By Wanda Jankowski
|Ikats For Outdoors
Beacon Hill, a luxury brand in the Robert Allen Design Group, debuts Outdoor Ikats. This showroom-only collection is inspired by original silk ikats from Uzbekistan. Ibi Ikat (shown) was inspired by an antique silk Uzbek robe. All designs are woven with Sunbrella yarns, with a color story including clay, silver, lagoon blue, linen and indigo.
The Venice Collection from Elaine Smith Pillows showcases a variety of textile treatments centering on the pairing of ivory and black.
Amity Home’s new designs in its crochet and cotton throw collection include: (left to right): Estelle, Hailey, Riley and Bailey.
A preview of debuting delicacies from the April High Point Market with a focus on a sampling of “made in U.S.” companies.
High Point Market Week, Apr. 21 to 26, 2012, is a treasure trove of fresh resources in home furnishings.
Featured here are debut offerings from a sampling of exhibitors.
Since the interest in “made in U.S.” products remains high, following are close-up looks at some of the companies exhibiting during the April High Point Market that offer goods made in the U.S.
Bedford Cottage/Kennebunk Home
About 65 percent of its goods are manufactured in New Hampshire; the remainder is imported.
“What we are known for and make here are novelty, textured, lofty yarns to create throws,” says Richard Sherman, owner, Bedford Cottage/Kennebunk Home. “We import the yarns we can’t make here, such as chenilles and faux furs. We don’t do cut and sew here.
“There is more awareness regarding made in U.S. among customers at the shows—they want to know where the products are made. Now their customers, the consumers, are saying they really want made in U.S. product,” says Sherman. “Consumers expect quality for what they pay. And if they do buy American-made with the economy suffering, they realize that buying American supports all who live here.”
Sherman cites quick turns, and the ability to offer special colors in 35 days and manage smaller production runs as advantages of being based in the U.S. “We have control from design and cost standpoints,” he says.
Sherman relates the tale of attending a trade exhibition in Canton, China, where he spied a throw in a booth that looked similar to one his company offered. When he approached the booth to take a closer look, he saw a Bedford Cottage label on the throw. The agent at the booth explained that he was walking through the factory, knew it sold well in the U.S. and grabbed it to display at the show.
“I’ve got a good relationship with the factory,” says Sherman, “but I don’t control who’s walking through it. That experience was eye opening, so I thought we are better off doing more domestic manufacturing.” Sherman shifted the company’s output from 65 percent imports to 65 percent domestic production over the past five years.
“In New Hampshire, we can jump on creating current design elements and colors,” he says. “There are no containers or port inspections to worry about. Our pricing is competitive as costs of producing overseas have gone up, so that is not an issue for us.
“Our only limitation is the equipment we have,” Sherman says. “And there are not a lot of yarn manufacturers here in the U.S. But we have our niche, and we’re good at it.”
Traditions by Pamela Kline
All of the made-to-order bedding, decorative pillows, sleepwear and window coverings for Traditions by Pamela Kline are made locally in New York State. Cotton blankets, cotton matelassé coverlets and printed sheeting are made in Europe and stocked in the U.S. In addition to these stocked programs, the company also offers made-to-order fine European embroidered and embellished luxury linens.
“We have seen a definite increase in interest in U.S.- made products. Many of our customers are independent retailers and they have a strong interest in supporting their local economies, as well as U.S. businesses in general. There is also a higher level of quality associated with products made in the U.S, compared to many other countries,” says Shari Kline, owner and president, Traditions by Pamela Kline.
“It can be a struggle to compete with the cost of labor for many imported products,” says Kline, who believes that, on the upside, the company is able to offer customers a high level of customized service because they are based in the U.S.
Stars Under The
Stars Concert Series
The kick-off concert takes place on Sat., Apr. 21, 2012 with opening act Lacy Green, who merges musical influences, such as Country, Blues and Bluegrass, into an original sound. The backup band features Sammy Shelor, four-time International Bluegrass Music Association Banjo Player of the Year.
Rock legend Lou Gramm, the voice of Foreigner, headlines on Sun., Apr. 22, 2012. The vocalist and songwriter will perform some of his greatest hits with Foreigner.
Doors open for all concerts at 7 p.m. at Center Stage, between the Transportation Terminal and Showplace, and the concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Food and drinks are provided to all market attendees with a current Market pass and photo ID.
The manufacturing is done in the Textillery Weavers facility in Bloomington, IN. Although some of the components come from overseas, as much of the yarn as possible is spun domestically. All of its yarns are dyed in North Carolina. They also have a Sunbrella program with domestically produced yarns.
“When we do speak with consumers (which is not that often), we certainly find that they like ‘made in America’ goods. What we find with the stores that we sell to is that the ‘made in America’ moniker is meaningful to most and critical to many. We have been featuring a ‘made in USA’ tag for several years and have seen a growing interest in that fact. I would say that interest has accelerated in the past 12-18 months,” says A John Rose II, president, Texillery Weavers.
“The number one advantage of being based in the U.S. is the ability to have control over the product from start to finish. Our niche (especially in hospitality) is the ability to give the customer what they want and in the quantities that they want it. Because we control the entire process, we are able to do that and at a competitive price. It also allows us to have a broad line that will give the retailer and/or designer the kinds of choices they are looking for,” says Rose.
“If you look at the marketplace as being price driven then, yes, there is a disadvantage,” notes Rose. “On the other hand, if you look at the market as being design/quality driven, then I would say we are at a distinct advantage.”
