Todd Grafton, president: Window Fashions, Inc. was founded in 1981 by Thomas Girard, who passed away February 23, 1996. During his tenure as president, Girard was awarded Pennsylvania Small Business Man of the Year in 1988. For the past eight years, I've served as the company's controller and was appointed president on June 1, 1996.
Our manufacturing facility, which encompasses approximately 40,000 square feet of production space, is located on the north side of Pittsburgh, PA. The corporate office, which houses approximately 10,000 square feet of office space, is located 16 miles north of Pittsburgh in Cheswick, PA.
For the past 15 years our sales have grown consistently, and our product lines have expanded. We currently have close to 100 employees.
D&WC: What window coverings products did you handle initially? What products do you handle today?
Grafton: Window Fashions started as a fabricator of Bali® horizontal blinds, Profile vertical blinds and Joanna pleated shades. In 1990, we began producing Graber® vertical blinds. Since that time, we have expanded into an exclusive full-line Graber fabricator and Nanik distributor.
D&WC: Give a percentage breakdown of the products you carry. What one product or line stands out above the rest?
Rose Webb, sales administrator: Approximately 48 percent of our sales is in Graber horizontals, woods and verticals. CrystalPleat®, FashionPleat® and EvenPleat® account for 52 percent of sales. Since CrystalPleat was introduced, sales have increased at a phenomenal rate due to the softness and the superior insulation properties of the product. Today, CrystalPleat continues to lead the entire pleated category.
D&WC: Who are your customers?
Webb: Window Fashions' customers are large and small retail dealers and decorators throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
D&WC: Do you have programs to educate your customers?
Webb: Window Fashions sends a quarterly newsletter to keep its customers informed on products, promotions and the window fashions industry. Our sales staff presents seminars to educate dealers on features and benefits of products and to provide helpful sales techniques. Each of these seminars is personalized to the dealer's business.
Window Fashions also exhibits at industry shows in the East, South and Midwest. One of my personal goals is to bring more professionalism into this industry.
D&WC: What best describes your niche in the marketplace?
Webb: Window Fashions has developed unique programs for our dealers, one of which is the 24-Hour Express program for Classic Supreme mini-blinds. Orders received Monday ship on Tuesday. We also have a 48-Hour Quick Ship program on verticals, pleated, EvenPleat and CrystalPleat. Orders received on Monday ship Wednesday.
Window Fashions was one of the first in the industry to introduce quick ship programs for dealers at no additional charge. We also developed a unique "no template" policy. No template is required for irregular arches (except eclipse) -- all that is needed is the width and height measurements.
D&WC: What distinguishes you from the competition?
Webb: Superior customer service has given Window Fashions a definite competitive edge. Our professional and knowledgeable customer service staff provides customers with accurate and timely information in a friendly, courteous manner.
Window Fashions' dedication to its customers in surpassing all expectations has earned it a reputation as a reliable fabricator in the industry.
D&WC: What are your strengths in the marketplace?
Webb: Window Fashions is the quality leader in the industry. We pride ourselves in fabricating quality products, competitive pricing, quick delivery and excellent service. We have, over the years, taken additional steps to hire quality control inspectors who assure consistent quality.
We stay focused on dealers' needs and become partners in building a long-term relationship. We are dedicated to our dealers' success.
D&WC: Is your business computerized?
Grafton: Because Window Fashions relies so heavily on computers, our corporate office recently upgraded its computer system to a Sun Microsystem Sparc 20. Between the corporate office and our manufacturing facility we have 25 work stations networked through the Sun distributor.
Recently, we have added the ability for our sales associates to access the Sun computer system from PCs located in their homes. All of our systems routinely transmit data to ensure each system is updated with current information.
In conjunction with an outside consultant, our entire order entry system is constantly being customized to meet the demands of the ever-changing window coverings industry. Currently, our custom software encompasses order entry, order tracking, work order production, inventory control, shipping, invoicing and sales analysis.
D&WC: Where do you see yourself and your company five years from now? Are there additional areas within the industry that you would like to get involved in?
Grafton: Over the next five years, Window Fashions will continuously improve the strong reputation it has earned for producing a quality product, delivering in a timely manner and striving for complete customer satisfaction.
We plan to expand our customer base throughout the United States by introducing new innovative programs for our customers. Two examples of these programs are the 24-Hour Express and the 48-Hour Quick Ship. Another way we plan to expand our customer base is to work in conjunction with Springs Window Fashions in the development and implementation of new window covering products.
My own personal goal is for every one of our customers to view Window Fashions as the best supplier they have ever dealt with.
Window Fashions, Inc. Fabricator and distributor of brand name window coverings including vertical, mini- and micro-blinds and pleated shades.
P.O. Box 156
Cheswick, PA 15024
Fax: (800) 323-8904