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Home Based Creations is poised for growth

Floor mat manufacturer Home Based Creations is ripe for new growth.

A division of Ostrow holding company, Home Based Creations is the youngest of the parent company's three divisions — the other two are linen wholesale division Ostrow Wholesale Co. and retail division Plej's Linen Supermarket.

But the baby of the bunch is quickly maturing into its own profitable and successful entity, according to the company. Since the addition of industry veteran Bill Reading to the newly created post of senior vp and general manager as of Jan. 9, the company has plunged forward full force by expanding the breadth of its product offerings to include new categories, stretching its reach at retail with new partners and plans to participate in the New York Home Textiles market for the first time this spring with its new 1,700-square-foot showroom, suite 318, at 295 Fifth Ave.

"The reason I was hired was to help Home Based Creations develop a strategic business plan and also to implement an aggressive growth and development plan," Reading told Home Textiles Today.

In April, the company will launch a new category outside floor mats — kitchen textiles. To be entirely imported from either Mexico, India or China — Reading said the division has not yet decided what country to source the line from yet — the new kitchen textiles line will include kitchen towels, dishcloths, oven mitts, potholders and aprons that directly coordinate with new and existing floor mat collections, Reading said. Price points have not been set, but Reading said the line will cater to all levels of retail, from dollar stores and supermarkets through specialty stores.

Home Based Creations' current product line is composed of domestically manufactured floor mats, including door mats, welcome mats and runners in a variety of constructions, primarily 100 percent heat-transfer polyester. The range of price points starts at the promotional level, for dollar stores and supermarkets, at $3.99 to $5.99 for anti-fatigue cushion mats and washable tufted mats and runs to $6.99 washable tufted level loop mats for discount stores and finally $12.99 to $14.99 washable cut-pile mats for department and specialty stores.

Aside from kitchen textiles, Reading said that the manufacturer will also introduce collections of floor mats at April market. Some will bear the licensed designs of nationally known artists, but because of pending contracts with those licensors Reading was unable to disclose more details at press time. Other new floor mats collections include a new line of juvenile products: $6.99 square anti-fatigue foam mats catering to dollar store and mass merchant shoppers.

All the new product lines will be on display at the new showroom, which represents an "expansion of our own marketing initiatives," Reading said. "We're currently doing upgrades to be ready in time for our grand opening during April market week."

Among Reading's other missions in his new post is to expand his division's sales penetration into new retail segments and markets.

"We currently share our sales team with the Ostrow Wholesale division, but we just established a new sales force to pursue the supermarket segment," Reading said. Home Based Creations, in partnership with Ostrow, hired an outside sales team firm to help it pursue partners for its promotional anti-fatigue floor mats. The division is also using its sales force from within to forge more partnerships with upscale and specialty customers for its cut-pile construction floor mats.

"We started using [the cut-pile construction] about one year ago, but only lately have we aggressively started marketing it," Reading said.

Helping in this effort, the company also recently added three companies — one in Montreal, one outside Mexico City, and one in Stockton, CA — to its list of distributors to expand its floor mat reach and "other new products we develop along the way in the future," Reading said.

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