Penchant for ExpansionThe family-owned business Bruce Heyman now heads got its start in 1934 in the depths of the Depression, when Philip and Ida Heyman opened Chain Decorators, a door-to-door decorating business featuring fabrics for the home. In 1951, the Heymans renamed their New Jersey-based enterprise Highway Mill End and moved the business to Green Brook.
Four years later, they changed the location to North Plainfield and renamed the store Fabric Land. During the late 1960s and ’70s second-generation principle Jay Heyman saw Fabric Land triple its size to 22,000 square feet, and in 1999 the family updated the name to Fabricland Interiors.
When Bruce Heyman took the helm in 1990, he continued the family penchant for expansion when he purchased Nassaus Window Fashions in Paramus in 1999. “The purchase was a logical move,” he says, “since Nassaus Window Fashions was another successful family-run business, making it a perfect fit with our goals and values.”
This year the company moves into a fresh market with the opening of Metropolitan Window Fashions in New York City.
Independent retailer Fabricland Interiors, North Plainfield, NJ, is expanding its reach into one of the largest markets in the world—New York City—without letting go of the service-minded approach that’s been the trademark of this family-owned business (see D&WC, December 2001, page 24). With two full-scale window fashions and fabric stores in New Jersey, this 70-year-old business has opened Metropolitan Window Fashions on Manhattan’s Upper West Side while taking pains to stay focused and grow at the same time.
“Even in this age of superstores, there is room for good independents, especially in businesses that demand service,” says Bruce Heyman, third-generation owner. “Our business is home decorating, an area where consumers seek help. Our focus on friendly, personalized service and our expertise in window fashions and fabrics encourage customer loyalty and repeat visits.
“In fact,” he continues, “we have mothers bringing in their grown daughters, giving our stores a cross-generational reach with our customers as well as within the family business.”
Metropolitan Window Fashions opened in September in Manhattan geared to custom, ready-made and do-it-yourself decorating projects alike. It offers extensive fabric, trim and hardware lines; free in-home consultations; ready-made window fashions; exciting showroom displays; and discounts on first-quality decorator fabrics including popular names like Waverly, Laura Ashley and Ralph Lauren. The store also carries high-end lines such as Beacon Hill, Highland Court and Kravet Couture in addition to Hunter Douglas window fashions.
“Metropolitan Window Fashions is positioned to serve the needs of Manhattanites with window products and home decorating services attuned to their unique requirements and cutting-edge tastes,” Heyman says. “This exciting new store will offer New Yorkers a satisfying shopping experience, thanks to the breadth and depth in stock, provocative displays and an everyday discount.”
The bright, airy ambience of the new retail outlet boasts 700 square feet of showroom space dedicated to tens of thousands of fabric samples, including more than 1,000 first-quality fabrics for custom and do-it-yourself home decorating projects.
The store also showcases thousands of styles, sizes and colors of ready-made window treatments. In addition to a bountiful choice of window fabrics, trim and hardware, the store features material for a wide range of home decorating projects including upholstery, pillows and custom bedding.
“We’ll be presenting exciting, ever-changing displays throughout the store so customers can experience a wealth of fresh ideas they can apply to their own apartments,” says Lois Croce, department manager buyer for Fabricland Interiors. “From the dramatic effect of a bold silk check window covering to the luxurious detail of a rosette swag, our displays will offer the full range of stylish solutions to today’s window dilemmas.”
As with all of Heyman’s stores, Metropolitan Window Fashions will offer trade discounts to interior designers and decorators—many of them use these businesses as their custom window treatment workrooms. “We work closely with many interior designers who prefer to use our expertise for their clients’ window treatment needs,” Heyman says.
Custom-made fabric treatments will be one of the hallmarks of Metropolitan Window Fashions. Debut custom displays will boast an abundance of fabrics and designs from the rich texture of silk dupioni draperies layered over silk taffeta to a lighthearted monkey patterned fabric used in a whimsical window treatment. In addition to a deluxe custom display in the front window, the showroom will feature full-size custom window treatment displays plus a vignette of custom top treatments such as valances and shades creating a visual feast and a virtual handbook of decorating ideas for windows.
Simple window coverings increasingly are a trend in home decorating, and yet, at the same time and in the same house, there are ample opportunities for more intricate window covering designs that make a fashion statement. The trick is to know when and where to make the choice between a basic or an elaborate window treatment, or one that fits somewhere in between. With thought and planning, there is a host of ways to mesh the two approaches for an interesting and still unified effect, says Heyman.
“The purpose of Metropolitan Window Fashions is to provide New Yorkers with a cornucopia of sophisticated home decorating solutions,” Heyman says. “We expect to attract customers who are seeking an extensive selection of high-quality products as well as friendly service—plus substantial savings on top-of-the-line fabrics, all of the time.”