David Fryburg, president, Superior Shade: Superior Shade and Blind Co. is a wholesale manufacturer of vertical blinds selling to mass merchants, catalogs and home centers. In addition, Superior supplies the industry with a complete range of fabric, PVC and component parts for vertical blinds.
Superior was founded in 1895 in New York, NY, as a manufacturer of window shades and awnings. In 1972 Superior was purchased by Alex Fryburg and it has remained in the Fryburg family to date.
Over the years, Superior's product line has changed from an original manufacturer of window shades to a vertically integrated manufacturer of window coverings.
In 1985 Superior began a fabric mill to produce its own stitchbond fabrics. The knitting mill encompasses all aspects of fabric production starting with warping of yarn, carding of fiber and the knitting of fabric and following through to dyeing, finishing, foam coating and slitting.
Superior encompasses 275,000 square feet all in one location in Pompano Beach, FL. The company employs 300 people with the fabric mill running three shifts, seven days a week.
The company is split into two separate divisions. Superior Shade is the manufacturer of vertical blinds and the supplier of fabrics to the trade. The second division is Superior Fabrics, which encompasses the knitting mill. It supplies stitchbond fabric to numerous other industries in addition to the window coverings industry. The president of the company is Robert Fryburg.
D&WC: What window coverings products did you handle initially? What products do you handle today?
David Fryburg: When Superior was first founded the main products produced were window shades and awnings. The company maintained this product line for more than 70 years. At the time the Fryburg family purchased the company, 100 percent of the manufacturing was in window shades. Shortly thereafter, Superior became a distributor of Levolor blinds in the New York City area.
Around 1975 Superior began developing its own exclusive lines of fabric for use in window shades and vertical blinds. In 1983, Superior began manufacturing stock vertical blinds for mass merchants and contract vertical blinds for dealers, as well as distributing vertical blind components for headrail assemblies. In 1985 Superior's line expanded further to handle fabrics for pleated shades and soft goods for use in draperies and toppers.
In 1995, Superior added printed and engraved PVC to its product line. In 1997 it has added two-inch horizontals in PVC to its product mix.
D&WC: Give a percentage breakdown of these products. What one product or line stands out?
William M. Hayduk, vice president, sales/marketing: Approximately 60 percent of Superior Shade's volume is in the production and assembly of stock vertical blinds for mass merchants and home centers. Thirty percent of the product mix is in the sale of roll goods of fabric and component parts, and 10 percent is in the sale of PVC.
At this year's Atlanta trade show, we debuted our new Opulence vertical blind fabric collection. This book features a wide ranging assortment of styles and colors to accommodate multiple price points. Early returns have proved to be quite favorable. Additionally, the launch of our two-inch horizontal programs have created excitement as a complementary product offering to Superior's line.
D&WC: What best describes your niche in the marketplace?
Hayduk: Superior's niche revolves around our ability to service independent fabricators with quality products at competitive prices. For the catalogs and mass merchandisers, Superior is able to offer a wide variety of programs in multiple sizes, colors and patterns with extremely quick turnaround.
D&WC: What are some of the key factors involved in your growth and success?
David Fryburg: Key factors in the growth and success of Superior involve a dedication by all of its employees to producing a quality product and shipping it on time. In addition, Superior has been an extremely innovative company in adapting to the market needs and demands for new styles and colors in its vertical blind program.
Superior's knitting mills also has been a key factor in our growth. The knitting mill has allowed us to design our own destiny, to maintain high quality fabric and maintain production control. In addition, it has allowed us to diversify into multiple product lines. We continually reinvest heavily in plant equipment and machinery to grow our business and stay on the technical forefront of modern manufacturing processes.
Another key factor has been Superior's flexibility in working with its customers to develop and design specific programs to meet their needs. Most importantly, a dedicated staff of hardworking people will continue Superior's growth and success in the future.
Our strengths revolve around the fundamentals of development and the supply of fashionable styles in conjunction with tremendous responsiveness to our broad customer base. Dependable quality, service and delivery has been our trademark to the window coverings industry throughout our many years of service.
D&WC: What distinguishes you from the competition?
Robert Fryburg, president, Superior Fabrics: Our unique specialization as a mill direct operation encompassing fabric construction, dyeing, finishing, foam coating and slitting sets us apart from the rest of the window coverings industry. These capabilities, in conjunction with our extensive vertical blind manufacturing facility, allow for customized programs, service and support to a diverse customer base ranging from wholesale manufacturers to a variety of retail channels.
Through Superior's mill operation, we also supply fabric such as mattress ticking, roofing material, outdoor furniture, for shoes and apparel interlining to many diverse industries.
D&WC: Is your business computerized?
Robert Fryburg: Superior's business is fully computerized with an in-house main-frame and fully integrated software. Customer service representatives are able to enter orders on-line, check stock and trace orders without leaving their stations.
Superior added Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) capability to pass electronic documents such as purchase orders, shipping notices and invoices to its major trading partners. EDI allows Superior to effectively handle large quantities of orders in a timely and efficient manner.
All of Superior's inventory is fully bar-coded and placed in specific locations, which are continually updated via Superior's data processing system. Superior continues to stay on the technological forefront in order to be efficient and competitive.
D&WC: Who are your customers?
Hayduk: Superior services the entire United States as well as global markets exporting to Canada, Mexico, South America and other parts of the world.
Our customers are divided into two distinct types. First are mass merchants, department stores, catalogs and chain stores that purchase Superior's ready-made and made-to-measure vertical blinds. The second category is the independent vertical blind manufacturer to whom Superior supplies fabric, PVC and component parts.
D&WC: Where do you see the company five years from now?
Robert Fryburg: Five years from now, we see Superior as a continuing force in the window coverings market. We expect the company to see continued rapid growth with further expansion in other related window covering products, as well as technological advancements at the mill to become the foremost supplier of stitchbond fabric and other types of fabric construction to numerous industries.
D&WC: What trends and cycles do you see occurring in the industry?
David Fryburg: Superior has seen a strengthening market in horizontal programs. We now are embarking on a program of our own and have recently added equipment to produce two-inch horizontals.
In addition, as colors continue to change with the fashion portion of our industry, Superior continues to meet those challenges by adding new styles and colors to keep its product line fresh and up to date.
Superior Shade & Blind
1541 N. Powerline Rd.
Pompano Beach, FL 33069-1698
Fax: (954) 975-2938
Supplier of fabrics and components for vertical blinds and track systems offering stock and custom vertical and two-inch horizontal blinds.