ASID RELEASES REPORT ON STATE OF THE INTERIOR DESIGN PROFESSION
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Washington, DC, has released “The Interior Design Profession: Facts and Figures.” This groundbreaking report provides facts, figures and statistics on the current state of interior design to provide a comprehensive picture of the profession in the United States and Canada.
The facts and figures contained in the report were gathered from a wide variety of sources, both public and private, including the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario, Dun and Bradstreet, the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research and the University of Minnesota. The report includes practitioner demographics, employment and earnings data, interior design registration laws and terms, information on interior design degree programs and the names and contact information for U.S., Canadian and other international design organizations.
“This publication is the first step towards filling the information vacuum that engulfs the interior design profession,” said ASID President Linda Elliott Smith, FASID.“ASID hopes the contents will provoke discussion and debate, and it will encourage the creation and sharing of more and better information about our profession, to help propel the profession to the next level of excellence.”
SAFETY MONTH CAMPAIGN RAISES CONSUMER REQUESTS FOR REPAIR KITS
Widespread media coverage of October 2003’s national Window Covering Safety Month served to double consumer requests for free repair kits, according to the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC).
From September through November 2003 phone calls to WCSC’s toll-free hotline were more than double the normal average, said Carolynn Jennings, WCSC deputy director. Internet visitors to the Web site jumped from an average of 7,000 monthly to an average of 12,000 monthly, she said.
In addition, WCSC undertook a variety of umbrella pubic relations and marketing activities for the safety month campaign, which was sponsored in concert with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. These activities included developing news releases and feature stories for the broadcast and print media, cooperative promotional efforts with other safety and parents groups, special safety-month pages on its Web site and the development of a campaign logo, ad slicks and counter cards for retail use.
NEW SHOP-AT-HOME BRAND LAUNCHED
CustEmers.com, a leader in window coverings advertising, training and Internet technology, introduces a new brand of shop-at-home window coverings consulting service. Exciting Windows! will be featured by qualified retailers to let homeowners know they can expect excellence in window coverings services: at-home appointments without a fee, a trained consultant to bring samples on the first visit, measuring and pricing without a trip charge, and that the retailer will provide a completely installed product—draperies, blinds, shadings or shutters—that are guaranteed price competitive, to be delivered on time and with 10-year performance assured.
The brand will be supported with a distinctive identity program, new Web site to launch May 1, special customer service and sales training for approved consultants, and national advertising to follow by yearend.
USP LAUNCHES PRE-FINISHED WOOD SHUTTER COMPONENT PROGRAM
U.S. Polymers Inc. (USP) has launched MiraMonte, a line of pre-painted wood shutter components featuring a high-quality finish. Available for nationwide delivery to fabricators, the product is available in USP’s local warehouses. The new line will be a part of USP’s ShutterSMART division.
Pre-painted wood is the latest in a series of moves USP has made to meet the growing demand in the shutter industry. “We see a tremendous opportunity to revolutionize the way shutters are built in North America with our pre-painted components,” said Viken
MICHAELS CELEBRATES 50 YEARS
Michaels Textiles, Petersburg, VA, is celebrating its 50th year in business.
As part of the celebration, the company has launched the largest one-time distribution of decorative fabrics for the first quarter of 2004. The introduction includes the industry’s largest assortment of the highly popular “Spotlight” pattern in more than 150 colors, and a return to “True Chintz” presented in 136 new colors.
Known for its extensive color lines and broad assortments, Michaels Textiles has become a leading resource to the interior designer and window fashion boutiques. Co-presidents Joel Lessem and Shelly Delsack stated: “We are delighted to be celebrating this significant milestone in our company’s history. Michaels’ five decades serving the trade represents our commitment, stability and longevity to the design community.”
Michaels’ sister brand, Krupnick Brothers, will celebrate its 75th anniversary this year.
HUNTER DOUGLAS PRESENTED WCMA PRODUCT OF THE YEAR FOR SEVENTH CONSEWCUTIVE YEAR
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, Upper Saddle River, NJ, was presented the Window Covering Manufacturers Association’s (WCMA) Product of the Year award in March—it marks the seventh consecutive year the company has been so honored.
