WARREN SHADE AND STEVEN FABRICS COMBINE BUSINESSES
Custom window coverings fabricators Warren Shade and Steven Fabrics,
both based in Minneapolis, MN, have combined into one company—Warren
Steven Window Fashions—effective July 31.
Warren Steven Window Fashions also has relocated to a new, state-of-the-art
headquarters, one that is significantly larger than all of the previous
facilities combined. The move combines a talented staff and a larger,
modern facility to allow the new organization to best serve its
customers, according to a company statement.
“We are dedicated to offering our combined loyal customer base
the best quality, service and value,” said Mike Mann, vice
president of Warren Shade.
Warren Shade was founded in 1910 and Steven Fabrics was started
in 1946. Both are full-line Hunter Douglas fabricators servicing
the greater Midwestern region.
GORDON’S WINDOW DÉCOR PRESENTED
2005 BLINDCRAFTER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Gordon Clements, Gordon’s Window Décor, Essex Junction,
VT, was presented the 2005 BlindCrafter of the Year Award by Comfortex
Window Fashions, Maplewood, NY, at its BlindCrafter National Convention
in Saratoga Springs, NY. Clements was awarded this distinction for
his remarkable business growth as a BlindCrafter.
Clements owns and operates Gordon’s Window Décor in
four locations in Vermont, New York and Massachusetts. He has been
a BlindCrafter since the program’s inception in 1992 and an
active retail fabricator since 1985. An established name in the
window treatment industry, prior to opening Gordon’s Window
Décor, Clements was vice president and general manager of
Hunter Douglas US and Canada and president of Graber Canada and
Jim Hopkins, Accent Verticals, and Bob Silver, Blinds Factory Outlet
Superstores, were presented Honorable Mention awards.
NORMAN INTERNATIONAL WELCOMES NEW FABRICATOR
Norman International Co.®, Santa Fe Springs, CA, announces its
new partnership with 14 authorized fabricators of Norman Shutters™
products located throughout the United States.
Authorized fabricators will sell the complete line of Norman Shutters
products, plus offer professional sales, measurement, installation,
training and service support. Fabricators will maintain local sales
and service offices so retailers will be able to rely upon their
fabricator’s shutter expertise. In addition, localized shipping,
packing, painting and repair will accelerate delivery times and
increase efficiencies, the company says.
“Our new alliances will reinvigorate the way that shutters
are sold and installed,” said Paul Shih, senior vice president
of sales and marketing. “Our professional fabricator network
is empowered with generations of knowledge and experience.”
“Our goal in setting up the fabricator network is to streamline
the sales and distribution of our products from our factory to the
installation location,” Shih added.
The Norman International fabricator network comprises the following
firms, with more to be added in the future: Classic Window Furniture,
Dumfries, VA; Custom Blind Fabricators, Warren, MI; Design Shutters,
Houston, TX; Duratex, Denver, CO; Global Shutters & Shades,
Rockledge, FL; Gulfside Shutters, Tarpon Springs, FL; Heritage Shutter
International, Las Vegas, NV; Interior Quality Products, Boynton
Beach, FL; Legacy Window Coverings, Gilbert, AZ; MC Dist. &
Mfg., Co., Addison, IL; Shutters Northwest, Seattle, WA; Summit
Window Products, San Jose, CA; United Supply Co., Charlotte, NC;
and Window Products, Holland, MI.
CALHOOK CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the CALHOOK Sample Management
Products business, Kent, WA, which began in spring 1980 at the fabric
company managed by Marv Emerling.
Emerling began the business with just two products, the original
Calhook fixture for cord-hung sample books and Calhangers for displaying
loose print and upholstery samples. Within a few years he bought
the business as a separate operation and expanded the product line
dramatically, adding many other types of sample management products
and displays for the trade.
Emerling grew up in a family drapery business and, at the time,
there was no other hardware or product designed specially for sample
book display. When Emerling retired in 1997 the business was sold
to Thompson Merchandising & Supply, Kent, WA.
Thompson has locations in several states offering a comprehensive
range of point-of-purchase products, store fixtures and helpful
training products for retailers. The business continues to serve
the drapery and window coverings industry within its larger framework
WINDOW COVERINGS UNIVERSITY OPENS ENROLLMENT
CustEmers.com, Bethesda, MD, has developed a new educational institution
aimed at providing experienced window coverings professionals the
knowledge and skills needed to achieve full profit potential for
Known as Window Coverings University (WCU) and operated by Steve
Bursten and Steve Wishnow, four areas of study will be presented
as the College of Business Management; College of Window Treatment
Design and Interior Decorating; College of Fabrication and Installation;
and College of Products and Technical Studies. Twelve classes are
scheduled for the remainder of this year and early 2006. Each class
will be available at a Baltimore, MD, facility and several will
be offered in the field. Enrollment is now open, and the first classes
are scheduled for this month. Classes typically cost $595.
