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Ashford Court covers all the bases

NEW YORK -Ashford Court, a decorative pillow manufacturer based here, is re-introducing its line of barstool covers at April market.

But this time around, don't expect the basics.

"We are taking them out of the kitchen and making them higher-end and more appealing," said Amy Bell, executive vp. "Very few people are making them and those who are, are making them in basic solid cottons and chintzes or stripes. We're offering the same type of fabrics we use for our upscale decorative pillow lines."

Ashford Court owns a patent on a special barstool construction that includes an elastic grip "like a shower cap that holds the seat to the stool," Bell said.

"We got the equipment and the patent when we bought the assets of Decorite," Neil Zuber, president, said.

Ashford Court, which is celebrating its one-year anniversary at April market, has been making barstools since day one but strictly on a special request basis for retailers that need them.

"Now we're making them part of our main line and taking them to our main accounts," said Zuber, who added that several retail partners that visited Ashford Court's showroom during the February mini-market requested new barstool cover lines.

The new barstool line will come in a variety of fabrics-including microfiber velvet, suede twill, laminated linen, pleather and chenille-and in more than 25 patterns and colors that coordinate with existing lines of decorative pillows, mainly a broad range of animal prints.

"Anything we already have we can make for the customer, but we're starting out with these specific looks to take them to a higher end," Bell said. "It's a category that's out there at retail, and it sells well."

The barstool covers are made at Ashford Court's Richmond, VA, facility and are packaged individually. Price points range from $9.99 to $14.99, a step up from the company's basics barstool line, which currently retails for $7.99 at specialty stores.

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