The Product of the Year award recognized Hunter Douglas’ Trio™ Convertible Shades: “Three Beautiful Views. One Beautiful Shade.” The product also was selected as Best New Technical Innovation in the Alternative Shading Products Category.
The Trio Convertible Shade is a soft fabric window covering featuring 1 1/8-inch individual, hexagonally shaped horizontal vanes that compress and expand providing light control options never before available. The vanes open for a full view-through; close for soft, diffused light and complete privacy; and can be adjusted to anything in-between for full control of an environment.
The annual WCMA Product Innovation Awards are the benchmark of excellence in the window coverings industry. “We are very pleased that the Window Covering Manufacturers Association panel of independent judges has given such a strong endorsement to our new products and to the marketing, merchandising and education programs we provide,” said Marv Hopkins, Hunter Douglas president and CEO. “These results are a testament to the dedication of our people to market leadership, product innovation and customer support.”
TECHNIKU INTRODUCES NEW CONTROL PARADIGM
Techniku, Broomfield, CO, has launched a new control platform for simple IR and RF configurations. With three basic elements, automated window coverings can become true home appliances integrating within broader home systems. The new line of simple-to-use products includes an Intelligence Interface, Power Distribution Module and multiple IR or RF control options from simple remote controls to voice-activated computer systems.
The company’s line of open-protocol RF controls featuring Z-Wave technology provides simple, cross-platform integration of automated window coverings in residential and commercial applications. Z-Wave is the premiere two-way RF control protocol for low bandwidth automation.
This solution allows for consumer-level integration of any appliance in the home, ultimately leveraging the consumer’s investment not only for their window coverings, but for other appliances such as lighting, HVAC systems, garage doors, a/v systems and more. With only minimal wiring required from the motor to the power source, the intelligence and communication occurs at the window covering, resulting in simple installation, programming and usage.
NEW WEB SITE FOR WINDOW FASHIONS, INC.
MARIAK EXPANDS PRODUCTION CAPACITY
Mariak Industries, Torrance, CA, has added 11,000 square feet to its facility, increasing its total production space to more than 55,000 square feet.
The new building will house Mariak’s two- and 2 1/2-inch horizontal blind fabrication. This expansion also will allow for the addition of new mini-blind fabrication equipment, thus doubling Mariak’s mini-blind production to 1,000 units per day.
SEW EASY PUBLISHES SWAG HANDBOOK
Sew Easy Windows has published “The Professional Workroom Handbook of Swags, Volume 1.” This comprehensive, easy-to-follow manual explains the engineering of the swag pattern for three of the most common symmetrical swag styles: board mount, cutout and point-to-point. Once the workroom understands how the swag pattern works, it can design the finished dimensions of the swags and draw the pattern with ease and precision.
The information in the handbook can reduce the learning curve for fabricating swags, reduce dependence on patterns and provide an invaluable resource for novices, veterans and designers. The book is available online.
COLWELL PURCHASES EUROPEAN ASSETS
Colwell Industries, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, announces its purchase of the color card operations of Communisis, PLC, Leeds, England, also known as McCorquodale Color Card Co. North American operations, including those in Toronto and Montreal, Canada, and Whiteford, MD, will report to Patrick Van Arnam, president of Colwell, Inc.
European operations in Göttingen, Germany, and Besse Sur Braye, France, will be under the guidance of Dirk Van Steen, managing director of the newly named Colwell, Europe. Van Arnam and Van Steen will report to William Byars, president of Colwell Industries, Inc.
This transaction expands Colwell’s capabilities in the decorating products industry and adds capabilities in the automotive and cosmetic industries. Colwell is a leading producer of color sampling tools.
CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS
Because of an error in information provided to Draperies & Window Coverings, an incorrect toll-free telephone number was listed in advertisements for Superior Roman Shades in the February and March issues. The number was listed as (800) 799-9033, the correct number is (800) 794-9033.