operate its full-line production
facility in Pittsburgh and a second production facility in Grandview.
HANES ACQUIRES RAE TRADING’S EXPORT
Hanes Companies Inc., Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a subsidiary
of Leggett & Platt, has acquired RAE Trading’s export drapery
lining and blackout fabric business. The announcement was made by
Joe Romano, RAE president, and Mark Linville, Hanes vice president
With sales to 52 countries, RAE Trading has served the export linings
business for many years and will continue to serve the domestic linings
market. Hanes produces foam-backed and blackout fabrics at its Mount
Hope finishing plant in Butner, NC. It also serves the domestic and
international industries with a wide range of drapery lining fabrics
out of its Hanes Industries division in Conover, NC.
Hanes Companies operates out of 28 facilities including three dyeing
and finishing plants in North Carolina and South Carolina, as well
as converting and distributing facilities for woven and nonwoven textiles
in North America, Latin America and Europe.
In a separate agreement, industry veteran Bill Negin has agreed to
work with Hanes in an export sales management role and will continue
to be the primary contact for former RAE customers.
STILL TIME IN KIRSCH PRODUCT DESIGNER OF
There is still time for designers to get involved in the Gallery Kirsch
Designer of the Year program announced by Kirsch, High Point, NC,
earlier this year. One designer, whose work embodies the essence of
Kirsch, will see his or her decorative drapery hardware design come
to life as part of the 2003 Kirsch Collection. Designs will be judged
by a distinguished panel of judges including Raymond Waites and Don
Bowden, president elect, ASID (see page 30).
The winning design will be chosen based on four criteria: 1) originality
and innovation; 2) ability of design to be manufactured; 3) ability
to fit into current home décor styles; and 4) the feasibility
of the design to define elegance. Ten Awards of Excellence also will
be presented to designers for outstanding submissions.
Designs must be submitted to scale and include a front view, end profile
view, sketch of the application in a window, a materials list for
fabrication and style/trend recommendations. All entries must be received
by Kirsch by December 31, 2002.
Gallery Kirsch is designed to recognize designers whose work reflects
the innovation and elegance that defines the cornerstone of Kirsch.
SOLATECH ANNOUNCES CHANGE IN OWNERSHIP
Solatech (www.solatech.com), High Point, NC, announces a change in
ownership. Effective August 15, 2002, Ray Soltis, managing partner,
has assumed full ownership of Solatech, LLC. The company provides
software for the window coverings industry and was formed as a partnership
between two former competitors, Suz’s Software and Innovative
Software Systems, Inc. (see D&WC, April 2001, page 12).
The effect of this internal change at Solatech will be the continued
consolidation of the Solatech and ShopOrder Plus+ products to further
empower its customers to take advantage of the advancements in technology
available to them, Soltis says. “We want to continue to offer
the best products possible to our customers and automate the expensive,
difficult, time-consuming and error-prone processes required in this
industry,” he adds.
Soltis has been involved in providing software to the window coverings
industry since 1992. As the owner of Suz’s Software, Inc., he
was the force behind the development and distribution of the ShopOrder
Plus+ software products.
ROBB & STUCKY AUTOMATES WINDOW TREATMENT
Robb & Stucky, a national home furnishings and interior design
chain, recently completed a 10-week Easy Quote implementation process
that included customizing more than 400 window treatments, bedding
and accessories. Staff training was a vital part of the package and
was held in an on-site computer lab.
The new quoting system is currently being used in Robb & Stucky’s
Naples and Fort Myers, FL, showrooms (see D&WC, January 1998,
page 24). The system includes a 135-page designer treatment sketchbook
that includes all their treatments along with quoting and fabrication
guidelines and tips.
“The program works very well and is very adaptable to custom
window treatments,” stated Joan Willis, drapery workroom manager
for Robb & Stucky and a nationally known industry speaker.
“We are very pleased with our working relationship with Joe Bird
and Ginny Conner from Easy Quote,” added Doug Conklin, Robb &
Stucky project manager.
ASID, IIDA MERGER OFF
After further deliberations, the board of directors of the American
Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Washington, DC, and the International
Interior Design Association (IIDA), Chicago, IL, have concluded that
a merger of the two organizations is not in the best interests of
their respective members.
The two organizations announced earlier this summer that discussions
were underway on joining forces to become the single voice of the
interior design profession (see D&WC, June 2002, page 12). A cross-association
team was charged by both boards to identify key issues and make recommendations
as to whether more formal discussions should be pursued.
In a letter to members from ASID President Barbara Nugent, FASID,
the talks were described as “open and frank.” While members
who expressed their views strongly supported the merger concept, the
leaders of both organizations were unable to reach agreement on several
critical structural and cultural issues.
“While both sides are disappointed by the outcome, we have agreed
to continue to communicate and cooperate on issues affecting our members
and the profession as a whole,” wrote Nugent. “We also are
encouraging our respective chapters to continue their successful collaboration
at the local level.”
HUNTER DOUGLAS DIVISION RECOGNIZED BY OSHA
FOR SAFETY EXCELLENCE
The Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, Broomfield, CO, Division was recognized
by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for excellence
in its safety and health program during a recent award ceremony at
the Hunter Douglas Business Park in Broomfield. The Division was awarded
one of the highest levels that OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program
(VPP) has to offer: VPP Star Site. The Hunter Douglas Window Fashions
Division is only one of four such sites in Colorado, and there are
only 850 in the nation.
