Belfast Bay Shade Company

I’ve just gotten word that Belfast Bay Shade Company will be showing off new lines of lampshades inspired by nature at the NY Now show coming up in New York in a couple of weeks. This show is not open to the public, but I can get you an early look at these beautiful new lamp shades as soon as they’re out on view to the business. Stay tuned, and in the meantime, take a look back at this.lampshade

Online Retailer Acquires Dwell Studio

Wayfair.com, the largest online retailer of home furnishings and decor, has acquired DwellStudio, a lifestyle retailer known for groundbreaking design and impeccable quality in modern home furnishings with expertise in upholstery, case goods, furniture and textiles for baby, kids and home. The acquisition further strengthens Wayfair.com’s leadership position in home retail by adding a popular lifestyle brand with core competencies in original design and product development. The deal will accelerate Wayfair.com’s launch of proprietary product lines and lifestyle brands in 2013 while addressing new market segments.

Under the Wayfair.com umbrella, DwellStudio will operate as a standalone brand joining Joss & Main and AllModern.com to satisfy increasing demand for unique shopping experiences in the home furnishings space. Wayfair.com’s core strengths in selection, service, internet technologies and logistics will drive the rapid growth of DwellStudio. At the same time, Wayfair.com will have access to DwellStudio’s world-class product design team for the development of original product lines and new lifestyle brands.

“DwellStudio has built a following of devoted customers who enthusiastically identify with a certain lifestyle and modern design aesthetic,” noted Niraj Shah, CEO and co-founder of Wayfair.com. “We look forward to expanding the DwellStudio brand through our world class e-commerce capabilities while staying true to DwellStudio’s strategy of developing and delivering trend-setting products of exceptional quality to a growing customer base through a large number of partners.”

Based in New York City with a flagship retail store at 77 Wooster Street in SoHo, DwellStudio is a catalog and e-commerce retailer with a worldwide wholesale business. The company’s products are currently sold in more than 800 high-end specialty retail stores and design oriented online retailers across the United States, Canada and throughout 40 international territories. Known for its modern sensibility, iconic textiles and forward colors, DwellStudio products can be found at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Giggle, Bel Bambini, ABC Carpet, HD Buttercup and F.A.O. Schwarz.

“We are thrilled because Wayfair.com is truly transforming the way people shop for home goods and furniture through innovative e-commerce solutions, extraordinary customer service and state of the art logistics. They have the best backend in the business,” noted Christiane Lemieux, CEO, founder and creative director of DwellStudio. “Our design, merchant and product development teams are so excited to help fuel Wayfair.com’s move into new market segments and additional proprietary product categories. At the same time, we want our customers to know that we remain dedicated to building the DwellStudio brand with a continued commitment to beautiful original design and impeccable construction. It’s the perfect marriage of style and substance.”

“DwellStudio is an ideal addition to Wayfair.com’s portfolio of brands – joining Joss & Main, AllModern.com and Wayfair.com to meet market demand for distinctive modern design in bedding, furnishings and decor, with a special emphasis on products for baby and children,” added John Mulliken, Wayfair.com’s SVP of strategic initiatives. “The acquisition is a logical step on Wayfair.com’s path to becoming the dominant retailer in home. We will enable DwellStudio to scale its core business at a much greater pace while staying true to its design DNA and commitment to the highest quality products for home.”

Hometalk Offers Tips from Social Network

Hometalk, the largest home and garden social network on the web, has released its Hometalk app for iPhone and iPad.

Hometalk connects millions home enthusiasts and home improvement professionals. Users can browse a wide range of topics related to the home for inspiration, from cleaning and plumbing to gardening and construction. They can also share their own photos and step-by-step DIY projects. Experts and peers answer questions and provide tips and feedback on anything related to home and garden. To tackle larger projects users can also search for local contractors to hire or to simply ask for advice—contractors can easily display examples of their work in project portfolios.

“Hometalk is a premiere destination for people who want to engage with their homes,” said Miriam Illions, Director of Community Development. “Our users are extremely active and want to access this content wherever they are—almost 30 percent of our traffic comes from mobile devices. With the release of the iOS app, Hometalk makes it even easier to find inspiration and share ideas. The app is especially helpful for contractors who are out on the field so they can lend help and give tips right from their pocket.”

