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PHI moves beyond 'just quilts'

Michele SanFilippo -- Home Textiles Today, September 22, 2003

With a fresh coat of paint barely dry on its new 5,000-square-foot showroom at 295 Fifth Avenue, PHI now has the room it needs for the business it seeks.

Its new digs at suite 714 are 50 percent larger and fit 25 beds. The company is unveiling its Debbie Mumm license with eight new patterns and a Kids Corner juvenile line with 18 designs.

It's also showing expanded offerings in window, table linens, decorative pillows, accent rugs, including hand-hooked wool varieties, and handpainted glassware and wooden waste bins, tissue boxes and trays.

PHI has also increased its production of comforters this market, showing upwards of 30-50 new full bedding ensembles that comprise both quilts and comforters.

"Business is good," said Mark Grand, coo of PHI. "In terms of moving into comforters, it's a much larger business than quilts and we don't want to be known as just a quilt house. We're also building our own dedicated quilt and comforter factory near Shanghai that will be up and ready by January or February 2004."

Janis Meek, director of merchandising and product development, added that the company has been transitioning to reach its current level of growth for about a year. She said the move into the comforters was a natural extension.

"We've also added emphasis on specific fabrications such as Silkallure, microsuede, linen and combinations of all three this market," added Meek. "But we don't want to lose sight of our hand-crafted roots and will continue to work on embellishments."

In Debbie Mumm, PHI offers three beds and six quilt designs that are all fully accessorized with Euros, shams, bedskirts, dec pillows and three heavily pieced cotton quilted throws that feature embroidery, 3D appliqued buttons and flags, and ribbon trims.

Another feature adding value to the quilts is that they all reverse to a coordinate print found on the face of the pattern, also picked up in the bedskirt.

"Debbie Mumm appeals to a traditional quilter because of her designs and heavy piecing; her patterns are motif-driven and more difficult because of her use of 15 to 20 fabrics per quilt, adding more value to the finished product, said Meek. She added that Mumm designs all her patterns from her licensed fabrics and then works with PHI to realize the bedding lines. Queen-size quilts will retail for $99.99.

The Mumm designs shown on beds at PHI are Floral Reflections, Butterfly Blessings and Vineyard.

Floral Reflections has a heavily hand-appliqued sunflower motif with large rushed sunflowers on the face of the quilt as well as smaller multi-colored rushed blooms along the border.

Butterfly Blessings features 25 embroidered butterflies on the quilt and three on each sham. Vineyard offers a hand appliqued and embroidered grape and vine motif with a double pieced vine appliqued border in tones of gold, green, blue and lavender.

Other patterns include Ric Rack, Birdhouse Sampler, Daisy Angel, Town Square, Simple Pleasures and Star Spangled. Throw patterns consist of Country Cottage, All Things Noah and Crazy For Cats.

Another highlight is Silkallure, PHI's branded polyester fabrication with a soft sueded hand that is machine washable. Silkallure is shown in a collection that has four beds with plain, embroidered and printed solids in a variety of seven patterns, including Wildflowers, Chloe, Camellia, Alluring Butterflies, Marquis and Enchantment. Current programs include solid diamond quilts with shams and bedskirts, comforters, bedspreads, throws, window panels and valances, and decorative pillows.

The palette for spring is almond, mushroom, gold, dark rosewood, pale green and dark lilac.

Silkallure is also available in window as a basic rod-pocket panel, a tonal embroidered panel (Marquis), a diamond pin-tuck and in the Wildflowers and Chloe patterns. In dec pillows, Silkallure is offered as a diamond pin-tuck, vermicelli, ribbon embroidery, and tonal embroidery with ribbon and beading.

According to Meek, Silkallure is a versatile fabric. The program is designed for mixing and matching.

"It's very easy for us to customize a program for retailers with this product," she added.

In microsuede, PHI has added four new colors (rosewood, soft green, lilac and light blue) to its palette as well as four patterns: a diamond quilted solid, a Greenwich embroidered comforter, a pieced quilt called Nikki in the new colorways with French knot embroidery and another pieced option called City Blocks.

Microsuede window treatments are available in Nikki, a Greenwich panel and a basic panel with wide tabs. There are also two patterns in printed microsuede: Scarborough, a vintage floral, and Ashley, a pieced quilt of yarn dyes and cotton print with direct and ribbon embroidery.

PHI is also presenting its first extended line of freestanding window treatments with fabrications that include linen/cotton, cotton velvet, rayon velvet burnout, silk dupioni, cotton and polyester embellished sheers, and several pieced combinations.

Treatments include basket woven fabric, crochet and lace insets, French knot embroidery and reversible trims. Retail price points range from $19 to $49 a panel.

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