• Cecile Corral

Flo Baron goes soft with new product categories

Los Angeles — After 37 years in the upscale metallic bath accessory business, The Flo Baron Collection Inc. is for the first time adding soft categories to its lineup.

Shower curtains, decorative pillows, throws and lamps with lampshades are the new product lines the company is launching this market as direct coordinates to the new bath accessory collection.

"For this market we've really added to our collection. Oh God, yes, we've really expanded," Flo Baron, owner and president, told HTT. "Everything coordinates for the bath and the home.

"This new approach gets us into new parts of the home, and that was the object of the line. We're very excited about it."

It's been four years since she left her booth at the Javits Center show to open her showroom at 295 Fifth Ave. in suite 1214. But for this market she has arranged for the company to have a booth as well.

"I just wanted more exposure since we're introducing more soft goods, and this show is very important to get the word out," Baron said.

Before plunging into the unchartered territory of soft goods for the home, Baron said she tested a small collection of shower curtains — four styles — at the last October market.

"It was received very well, so I decided I wanted to elaborate on it," she said.

For this market, she boosted the shower curtain offerings by eight patterns and created decorative pillows, throws, lamps and lampshades to help the customer build her "boudoir."

All the new products coordinate directly with the company's new collections of metal and hand-finished and hand-decorated bath accessories.

The shower curtains are made of faux silks and cotton blends and are set to retail for $58 to $90.

The decorative pillows are made of faux silks and cotton blends with embellishments and are set to retail for $37 to $80. The price is set not by construction but by size, which ranges from 14" x 14" through 20" x 20".

The throws are also made of faux silks and cotton blends with embellishments, but they come in a single 40" x 60" and are set to retail for $150 to $180 depending on the construction.

The lampshades are made of paper or cotton blend fabrics and feature beading and some other embellishments. The lamps are made of metal — just like the bath accessories.

The new collections target the company's existing customers — specialty and department stores and high-end catalogs — as well as some new ones in the gift and boutique business.

"We're definitely looking to partner with new customers with these new products," Baron said.

Just like her bath accessories, Baron asserts all her products are manufactured domestically in her privately owned factories here.

"It's a challenge — a fascinating challenge — to find the fabrics and put it all together," Baron said.

Baron said she felt her company could produce at a price "not quite as competitive as importing from overseas but pretty close to it in some of the soft goods categories." For metal goods, "we're basically producing at a somewhat higher price than products made overseas, but we do such unusual hand work it's worth the cost."

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home & Textiles Today

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

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