ORION ORNAMENTAL IRON PURCHASES K-BLAIR FINIALS
Orion Ornamental Iron Inc., North Hollywood, CA, announces its purchase of K-Blair Finials, Norcross, GA. “We are delighted to add such a creative and unique company to Orion,” stated Sunil Patel, CEO.
According to Patel, Kay Blair has agreed to be a consultant for Orion and will continue to manage operations and provide customer support during the changeover phase. Orion plans to manufacture, assemble and finish the products at its facility in North Hollywood. The company plans to launch the line with new products and a new catalog this fall, according to a company statement.
“K-Blair is noted not only for its exquisite crystal and wood resin finials, but also for its wonderful finishes,” Patel added. “With the addition of the K-Blair line Orion will now be significantly enhancing the drapery hardware line offering to its customers.”
In a separate announcement, Orion Ornamental Iron also has launched a new company Web site at www.ironartbyorion.com, created to enhance the company’s online catalog and to initiate inquiries from the catalog.
The site includes Featured Product and New Product sections on the home page for innovative and unique product services offered by Orion. It also allows the viewer to navigate to the About Us link to learn more about the company, its customer relations team and trade show participation.
Visitors also can launch the Designer Pride link and post their most recent projects and get a free marketing presence for their work. Other features in the Customer Login section allow for shipment tracking using Orion’s sales order numbers and viewing or downloading purchase order forms and price lists.
MOHAWK INDUSTRIES FLORIDA ALIGNS WITH A BETTER BLIND
Mohawk Industries’ Florida region has repositioned itself to further expand its window fashions builder program by partnering with A Better Blind, Inc., Miami, FL, according to a statement released in February.
“We partnered with a more cost-efficient supplier to better help our customers compete in a commodity based marketplace,” said Larry Silberman, director of window fashions. “They have the product offering, efficiencies and service that the builder environment demands.”
Mohawk brings to the program more than 60 sales representatives, specifiers and managers promoting window fashions throughout the state of Florida alone.
A Better Blind, Inc. will administer all billing and operate fabrication and shipping of all Mohawk product. Mohawk recognizes A Better Blind, Inc. as an exclusive aligned vendor for the window fashions category. All Mohawk specified product will be private labeled with the Mohawk brand name, according to the statement.
Mohawk will promote its window fashions program in the retail, commercial and multi-family markets as well. The expanded product line will include two-inch faux, two-inch wood, 3 1/2-inch verticals, one-inch mini-blinds, roller shades and shutters.
CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS RECORD-BREAKING YEAR
More than 150 members, staff, suppliers and guests of Exciting Windows! came together at the Tremont Plaza Hotel in Baltimore, MD, January 26 to 29 to learn new skills, network, share technology information and gain marketing and sales tools while celebrating a successful year at the Exciting Windows! Fourth Annual Conference.
Highlights included a keynote presentation by company spokesperson Michael Payne, celebrity designer of HGTV, who kicked-off a national $10,000 Windows Makeover Sweepstakes.
Other events included a trunk show marketing plan, Internet marketing and technology for a new era, supplier/vendor presentations, a window fashions design contest, programs on “Building Your Brand” and “Embracing Change,” as well as an awards banquet to recognize high performing licensees and franchises.
Joe Barnett, owner, The Reflective Designer, Middleton, MA, was named Business Owner of the Year. Mike Linn, Sonic Blinds, Buffalo, NY, took top honors as managed business sales leader, while Elliot Laniado, Window Treats, Red Bank, NJ, was recognized as the sales leader for a personally operated business.
SPRINGS WINDOW FASHIONS ACHIEVES GREEN BUILT HOME CERTIFICATION
Springs Window Fashions, Middleton, WI, achieved certification by Green Built Home™ for all of its window coverings, the company announced in January. Green Built Home is a program that reviews and certifies new and reconstructed homes and building products that meet a certain level of sustainable and green building practices. Certification qualifications include practices that meet environmental, health and energy standards to promote green building and efficiency, the company stated.
With certification from Green Built Home, Springs Window Fashions joins a network of builders, companies and organizations committed to greening the built environment through design, construction and products that enhance the sustainability of buildings. Springs Window Fashions teams also have the opportunity to engage with experts in the green marketplace to further refine products and processes.
The program, which is implemented in partnership with the Madison (WI) Area Builders Association, was founded eight years ago and has grown with the help of participating builders’ associations and in cooperation with other organizations and companies that share the same values and goals to promote eco-friendly practices in building.
The program reaches thousands of homebuyers and builders through participating organizations. The initiative has been nationally recognized for its certification process and continues to provide neutral third-party certification to practices that meet its standards as well as standards for the environment.
“Springs is proud to be recognized by this highly respected organization,” said Tom Rodgers, Springs Window Fashions’ green team manager. “We share the same dedication to promoting environmental awareness and sustainable living and to changing the way that builders and homeowners think about issues of energy efficiency and resource conservation.”
FURNITURE RETAILER OFFERS ORGANIC COTTON IN 2008 LINES
Arhaus Furniture, Cleveland, OH, will begin using organic cotton fabrics in several furniture lines scheduled to debut in its stores around the United States in 2008.
“The addition of organic cotton—60 different styles in all—to our furniture lines is just another step we’ve taken to help protect the earth’s valuable resources,” says Gary Babcock, vice president of merchandising and design.