The plan of WCU is to license existing content and adapt that content,
directing it to the purpose of sales and business success. WCU will
develop original content in the fields of business, sales, hiring
and training sales consultants and other areas where content is
not currently available.
“Each class is equivalent to almost three days of training,”
according to Wishnow. Most classes involve a combination of six
hours of home study with nine to 11 hours of classroom instruction
over two days. “Our vision for Window Coverings University
is to develop and provide affordable, accessible education that
leads directly to professional and financial success for window
coverings business owners and sales consultants.”
EVAN MARSH LAUNCHES DREAMDRAPER WEBINARS
Evan Marsh Designs, Inc., Bethlehem, PA, is presenting a series
of online educational seminars focusing on the DreamDraper®
computer-based design and visualization system. The Webinars are
interactive sessions conducted live over the Internet allowing for
convenient, cost-effective and participative learning in the comfort
of one’s home or office.
The current Webinar series covers the basics of the DreamDraper
system, designing on a photo, creating a client proposal, creating
a room setting and space planning. The introductory Webinar is free.
ITA LAUNCHES CERTIFICATION PROGRAM FOR
ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY WINDOW FASHIONS
ITA, Inc. St. Augustine, FL, introduces GreenAssured™, a standards-based
certification program to assess the compatibility of its Meridian
Home® brand of window fashions with officially recognized international
environmental protocols. The program is supported by independent
laboratory testing in certified 9001:2000 facilities. To become
certified, products must meet strict environmental standards for
criteria that include airborne chemical emissions, product content
and the ecological impacts of the sourcing of wood raw materials.
The company, which markets a full range of window treatments to
distributors and fabricators around the world, says the GreenAssured
program is designed to address the growing international awareness
and concern about the effects on indoor air quality of commercial,
industrial and household products. Some home furnishings have been
found to give off unhealthy amounts of various chemicals and gases.
The company also considers the impact on local social, economic
and ecological systems of harvesting endangered or threatened species
of trees for wood-based products.
Under the GreenAssured program, hard and soft window coverings materials
are tested for emissions of airborne chemicals and particulates
cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the
Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act. Also tested are product
content and recyclability. To achieve certification, products must
comply with emissions limitations and other standards.
GreenAssured products made of natural wood must pass a separate
evaluation using guidelines set by the Forest Stewardship Council
(FSC), a global nonprofit organization. FSC forest management standards
protect local environmental, social and economic values and avoid
habitat destruction, water pollution, the displacement of indigenous
peoples and the harvesting of endangered species of trees.
To launch its GreenAssured product line, ITA has tested and certified
its Meritec® Performance Shades, an architectural solar screening
fabric made from 100 percent polyester. The company also has certified
its Meridian Home® Wood Blind Components under the FSC standards.
Certification also is expected soon for two styles of ITA’s
Meridian Home Pleated Shades.
HUNTER DOUGLAS DIVISION HONORED WITH WORKERS
The Hunter Douglas Intermountain fabrication division, Murray, UT,
has been recognized in the trade/manufacturing sector with a Charles
A. Caine Workplace Safety Award presented by the state’s Workers
Compensation Fund (WCF) headquartered in Salt Lake City.
WCF is Utah’s premier workers’ compensation insurance
provider, insuring more than 30,000 companies. Each year it recognizes
12 companies with the award named for the first manager of its predecessor,
the State Insurance Fund.
With more than 230 employees, the Hunter Douglas Intermountain fabrication
division maintains a low claims frequency and continues to develop
new safety measures to protect employees. Since the end of 2002,
the incident rate has dropped more than 62 percent in the last two
KIRSCH EXPANDS, UPDATES WOOD BLINDS COLLECTION
Kirsch Window Fashions, High Point, NC, is expanding its line of
wood, composite and faux wood blinds to offer increased functionality
and fashion-forward finishes.
“This new collection offers furniture-quality finishes to allow
decorators, designers and homeowners to elevate their décor
by coordinating with trends in furniture, cabinetry and flooring
as well as select Kirsch decorative drapery hardware designs,”
said Elizabeth Ambrose, marketing manager.
New to the collection is a remote control feature. The motorized
option tilts blinds using the company’s cordless lift system,
eliminating the need for operation cords and creating a more streamlined
look at the window. An updated selection of decorative tapes also
has been added to the collection.