By Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 12/22/2003 12:00:00 AM
From Buckingham Palace to a store near you
KILLYBEGS, IRELAND — The century-old Donegal Carpets Ltd., which has carpeted Buckingham Palace and The Vatican, for the first time has signed a licensing agreement to have its hand-knotted rug designs available to a broader consumer market.
"In our effort to preserve the historic Donegal name, we have decided to offer Donegal designs at a more affordable price," said Michael McDaid, general manager, owner, Donegal Carpets. "We think this will allow a much broader audience to appreciate the skills that made Donegal so famous."
Northfield Carpets International LLC will introduce a collection of area rugs ranging in size from 5' x 8' to 10' x 14' featuring Donegal carpet designs — formerly custom-made only in Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland — in January at The National Oriental Rug Show in Atlanta.
Initially, Northfield Carpets will market the "Legacy Collection" in five sizes. It will include nearly a dozen historical designs, taken from patterns in the Donegal archives dating back to 1898.
An example is the Armagh rug, which was originally created for Armagh Cathedral in Ireland and features a trellis bordered by flowers and leaves in reds and greens.
Downing is a floral design in reds, blues and greens, originally commissioned for the Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downing Street in London. Ardmore, made for the Chicago Athletic Club, was inspired by a drawing from a page in the Book of Kells.
McDaid said his plan is to continue building the line with Northfield.
"In the short term we will concentrate on the first range of designs which will be launched in Atlanta. Our plan is then to show at Highpoint in April, possibly with an expanded range," McDaid added. "At Atlanta we will be discussing other ideas for development of the joint venture. I have many ideas that this outsourcing facility will allow me to implement. We are at the research and development stage with these ideas and should we agree on some new products together I believe we may introduce these at Highpoint."
Droesch retires from Huffco
STOCKTON, CA — Don Droesch, a veteran of the home products industry, recently announced his retirement from doormat company Huffco Manufacturing, where he served as vp, sales and marketing, on a consulting basis for the past three years.
"I have decided that at age 69 it is time to go play golf and have fun," Droesch told HTT. "After 43 years, I think it is time to sit back and relax and enjoy our retirement."
Droesch's career began at Willson Products, a division of Rayovac, where he worked for nine years. After that he operated his own sales representative business in California for 10 years. He then went to work for five years for Parker Hannifin, Royal Floor Mats for nine years and again operated his own consulting company the last eight years.
His wife, Joyce, was an elementary school teach for more than 40 years and also recently retired. The couple is moving to Solera by Del Webb, an adult community in Chandler, AZ.
"We plan to play golf, travel and party," said Droesch, who has five children, 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. "The new home is a single family detached home so we can putter around in the yard and enjoy the view from our patio of the San Tan mountains."
He said he will continue to be on-call as a part-time consultant for the industry.
Karastan jazzes up retail fixtures
SUGAR VALLEY, GA — Mohawk Home's upscale area rug division, Karastan, has created a new free-standing fixture to help accommodate its retail partners for its accent size offerings.
The new tower fixture was made with versatility in mind. It can be configured as a four- or five-tier structure, can be used with other existing displays and can be merchandised and located near a wall where scatters and runners are shown.
Karastan's accent rug program includes scatters and runners that range in sizes, including rounds. Hundreds of style and color choices are available, all of which coordinate with the brand's top selling collections and designs.
The estimated retail price range of Karastan's Accent rugs is from $99 for a 2.6' x 4' style in the Studio collections to $799 for extra long runners. The display tower is $299 and includes complete Karastan brand signage.
Bridging the gap at Nourison
SADDLE BROOK, NJ — A new fixture that measures less than 10 square feet is becoming the bridge to Nourison's two rug divisions.
Gary Shafran, sales and marketing manager for Nourison's accent rug division, told HTT this new fixture is made strictly for Nourison area rug division's carpet and rug dealer customers. It carries 72 accent rugs — 48 2' x 3' and 24 3' x 5' — none of which directly coordinate with any of Nourison's area rug offerings sold at these stores.
"The accent rugs on this fixture are absolutely just impulse purchases," Shafran said. "We are already selling all of our targeted department and specialty store customers. So this is the next step. This fixture is a way we can satisfy an interest in this product from our area rug division's customers."
Nourison will concentrate on offering only the eight top-selling patterns of its handmade, hand-carved, yarn-dyed hooked rugs from China on this fixture for the time being.
"Of our three constructions, this is our most popular," Shafran explained. "These are our more attractively priced rugs, plus they are where we are doing most of our business."
Nourison's accent rug division's other two constructions are its tufted and carved and its tufted and hooked.
On its four shelves, the fixture stocks six rugs per pattern of the 2' x 3' size and on its hanging racks it carries three of each pattern in the 3' x 5' size — which includes five rectangular, one oval and two round rugs.
Nourison is offering the fixture free to participating dealers with the purchase of the 72 rugs for $1,296.
Couristan preps to launch area rug ad campaign
FORT LEE, NJ — Couristan will be launching its new advertising campaign to promote its area rug division in spring 2004.
This campaign is part of the company's recent new branding strategy, "Living the life. Loving my Couristan.", which embarked this past spring with the launch of its residential broadloom carpet ad campaign.
The new area rug ad campaign includes three different lifestyle advertisements that are set to be published in national and regional shelter magazines throughout next year, Larry Mahurter, dir. of advertising and marketing, told HTT.
"We are trying to build our brand image and the synergy between our residential broadloom division and our area rug division," he explained. The first of the three area rug ads to be published in late February depicts Couristan's Taj Majal collection of 100 percent New Zealand wool rugs that are power-loomed in Belgium and feature traditional designs.
As the campaign continues to roll out later in the year, the company has plans of also featuring in these ads its Pokhara collection, a 100 percent New Zealand wool rugs that are hand-knotted in India.
Mohawk names Starr SE regional manager
SUGAR VALLEY, GA — Mohawk Home recently appointed David Starr to the newly created position of Southeast regional business manager. Starr was formerly national sales manager for domestic manufacturer Orian Rugs, based in Anderson, SC.
Prior to creating this new post, Mohawk Home worked with independent sales representatives to handle sales in the Southeastern region of the country.
He reports to Thomas Merriman, vp, sales, department and specialty stores.
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