GLEN RAVEN ANNOUNCES NEW NAME FOR COMPANY
Glen Raven, Inc., Glen Raven, NC, has unveiled the name for its new distribution division: Tri Vantage™, LLC. In May 2007, Glen Raven acquired long-standing business partners The Astrup Co., Cleveland, OH, and John Boyle & Co., Statesville, NC. After several months of consolidating operations and completing the merger, the new organization has announced its new identity and brand with Tri Vantage.
“We are very pleased to move forward as one united company under the new Tri Vantage name,” said Harry Gobble, president and general manager. “Through Tri Vantage we have woven the strengths and capabilities of three great companies together to provide the highest level of product innovation and the best service possible to our customers.”
Glen Raven, founded in 1880, markets specialty fabrics in more than 100 countries worldwide, including its two leading brands, Sunbrella® and Dickson®. The company has marketing, product development, sourcing and manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. Astrup and John Boyle are leading distributors of fabrics, hardware and finishing supplies for the awning, marine, sign and casual furniture industries. The merger means Tri Vantage now employs more than 300 people within 19 offices and distribution centers across North America.
The company launched a new corporate Web site in March (www.trivantage.com) with an expanded online catalog. Located within the main site, the new online purchasing system is intended to make placing orders much simpler for customers with more product detail, photos, color swatches and real-time pricing. Users will be able to make customized lists of products they purchase regularly as well as to keep a wish list of items for the future, according to a company statement.
SPECIALTY GROUP ACQUIRES PLASTIC PRODUCTS
The Specialty Group, a Richmond, VA-based stage curtain provider and large central Virginia custom drapery workroom, has acquired Plastic Products, Inc., Richmond, VA, according to Tony Lovette, Specialty president.
Plastic Products, Inc. is a manufacturer of custom stage curtains and operates under the name Custom Stage Curtain Fabricators and Luxout. The firm started operations in 1948 and has a diversified customer base throughout the United States and Canada. “This acquisition allows us to expand our operations and form a national stage curtain synergy capitalizing on Plastic Products’ diverse product portfolio, a well-regarded dealer network and impeccable customer service reputation,” said Lovette.
Specialty purchased Plastic Products from Neill Goff who sold the business as part of his retirement planning. Goff will remain with the company in a consulting capacity, according to a company statement.
The Plastic Products unit joins the Specialty Drapery division, which provides custom window covering products and services for the trade. It also is one of the largest suppliers and reconditioners of stage curtains in the Mid-Atlantic, providing schools, houses of worship, universities and performing arts groups with the full spectrum of design, motorization, installation, and cleaning services, the company states.
Specialty Drapery Cleaners is a cleaning division dedicated exclusively to the cleaning and repair of window treatments, household and corporate linens and stage curtains.
Specialty has operations in two facilities locally, a manufacturing plant in Henrico County, VA, and sales, service and administrative offices in Richmond.
WARREN STEVEN TO HOST HUNTER DOUGLAS ELEMENTS SEMINAR
Warren Steven Window Fashions, Minneapolis, MN, will sponsor and host Hunter Douglas® Elements™ training on May 14 and 15, 2008.
Elements is designed to educate dealers and installers about Hunter Douglas product features and benefits using hands-on training methods, real world dialogue, product interaction booths, displays and sampling vehicles. The training emphasizes customer relationship building and multi-dimensional sales and marketing techniques aimed to heighten customer response, satisfaction and retention, according to the company.
“We haven’t had a show of this magnitude in this marketplace for over five years,” said Paula Bongartz, Warren Steven Window Fashions’ director of Hunter Douglas Alliance and training programs. “Dealers who attend will walk away with ideas and business techniques that can be implemented immediately in the everyday workplace.”
“Customer Relationships,” and “Marketing and Advertising” courses will be taught by Sally Morse, Hunter Douglas director of creative services.
“Motorization,” “Best Business Practices” and “Installation for Dealers” courses will be taught by Cliff Sparks, Rob Powell and Nick Prinz from Hunter Douglas’ Certified Professional Installer Program.
The Elements training will be incorporated with Hunter Douglas Encores™ training seminars. Encores will cover the new product introductions and enhancements for the May 2008 launch from Silhouette® window shadings and vertical blinds.
