D&WC: How is your company
or your segment of the industry changing? How are you addressing
Tammy Thompson, executive VP, sales:
ADO-USA recently launched a national marketing campaign to help
establish the new branding direction of ADO. We have worked for
years to firmly establish ourselves as the quality supplier of custom
draperies in the United States. Now, we are ready to take the brand
one step further and put our best face forward.
Having decided to focus on what we do best—sheers—we know
there is an education process where sheers are concerned—they
are not just lace for grandma’s windows anymore! Making this
job easier is the fact that people are already starting to think
about sheers in a new way. They are incorporating them in a variety
of creative decorating techniques, and with all the new design trends,
their allure continues to grow.
Not only are the applications for sheers new, but also the fabrics
themselves. There are open weaves (casements), embellished designs,
new textures and the innovations continue to evolve with new directions
in home décor.
ADO is devising new ways to help designers respond to their clients’
individual preferences in décor to create a look that is
all their own. That’s why we call our new campaign “The
Sheer Art of Living.” Sheers are being used to create artful
backdrops for everyday lives.
D&WC: Please give a detailed
description of your company and its history.
Thompson: ADO-USA was established
in Spartanburg, SC, by Hubert Wulf in 1979. Over 20 years later
and several expansions, ADO remains a leader in high-quality fabric
and draperies throughout the United States and Canada.
During a worldwide recession in 1954, Wulf and his wife, Marianne,
established ADO Gardinenwerke in the small, northern rural town
of Aschendorf, Germany. ADO Gardinenwerke succeeded in part due
to the Wulfs’ unparalleled vision and innovative ideas; however,
the most important factor was ADO’s technical superiority and
faithfulness to maintain high-quality manufacturing of 118-inch
seamless drapery fabrics and accessories.
Upon the success of ADO Gardinenwerke, Wulf envisioned an expansion
across the Atlantic Ocean. Rather than merely import the finest
seamless fabrics to the United States, he dedicated himself to importing
the technology and knowledge of manufacturing the best seamless
fabrics and draperies. Thus, ADO-USA was born.
Wulf’s vision of success continued until his death in 1989.
His wife Marianne carried on Hubert’s purview in the position
of chairperson of the board until her death in 1994. Today, Hubert
and Marianne’s sons, Klaus and Andreas, are responsible for
leading ADO Gardinenwerke, ADO-USA and all other ADO facilities
D&WC: What products do you handle
today? What one product or line stands out above the rest?
Thompson: A leader in the interior
textiles industry, ADO produces an extensive line of fabrics, custom
draperies, and the highest quality 118-inch seamless sheers on the
market, featuring the very popular European hem.
What product or line stands out above the rest? ADOwrap is one of
our popular products. ADOwrap combines opaque style with a tailored
look. Vanes of vertical blinds are “slipcovered” with
continuous ADO seamless fabric using ADO’s drapery snap tape.
Vertical blind hardware is used to tilt, open and close.
Like all ADO draperies, ADOwrap is guaranteed colorfast, washable
and dimensionally stable for five years. Maintenance is a breeze.
Just unsnap it, machine-wash it, reattach to the vanes, and you’re
back in style.
D&WC: Is your business computerized?
Do you have a company Web site, and how is it used to communicate
Thompson: We have a Web site, which—along
with our new brand direction—is undergoing several phases of
redesign. The ultimate goal will be to serve as a valuable resource
for our clients. We are encouraging more and more communication
with clients through e-mail.
In our client newsletter, we invite our customers to share questions,
success stories and to give general feedback. We know that different
people have different preferences for giving and receiving information.
We want them to feel comfortable that they can rely on their newsletter,
turn to the Web site, pick up the phone—to feel like we are
partners in their success. So yes, we will continue to upgrade our
communication channels in response to our customers’ needs.
D&WC: What best describes your
niche in the marketplace?
Thompson: Summing this up nicely
is ADO’s new slogan: The Sheer Art of Living. ADO specializes
in sheers, and we specialize in helping the designer respond to
new trends and client preferences by supplying them with the latest
designs, colors, textures and styles in 118-inch sheer and decorative
ADO specializes in custom window coverings—including overdrapes.
We make the sheers at our manufacturing facility in Spartanburg
and can control the design, colors, etc., to quickly respond to
demands in the market. Designed and manufactured in Germany, our
overdrapes and overdrape fabrics are the best on the market. Oftentimes
people enjoy European design, and we can respond to that need.
D&WC: What distinguishes you
from the competition?
Thompson: According to our customers,
it’s the quality of our fabrics and our customer service. We
always get comments on our willingness to go the extra mile to accommodate
our customer requests and needs. They are always impressed with
our delivery system—they say things like, “I don’t
know how they can say that you will get this product on an exact
day, and then, sure enough, the product arrives that very day.”
Also, our workroom. Our pinch pleats are widely regarded as unparalleled
in the industry. Even clients that have their own workrooms send
their pinch pleats to ADO’s workroom. All of our pinch pleats
are done by hand, and our process ensures a perfectly balanced,
ADO offers the very popular European hem on most fabrics in our
D&WC: What are some of the key
factors involved in your growth and success?
Thompson: ADO was founded on the
commitment to help our partners succeed in their businesses by providing
them with the highest quality product and unquestionable customer
service. Many companies talk about customer service. At ADO, we
guarantee it. It’s what we are known for.
We are also known for the quality of our product, and we pride ourselves
on it. We guarantee our fabrics and draperies for five years to
be machine washable, dimensionally stable, colorfast and free of
manufacturing defects. All ADO products are inspected every step
of the way, not just at the end. Our dyeing process ensures full
color penetration and constancy.
Additionally, we pride ourselves on helping our partners serve their
clients in an expedient and reliable manner. Fabrics will be shipped
in 24 hours, draperies within 10 days, and ADOwrap within 15 business
D&WC: What trends and cycles do
you see occurring in the industry?
Thompson: Interior design is moving
more and more toward creating unique spaces based on individual
personalities, lifestyles and preferences. ADO feels a commitment
to provide our partners with the interior textiles and accessories
to respond to these needs and preferences.
Everything from the design of our sheers to our trims, accessories,
and pillows are crafted with the thought that they might end up
in any décor. They are designed to match, coordinate, compliment
or contrast. You can creatively combine texture, color and style
to create that individual look that emanates from today’s desire
to feel connected to your environment, to have a personal space
that you want to spend time in, a space that makes you feel like
D&WC: What other home furnishings
services do you offer?
Thompson: We actually offer premium
interior textiles that are used to make custom draperies, window
coverings, pillows, bedding and accessories. Sheers have become
quite popular as window treatments, but people are also using them
around bed areas, as room dividers, to wrap around columns, etc.
We have a complete line of trims and accessories that coordinate
with our fabrics, such as our pillows that come with premium feather
blend inserts, or can be filled with poly inserts upon request.
851 Simuel Rd.
Spartanburg, SC 29304-3447
fax: (888) 766-5895