A Star Site meets all the safety and health requirements of OSHA’s
VPP. Requirements for the VPP include: 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. Each of these elements
must be effective, in place and in operation for at least one year
before applying to join the program. A rigorous weeklong on-site OSHA
evaluation verifies that the company has excelled in its safety and
UNIQUE WHOLESALE CONTINUES FACILITY EXPANSION
Unique Wholesale Distributors, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL, has announced
the expansion of its current plant with the purchase of an additional
29,000 square feet. Unique has opened a third building located at
1406 McNab Rd. in Ft. Lauderdale.
This new facility is needed to house the expanding drapery hardware
division, including Silent Gliss Sphere Poles, Unique’s Metal
Elegance Collection and Busche decorative poles. The latest building
will also be home to pleated and cellular shade manufacturing, a new
custom wood finishing department for three- and four-inch poles and
wood cornices and a new Kirsch Woven Wood fabrication area.
FINECRAFT LAUNCHES THREE NEW LINES
Finecraft Custom Shutters Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, presents
three new lines available for immediate application.
The new additions are: Fineview, a barless shutter system that eliminates
the use of a push bar for the tilting of shutter louvers; motorization,
which automates the tilting feature of custom wood shutters using
battery-operated motor and remote; and a state-of-the-art designed
Web site (www.finecraftshutters.com) that allows for every aspect
of a designer’s and decorator’s needs.
NORTH AMERICAN SUNBURST JOINS GLEN OAK FAMILY
Glen Oak Lumber & Milling, Inc., Montello, WI, has incorporated
North American Sunburst™, Naples, FL, into its family of brands.
The plantation-style shutter bursts and blind bursts join Arrow-Straight
F.J.™ shutter components and leading brands of wood moldings,
boards and hardwood flooring in an extensive array of products Glen
Oak markets nationally from multiple manufacturing plants and distribution
North American Sunburst shutter and blind bursts have been custom-made
to computer-controlled tolerances by creator Ted Morse and a team
of craftsmen in Naples since 1999. Glen Oak recently acquired the
assets of Morse’s company, North American Sunburst Corp., after
witnessing the phenomenal response to its products at the 2002 International
Window Coverings Expo.
Morse will continue to oversee the manufacturing and development of
the North American Sunburst product line as general manager of the
newly formed North American Sunburst LLC, a Glen Oak Lumber &
BREWSTER ADDS NEW COLLECTONS WITH LICENSE
Folia, the licensee for Ralph Lauren wallpapers and fabrics, has entered
into a partnership agreement with Brewster Wallcovering Co., Randolph,
MA, in which Brewster will distribute the Ralph Lauren Classic Wallpaper
Series to paint and decorating retailers throughout North America.
Effective with this agreement Brewster will distribute the new Ralph
Lauren Classic Wallpaper Series collections, which include Durham
Hall and Martha’s Vineyard, two new collections to be introduced
for fall 2002.
Brewster also is the newest licensee to join the Historic New England
reproductions program of the Society for the Preservation of New England
Antiquities (SPNEA), Boston, MA.
Brewster will introduce a collection of reproductions and adaptations
of wallpapers, borders, murals, wall art and companion fabrics from
original documents in SPNEA’s collections. SPNEA’s collection
of historic wallpaper is considered one of the most important in the
nation with close to 9,000 patterns and designs reflecting domestic,
commercial, technological, consumer and manufacturing history in America.
Noted wallpaper scholar and SPNEA curator Richard Nylander will be
working with and advising Brewster designers in the creation of this
exciting new collection.
SPNEA’s Historic New England collection is a group of reproductions,
adaptations and inspirations from original antiques in its house museums,
collections and archives. SPNEA currently has relationships with more
than 20 manufacturers and craftsmen producing an array of fine furnishings,
wall coverings, fabrics, decorative accessories, jewelry, historic
paint colors and fine art. Unlike many other historic brands, each
Historic New England piece has its origin in an actual item that can
be viewed at one of SPNEA’s 25 historic properties or its extensive
GIBBS’ VINTAGE COLLECTION DEBUTS WITH
After two years of research and product development, the new Jamie
Gibbs Vintage Collection of decorative trimming for D’Kei Inc.
premiered at the New York International Gift Show in August. The collection
also was showcased by D’Kei at the Sixth Annual Custom Home Furnishings
Industry Educational Conference & Trade Show in Greenville, SC,
the same month.
The collection was inspired by archival trims from the 18th and 19th
centuries. Each element and colorway can be associated with a period
of design innovation although “the styles and colors have been
carefully chosen to reflect today’s lifestyles in the United
States,” Gibbs states. Included in the collection are braids,
rope welting, frogs, key tassels, tiebacks, chair ties, rosettes and
various loop, tassel and moss fringes. There also are a few surprise
elements such as floret drops and knotted roping by-the-foot.
“Trim is the icing on today’s interior design. No matter
what the decorative motif, trims add the finishing touch to soft treatments
and upholstery in any room. These trims will bridge many periods,
incorporate many color palettes and harmonize with a wide variety
of textiles,” Gibbs adds.