Designer Seminar Series
The Design Viewpoints Series, presented by the High Point Market Authority in association with the American Society of Interior Designers and sponsored by Legrand, takes place Apr. 22-24 at noon in a new location: the High Point Theatre, next to the Transportation Terminal. The series offers up to .3 continuing education units (CEUs).
All seminars in the Design Viewpoints Series are free to interior designers and retailers attending High Point Market. No RSVP is required, and a boxed lunch will be first-come-first-served. Topics and speakers include:
Sun., Apr. 22: “Top Communication Tips to Boost Profits”
There is a direct correlation between your level of communication skill and your income. Participants learn key tools to improve communication skill levels. As a 25-year veteran in Fortune 1000 companies, Angela Merola has taught effective communication, and as a consultant helps organizations implement strategies to improve profits, productivity and culture. .1 CEU Credit.
Mon., Apr. 23: “How People Live Now”
Courtney Cachet presents insights into how people use their homes today, with tips for designers on how to keep up with, and design for, lifestyle changes. A regular contributor to Huffington Post and NBC, Cachet is a sought-after celebrity designer and TV personality. .1 CEU Credit.
Tues., Apr. 24: “Fast Forward – Three Macro Trends for 2013”
Greg Dunlop of WGSN-homebuildlife, online global trend forecaster, presents an exclusive look at far-forward trends in colors, styles, materials and inspirations that will influence interior design in 2013. .1 CEU Credit.
Aprica from Softline Home Fashions is a linen look that is slightly sheer and works indoors as well as outdoors. The company’s Eco-Friendly Guardin technology allows the fabric to repel water and not fade from sun exposure. It is available in 20 colors from neutrals to brights. The pattern is available as ready-made panels, decorative pillows or fabric by the bolt.
|Rows Of Ruffles
Woven Workz offers the Charlotte ruffle throw. Made with acrylic, the textured throw features a knitted construction for comfort with a self-binding edging. It is available in sky (shown), willow and lilac. Measuring 50 by 70 inches, it is machine washable.
Bedford Cottage/Kennebunk Home offers the imported Zephyr, a new brushed mohair-style throw woven from 100 percent acrylic yarns. Measuring 50 by 70 inches, the throw features a subtle, space-dye stripe.
Elaine Smith Pillows
Elaine Smith Pillows proudly notes that its line consists of product made in the U.S. of U.S. materials, making it a 100 percent “made in the U.S.” company.
Owner Elaine Smith notes, “We find that our retailers ask the question more often: Where are your pillows made? In this economy, their customers want to spend their money on U.S. made, where possible. It is important to them more now than ever.
“Having our manufacturing on site allows us to ship quickly,” Smith continues. “Our lead times are short and that is a plus for our customers. I think it gives us a major advantage to walk out onto the production floor and see in real time what and how we are producing. Quality control is vitally important to us and this hands-on approach gives us control to react quickly. Not to mention that my team feels like a family to me, so I like them here. We feel proud to say we are U.S. made and to be providing jobs here.
“The only disadvantage I can see is the fact that it is an additional facet of the business you have to commit time and resources to,” she concludes. “But in reality I’d rather that we manage our production team from the other side of our facility rather than the other side of the world.”
Eastern Accents products are cut and sewn at its Chicago facility. The fabrics and trimmings are sourced from vendors in the U.S. and abroad.
“Consumers today are definitely more interested in products manufactured in the U.S.,” says Ridvan Tatargil, owner, Eastern Accents. “Products manufactured abroad do not have the quality consumers are looking for; they pay less, but things just don’t last.
“Consumers’ attitudes have changed towards how they spend money on themselves,” he explains. “The average person spends a third of his or her life in bed, so why not invest in a high quality product that you really love? Investing in quality products ensures your bedding will stand the test of time.
“Having operations based in the U.S. allows us to offer our customers great flexibility and customization,” notes Tatargil. “We operate our facility like an efficient workshop rather than a factory that specializes in mass production, so we are able to make our products made-to-order, allowing us to pay attention to the details.
“There are no disadvantages to operating in the U.S. We’re able to produce products of the highest quality, something we are very proud of,” concludes Tatargil.
At Shaw Living, 98 percent of its products are made in the U.S. Shaw believes consumers want to support U.S. companies as well as make purchases that are good for the environment whenever possible. At High Point Market, the company showcases an expansion to the HGTV Home Flooring by Shaw rug collection made in the U.S. of Shaw's EverTouch® nylon, which offers softness, design flexibility, durability and recyclability.
- Amity Home, 626-334-6771, amityimports.com
- Beacon Hill, 800-333-3777, beaconhilldesign.com
- Bedford Cottage/Kennebunk Home, 800-242-1537, kennebunkhome.com
- C & F Enterprises, Inc. , 888-889-9868, cnfei.com
- Company C Inc., 800-818-8288, companyc.com
- DownTown Company, 973-305-8030, downtowncompany.com
- Eastern Accents, 800-397-45456, easternaccents.com
- Elaine Smith Pillows, 561-863-3333, elainesmith.com
- Emdee International, 770-457-5450, goemdee.com
- High Point Market Authority, 800-874-6492, highpointmarket.org
- Saro, 800-662-7276, saro.com
- Shaw Living, 800-282-7429, shawliving.com
- Softline Home Fashions, 800-701-4220, softlineonline.com
- Textillery Weavers, 800-223-7673, textillery.com
- Traditions by Pmela Kline, 518-851-3975, traditionspamelakline.com
- Woven Workz, 888-675-1000, wovenworkz.com