TREND JOINS GREEN MOVEMENT WITH TWO NEW FABRIC BOOKS
Trend, a subsidiary of Fabricut, Tulsa, OK, has released of a selection of environmentally responsible fabric books. The newest season offers two multi-purpose textured, solid books, Valiant and Urban, which are produced using environmental guidelines under the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. This strict international standard indicates that the fabric is free of carcinogenic and allergenic dye stuffs, creating a safe and skin friendly pH level.
Trend’s parent company, Fabricut, has created a green logo called Environment Plus, which crosses all of its brands, identifying the nature-friendly fabrics that meet specific industry guidelines, such as Oeko-Tex Standard 100. “We have made a commitment company-wide to do our part for a cleaner, greener Earth,” says Rebecca Creal, Trend’s managing director. “Our new green logo, Environment Plus, represents our pledge to help the environment at all levels: at work, with conservation and recycling; at home, with educational seminars for our employees to learn how to be environmentally responsible; and at large, with bringing eco-friendly fabrics to our customers.”
GREENHOUSE DESIGN PROVIDES FABRICS FOR RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE
Greenhouse Design, High Point, NC, has provided slipcover fabric for the Wilmington, DE, Ronald McDonald House renovation project. Local volunteers and regional companies contributed to the interior décor of the property, which serves as an affordable alternative for families in distress.
In addition to a new wing being built, the entire property was remodeled on the inside to provide a contemporary space for its residents. Electrical engineer-turned-custom draper Sharon Mullen, Somerset Designs, spearheaded the efforts to collect materials donated or offered at a discount for the renovation and personally crafted the slipcovers from Greenhouse’s fabric. Nearly 240 yards of fabric were needed to create slipcovers for two dozen chairs.
“The families who stay here and the team that takes care of them are ever grateful for the company’s charitable contribution to this mission. And I’m so grateful to do regular business with such a caring and philanthropic company,” said Mullen.
Greenhouse provided the washable, 100 percent solution-dyed acrylic fabrics below wholesale cost. Many of the children who live there are extremely sensitive to certain chemicals and the furnishings must be washed frequently. “It is an honor and a privilege to give back to the communities of our customers,” said Mike Bivins, Greenhouse Design president. “The Ronald McDonald house plays an amazing role in caring for those in need.”
WARREN STEVEN OFFERS HUNTER DOUGLAS CONSUMER REBATES
Warren Steven Window Fashions, Minneapolis, MN, is providing its Priority, Showcase, Gallery and Centurion dealers with the Hunter Douglas Spring Savings Event consumer rebates. The event runs from March 1 to May 31, 2008.
Consumer rebates are available in denominations ranging from $25 to $200 on Duette® honeycomb shades with UltraGlide®, EasyRise™, PowerRise® Platinum™ Technology, Vertiglide™ and Vertiglide Duolite™ operating systems.
Rebates ranging from $20 to $50 per unit also are offered on Vignette® Modern Roman Shades with UltraGlide, top-down/bottom-up and PowerRise Platinum Technology operating systems.
IFDA SETS 2008 AGENDA
The International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) kicked off its 2008 season in January with its successful “Color Forecast 2009” during the International Gift Fair and Home Textiles Market at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY. Experts Doty Horn, director of color and design, Benjamin Moore, and Samantha Nestor, special projects editor for Metropolitan Home magazine provided expertise and insight to 2009 color trends.
The European Market Review followed in February, led by Wanda Jankowski, editor-in-chief of LDB magazine, and Hermine Mariaux, a branding and licensing expert, who presented a review and market analysis of international home shows, Heimtexil in Frankfurt, Germany, and Maison & Objet in Paris, France.
On the agenda for 2008 will be the return of the Breast Cancer Awareness event in October, which will be presented in conjunction with several other industry organizations.
Also for the fall, work is underway for the Big Apple Awards and another new favorite, the Rising Stars of Interior Design, panel moderated by interior designer Jamie Drake.
In addition to market reviews from both international and domestic locales, the IFDA will host events ranging from accessories, flooring, luxury market and other topical issues such as the greening of America. The IFDA also is initiating business improvement sessions and tech support classes for its members.