annise spices up home with feel, color

Brent Felgner, Marvin Lazaro, March 19, 2001

SAN JOSE, CA -Retailers looking for bedding products that may stand out from the pack may want to take a look at

Founded in 1999 by Shelley Chen, uses only 100 percent silk in its collection of decorative pillows, bedding, curtain panels, duvet covers, throws and gift accents. The company's vision, according to Chen, is to create a product line that enhances the home environment through feel and color. It emphasizes that through the use of its tagline, "a zensual lifestyle."

"The idea is to unclutter the environment and, at the same time, unclutter the mind," Chen, who is also president of the San Jose, CA-based company, told Home Textiles Today. "We're very focused on the color and texture of our products to accomplish that."

There is the possibility of adding other, very textural fabrics such as cashmere with silk blends, Chen said, but silk will remain the company's primary focus.

The company takes its name from the spice anise, which is used widely in both Eastern and Western cooking. Chen said since made products that would fit into both Eastern and Western homes, the name seemed appropriate. The .com comes from the company's beginnings, when it first marketed its products online, but it has since changed to just an informational website since Chen said potential customers need to actually see and touch the products in order to appreciate them.

The company will showcase its wares at the spring market for the first time. It has previously attended the San Francisco and Atlanta International Gift Fairs, where Chen said the response was very positive to the company's products and concept. "I think it's mostly for the exposure and the connections," Chen said about the upcoming show. "It's extremely important for people to get to know us. We're at the early stages of establishing a brand, and I hope, after this market, we have a stack of business cards that will lead to good exposure and good business."

Chen added that's products are currently placed in independent boutiques but is hoping to establish a relationship with a national chain specialty store, a catalog merchant or both.

Ultimate Enlightenment, Freedom of Spirit and Exotic Domestic are the three collections currently produced by Ultimate Enlightenment combines silk velvet, 100 percent silk organza and silk satin. Delicate beadwork is used to highlight many of the products that are available in azure, plum, silver, charcoal, grape, midnight blue and stone colorways. Silk velvet duvets, organza shams, satin silk decorative pillows, silk velvet/satin silk duvets and silk velvet throws and curtains are all part of the collection.

Freedom of Spirit, offered in pistachio, khaki, ivory, celery, steel blue, lilac and slate gray colorways, is available in decorative pillows, bedding and coordinated curtains and is made from 100 percent Thai silk.

Exotic Domestic is crafted from 100 percent silk jacquard and inspired by ancient Asian designs. Blueberry, cherry, lemon, lime, tangerine and white colorways are available in accent pillows, blankets and fortune bags.

Wholesale price points usually range from $150 to $250 for a duvet cover. Twin through king sizes are available.

All three collections work together, Chen said, and all three are custom designed for

"There's a concept for each product line," she said, "and every concept has something to do with the way you live your life."

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