D&WC: Please give a detailed description of your company and its history.
CARMEN SINGER, VP OF MARKETING:
We are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year! We were
founded in 1980 by Larry Treiber and Jim Singer, both of whom started
in the industry as installers. Larry has recently retired, but Jim
remains as president.
Vista originally started in a small manufacturing facility in Sarasota,
FL, and grew over the years to four manufacturing facilities in
Sarasota and Jacksonville, FL; Hamlet, NC; and Arlington, TX. We
have recently begun construction to double our Jacksonville facility,
and when complete we will have more than 200,000 square feet of
manufacturing space and 20,000 square feet of offices.
D&WC: What window coverings
products did you handle initially? What products do you handle today?
Singer: Vista began
initially as a Graber fabricator of vertical blinds. Over the years
our product line has grown to include cellular and pleated shades;
roller, Roman and woven wood shades; wood and faux wood blinds;
shutters, aluminum and vinyl horizontal blinds; and panel tracks.
D&WC: Give a percentage breakdown
of these products. What one product or line stands out above the
Singer: Faux woods continue
to dominate and our new sample book expands our offering in this
category. Our new Sierra faux wood features a realistic wood grain
at a modest upgrade in price; we’ve also expanded our color
line in basic faux wood.
Our vinyl Sonesta Shutter continues to grow; even dealers inexperienced
in shutters can easily sell and install this profit-building product.
Vinyl is now viewed by consumers as a desirable and maintenance-free
product that can command a premium in other products such as fencing
D&WC: What best describes
your niche in the marketplace?
Singer: We were one
of the first major manufacturers to break away from the fabricator
network in the early 1990s to create our own brand and source our
The fabricator relationship simply became too restrictive for us
and limited our choices of what we could and could not sell. Independent
sourcing has kept us competitive in the market as well as providing
an outlet for the many great products developed outside of the Hunter,
Springs and Newell channels.
D&WC: What are some of the
key factors involved in your growth and success?
Singer: Since we are
celebrating our 25th anniversary this year, I would look to the
many 10-, 15- and 20-year employees we have as a big factor. Our
management team has been together a long time and gives our customers
a lot of knowledge and experience to draw from.
D&WC: What are your
strengths in the marketplace?
Singer: Feedback from our customers tells us that we have one of
the most informed and knowledgeable customer service departments
in the industry. Our shutter specialists do an especially good job
in ensuring problem-free orders.
D&WC: What advice would you
give to other window coverings professionals?
be afraid to sell up! There are a lot of higher end shades being
sold. Consumers want a quality product and are willing to buy from
someone they have confidence in that will take the time to educate
them on the features and benefits. If you are not comfortable selling
products such as shutters and motorized products, our salespeople
will be happy to work with you to raise your comfort level and your
D&WC: What trends and cycles
do you see occurring in the industry? How is your business addressing
Singer: Windows are
getting bigger, and products are changing to incorporate a look
that provides more scale and balance. We are adding a 2 1/2-inch
wood slat and have increased our number of faux wood 2 1/2-inch
colors. We’ll be looking at expanding our offering in other
product lines to meet this trend.
Consumers also want options! Softer window treatments such as cellular,
Roman, roller and woven wood shades are all growing categories.
We are expanding all these lines and adding fun options such as
beaded trims for roller shades and arches and edge banding for woven
D&WC: Are there any new products
or programs ready to be introduced?
Singer: We will be introducing
our new collection of wood and faux wood soon. We are really excited
about this new and unique selling tool. We wanted to combine the
ease of use of simple hand decks with the presentation of a binder.
The result is a professional presentation with removable decks for
the ultimate in versatility.
We’ve also added a unique privacy option for woven wood shades.
This patent pending solution features a pleated shade liner attached
to the existing woven wood headrail. The liner operates independently
of the woven wood shade, allowing the customer to have that airy
look and feel when they want it and privacy when they need it.
1788 Barber Rd.
Sarasota, FL 34240
fax: (941) 378-3514