The Hometalk app is available for free on the iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad. Download at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hometalk-home-garden-knowledge/id643027980

IKEA to Add Augmented Reality App to New Catalog

When IKEA rolls out its 2014 catalog this August, shoppers will be able to use the combination of a mobile app and the paper catalog to get a better picture of how the IKEA products will work in their own homes. According to Mobile Commerce Daily.com, “The free app version of the catalog carries out the theme ‘All Moments Count’ by allowing users to virtually place and view IKEA furniture in their homes via augmented reality.

“The feature lets consumers explore a room in 360 or 180 degrees using the device sensors. Consumers will be able to view a room both vertically and horizontally.”

We’re going to be able to get a look at how the technology works on a YouTube video that’s scheduled to be released at the same time that the app is launched, but so far, what it looks like is that you’ll be able to click on a product in the IKEA catalog and use your tablet or smartphone to superimpose the picture of that item onto a view of the room that you’re planning to put it in.

Trade Association Pushes for More Transparency in Bedding Materials

Furniture Today, a trade newspaper for the furniture industry, is reporting that an organization of bedding manufacturers, the Specialty Sleep Association, is changing its mission from promoting what the association calls specialty sleep products to becoming an information resource that consumers can trust for information about the construction materials of different beds. To that end, they’re pushing for better labeling. Consumers with allergies will be rooting for them on this.

“Our motto, ‘The Future of Sleep’ remains the same, but the vision of that future is changing,” said Dale Read, SSA president, who is quoted in the Furniture Today article. “Over the next few months and years we want to transition from a group that merely markets and promotes innovative technologies labeled as specialty sleep to become a trusted authority for consumers to turn to when they want to know about the contents, the health, the wellness aspects and the safety features of specialty sleep products. We want to assist in educating mattress/bedding consumers about what is going on with the materials, components, construction and finished products of sleep products.

“To do this we have to help both our manufacturers and the retailers carrying their products,” Read added. “We have to offer a mattress label/contents or consumer disclosure label that is not ‘green’ oriented, but covers all materials in the sleep products category.”

Belfast Bay Shade Company: Handcrafted Lampshades and Fine Art for the Home

The Maine Botanical Series

Designer/Maker: Dina Petrillo

These artisan-made lampshades come in a variety of botanical motifs printed with a collagraph emboss—Original prints are pulled on etching presses and constructed to last. With more than 40 designs, these shades are highly versatile for use with any lamp style including swag, track, hardwire ceiling hung pendants, floor and table lamps and sconces. The company uses archival materials sourced in the United States and works with domestic distributors and manufacturers. These are fine art lampshades, and each shade is titled, dated and signed by the artist. Made in Waldo County, Maine.

Within the Botanical series there are four shade lines

Bold Graphic: mostly monochromatic inks on brightly colored papers;

A La Poupee: hand-painted plates with 3 or more ink colors;

Chine Colle: multiple translucent paper colors for a layered look;

Custom: a combination of any of the above print methods and selected motifs designed to order.

lampshadeDrum shades come in 11 sizes : 7 x 5″, 7 x 12″, 9 x 10”,  9 x 15″, 9 x 20″, 11 x 9″, 11 x 10″, 12 x 12″, 12 x 14″, 14 x 11″ and 15 x 13″.

Price Range (retail): each of the shade lines in range of sizes.

Graphic:  $180 – $340

A La Poupee: $290 – $450

Chine Colle: $270 – $350

Custom: $430 – $830

Botanical motifs comprise 14 designs: Beech, Brussels Sprouts, Geranium, Grapevine, Hydrangea, Maple, Oak, Nasturtium, Quince, Rhododendron, Squash, Sunflowers, Tomato, and Wisteria.

Materials: archival translucent papers, etching inks, lamp styrene and steel rings

Rodale Ventures into Online Retailing

Rodale Inc.—the company that launched the American organic movement and the leading authority on healthy, eco-friendly living—is launching the first online shopping destination specializing in handpicked luxury and sustainably sourced goods.

Rodale’s (www.rodales.com) combines 70+ years of the company’s unmatched heritage in organic lifestyle and environmental stewardship, as well as the expertise of its healthy, active living brands that include Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention, Bicycling, Runner’s World and Organic Gardening, to bring together beautiful, sophisticated, responsibly sourced products in one place.