“For fiber to be considered organic, it must be raised and harvested in accordance with standards of one or more of the certification companies in either the United States or abroad,” he added. Arhaus organic fabrics are made from 100 percent certified organic cotton, which means no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers are used during the growing process. “Customers can feel good about buying fabrics that won’t bring additional chemicals and allergens into their homes,” Babcock stated.
Arhaus Furniture is a Cleveland-based lifestyle retailer with more than 450 employees serving customers through 30 locations across the country.
HUNTER DOUGLAS INTRODUCES WOOD CORNICE PROGRAM, REINVIGORATES DESIGNER ROLLER SHADES
Hunter Douglas, Upper Saddle River, NJ, has announced new introductions to its Country Woods® Exposé™ Wood Cornice Program and Designer Roller Shades collection, which launched February 1. These additions offer dealers new looks and upgrade opportunities, the company states.
The new Country Woods® Exposé™ Wood Cornice Program showcases a selection of cornices, designed to perfectly match all Country Woods wood blind colors and complement other Hunter Douglas window fashions or drapery treatments. These additions offer dealers new profit potential that extends the sale beyond the window. Six new styles are featured, ranging from traditional to contemporary in six-, nine- and 12-inch heights.
An invigorated selection of textures, colors, custom design options and lifting systems have been added for Remembrance® Window Shades. With the collection’s new styling, a new name is being introduced: Designer Roller Shades. Three key fabric categories make up the line: Traditional, Natural and Soft. A total of 189 SKUs, 124 of which are new, are available in 26 distinctive collections.
ADO UNVEILS NEW LINE OF COLOR COORDINATES
ADO Corp., Spartanburg, SC, is launching ADOcoordinates, a color-coordinated fabric line consisting of drapery weight fabrics, printed fabrics, sheers and trimmings that can be combined to create complete window treatment solutions.
The ADOcoordinates line consists of 12 basic color palettes based on color tones most prevalent among other American home interiors products on the market today, according to a company statement. The fabric line allows designers to begin with color palette groups of trimmings and from there, reference easy-to-read charts to find matching fabric assortments for a complete window treatment, it added.
To support the new line, ADO will offer long hanging collage samples illustrating color palette groups with matching fabrics and trimmings, and a set of coordinating fabric and trimming books for designers who work on the go.
“In 2008 we wanted to introduce an innovative and convenient all-in-one window treatment product line, while still maintaining the fabric quality we’re known for,” said Walter Herr, ADO executive vice president.
The ADOcoordinates collection is also suited to products within the ADO product offering including ADOwrap®, ADOfold, ADOglide and ADOshade, the company added.
WESTGATE ACQUIRES BRAZILIAN ASSETS OF QUAKER FABRICS
Westgate, New York, NY, is acquiring the Brazilian assets of defunct decorative fabric supplier Quaker Fabrics.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved Westgate’s purchase of Quaker Textil Do Brasil LTDA, based in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in January. Quaker Fabrics filed for bankruptcy in August 2007; prior to its filing, the company was one of the world’s largest manufacturers of upholstery fabrics, according to a statement from Westgate.
“We are pleased to add the assets and distribution of Quaker Brazil to our global operation,” said David Li, CEO, Home Furnishing International, LLC, Westgate’s parent firm. “This will enhance Westgate’s status as a worldwide supplier of decorative fabrics and finished home fashions.”
Currently, Westgate operates international distribution centers in Shanghai, Belgium and Mexico, as well as a 275,000-square-foot U.S. distribution center in Gaffney, SC.
The Quaker brand name is included in the purchase. Westgate will market decorative fabrics under the Quaker brand in Brazil. “We also will be expanding the assortment to include home fashions and accessories by the end of the year,” Li comments.
DRAPER RECEIVES COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD
Draper, Inc., Spiceland, IN, has been recognized for its environmental efforts. Draper received the 2007 Environmentalist of the Year Award from the Three Rivers Solid Waste Management District based in Henry County, IN, the location of Draper’s corporate headquarters. The award cites Draper for exceptional leadership in the pursuit of environmental excellence.
The company also was recognized for offering window shades, projection screens and gym equipment products that are GreenGuard Children and Schools-certified for low VOC emissions, as well as shade products that are PVC-free and 100 percent recyclable.
The Three Rivers Citizens Advisory Committee—made up of local volunteers—nominated Draper for the award based on the company’s environmental stewardship, including recycling and reuse programs. “The more we learned about their green efforts, the more impressed we were with what they have accomplished,” said council chairperson Donna Tauber.
ACE CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF WINDOW TREATMENT ESTIMATING SOFTWARE
CCM Ace Ltd. celebrates the 25th anniversary of Ace For Windows, an automatic curtain estimator software system marketed in the United Kingdom. As part of the anniversary celebration the company has launched the Ace Software in the United States.
Ace For Windows has been developed by a team with 25 years experience of writing software for the window treatment industry, according to Hilton Matus, CEO. It is suitable for a large variety of companies including retail and department stores, interior designers and decorators, home décor professionals, installers, contractors, drapery workrooms, fabricators and specialty fabric stores, according to a company statement.
Ace for Windows was developed with ease of use as a priority knowing it is drapery professionals not computer professionals using it, the company sates.