Ashford Court unveils coordinated effort
By Cecile B. Corral -- Home Textiles Today, 4/21/2003 12:00:00 AM
RICHMOND, VA —
For the first time, decorative pillow and top-of-bed supplier Ashford Court is pursuing complete coordination across several product categories, including table linens and some kitchen textiles. This drive began at the New York spring market.
"It's all the way across," Amy Bell, executive vp and design director. "It's the first time we've made a coordinated effort."
Added Neil Zuber, president: "We're taking specific designs to China, and we're manufacturing [all of the new coordinated products] together."
The company, which during market turned three years old, introduced collections that comprise matching decorative pillows, tablecloths, place mats, chair pads and table runners that fall within six different design themes.
Constructions include jacquards, damasks, chenilles and tapestries, and every piece features at least one trimming, if not many more — including bell tassels, fringe, braids, buttons, embroideries and pieced enjoined.
Each available in at least four colorways, the seven design themes are Nautical, which primarily employs reds, whites and blues; American Folk, which focuses on farm animals; African Safari, which is made of engineered animal and skin motifs; Weekend Retreat, which uses argyles, paisleys and plaids; Asian, which is available in the traditional red-black-gold colorway as well as a new and softer palette combination of creams, blues, golds and other pastels; Island, which features palm motifs and employs raffia in its construction; and Millionaire, which centers on damasks, brocades, velvets and embroidered silks in reds and golds.
Suggested retail price points range from $9.99 for an 18-inch chenille tapestry pillow in the Nautical design through $99.99 for a 27-inch pieced and highly embellished pillow made in a fine Italian fabric and featuring a design from the Millionaire theme.
Zuber said the new fully coordinated effort is only helping to stimulate more growth in the company's table linen business, which currently accounts for 2 percent of the company's sales, but "is probably one of our fastest growing businesses."
Ashford Court's core business remains decorative pillows, which accounts for 80 percent. Top-of-bed goods — including adult, juvenile and infant bedding — make up 10 percent. The remainder is divvied up between table linens, chair pads, futon covers and dog beds — the latter of which is also becoming a booming business for the company.
For this past market, Ashford Court added higher-end looks to its dog bed offerings. The new styles include pieced and appliqué dog beds set to retail for $39.99. The company's basic dog beds retail for $19.99 to $29.99.
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