Designed for an effortless and enjoyable shopping experience, Rodale’s will offer stylish, well-made and consciously curated items across most retail categories that include apparel; accessories and beauty; kitchen and garden; fitness; bed and bath; gifts and books; and general care. All products at Rodale’s are carefully vetted in a rigorous process to ensure quality, performance and compliance with health-minded environmental standards, including certifications such as USDA Organic, NATRUE, Natural Products Association, GOTS, Oeko-Tex®, Fair Trade Certified™ and more.

Select artisanal vendors featured at launch include Stewart+Brown apparel, Vapour Organic Beauty, Gabrielle Sanchez jewelry, Riess enamelware, Eileen Fisher apparel, and Intelligent Nutrients beauty, among many others. These brands and others will also offer exclusive and original products that aim to set a new standard for an evolved shopping experience based on their innovative and earth-conscious designs.

“It’s time for an online store to offer one place to discover stylish, sophisticated products that also provide peace of mind,” said Maria Rodale, chairman and CEO of Rodale Inc. “In a world crowded with so many choices—and often-misleading information—we no longer have to compromise our health and environmental values, and that’s truly wonderful.

Rodale’s is the next step in our company’s ongoing mission to make the world a healthier and happier place. We want to help shape the future of conscious consumerism by embedding a new standard for responsibly created merchandise.”

The site’s navigation tools will allow shoppers to discover products by searching via rooms or collection: NOURISH for Kitchen & Garden; INHABIT for Bed & Bath. Style and personal care categories will be experienced as: TEND for Skin & Body; WEAR for Apparel; ADORN for Accessories & Beauty; MOVE for Fitness. Original editorial content designed to encourage vibrant, healthy living will include a mix of video, engaging product stories and healthy lifestyle stories.

Rodale is in a strong position to diversify into e-commerce and has recently posted healthy advertising gains across its portfolio of brands, which contributed to a record revenue-generating first half period for the company. Rodale’s is the first stand-alone e-commerce initiative to come directly from a publisher without the involvement of outside partners. The site is led by a team of experienced digital marketers, buyers and merchandisers and is led by Rodale Senior VP/General Manager Anthony Astarita, who previously led the team at Barnes & Noble that created the NOOK. Reporting to Astarita is Executive Director of Merchandising Michele Barbone, formerly of Saks Fifth Avenue and Anthropologie.

Tempur-Pedic Announces Name Change To Tempur Sealy International, Inc.

Tempur-Pedic International Inc. has announced that stockholders approved the change of the company’s name to Tempur Sealy International, Inc. at the company’s annual meeting of stockholders on May 22, 2013.

The corporate name Tempur Sealy International, Inc. recognizes the transformational nature of the recent combination of Tempur-Pedic and Sealy. Tempur-Pedic completed the acquisition of Sealy Corporation on March 18, 2013. The company’s portfolio of iconic brands and consumer-facing marketing will not be affected by the corporate name change and thus will continue to be represented in the market as they are today. The company’s global corporate headquarters will be in Lexington, Ky. and its subsidiaries will continue with their existing names.

Mark Sarvary, president and chief executive officer commented, “While the Tempur Sealy International name is new, our well recognized industry leading global brands remain distinct. I am very optimistic about the future growth potential for our company.”

The company also is launching a new corporate website: www.tempursealy.com. The site features information on the company, including its brands, history, and leadership, as well as links to relevant investor and press materials.

Familiar JC Penney Private Labels Will Return

Home Textiles Today magazine is reporting that returning JC Penney President Mike Ullman will be making a sharp right turn with respect to many of the changes brought in by former CEO Ron Johnson. According to the article, we’re going to see the return of some of the private label brands that had been well identified with JC Penney, including St. John’s Bay and Arizona apparel. We can apparently also expect to see a re-emphasis on JC Penney’s home goods departments.

See Video from Bedding Conference

Furniture Today magazine has posted videos from its Furniture Today Bedding Conference at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Arizona. Among the topics is an interview with Dr. Lisa Shives, who specializes in sleep issues, and a conversation with Jodi Allen, chief marketing officer at Sealy, about the growth of Sealy’s specialty sleep sector.