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Atlanta Rug Market Suppliers Branch Out

ATLANTA - The July edition of the Atlanta Area Rug Market earlier this month looked like an empire of ottomans - and decorative pillows and other home furnishings - in addition to soft floor coverings.

Jaipur is pursuing fashionJaipur is pursuing fashion looks in bright colors in its budding dec pillow business, and has found success with existing and new customers. Safavieh
     About a dozen showrooms in the market's rug hub - located in the AmericasMart's third through sixth floors in Building 1 - were pitching their newest categories, ranging from top-of-bed collections to dec pillows, throws and ottomans in a variety of shapes, sizes and upholstery styles.
     Rizzy Home, a longtime multi-category supplier, featured the most cross-merchandised display window among rug manufacturers, pairing rugs with bedding and pillows and other items in an attractive blue-and-white fashion story.
     "Everyone wants the whole package," noted vp of sales Mark Ferullo. "It's not just about rugs."
    Surya Inc. also moved quickly on the emerging trend. The company was one of the first to layer in several coordinating collections of dec pillows, wall art, poufs, throws and other items into its mix to better serve its furniture and specialty retail customers around the country, noted Seth King, vp of sales and marketing.
     "Some retailers buy our rugs, some buy the pillows, and some buy the whole vignette," said Josh Roberts, Jaipur Rugs' vp of sales and marketing. "We added pillows to our line at the April 2012 High Point Market as a test, and we quickly saw that it's a natural addition for us."
     Added Jaipur president and ceo Asha Chaudhary: "We got a very good response from customers. So now we want to supply the entire package."
      By next year, Jaipur will add new adjacent categories including wall art, poufs, throws and others.
    Momeni Inc.'s extended offering this market included a different take compared to the competition - cylindrical ottomans upholstered in vintage kilim rug pieces. Other styles included outdoor polypropylene styles and embroidered Suzani designs.
     "We feel we need these accessories to compliment our rug line and expand our business," said Reza Momeni, principal. Matching decorative pillows for the outdoor collection, dubbed Veranda, are also now part of the mix.
     Nourison, which has been enveloping specialty-oriented dec pillows into its line in recent markets, now offers "cubes" - specifically boxed, upholstered ottomans - via its new license partnership with designer Barclay Butera. There are seven styles that coordinate with rugs in the program.

Left Momeni, right, are also adding new accessory pieces to their offerings to increase business. Dec pillows and ottomans as well as other components serve as easy add-on sales opportunties, especially with furniture and specialty retail customers.

     What began at Safavieh as a 30-sku decorative pillow test in January 2011 has now swelled to almost 300 styles that range from printed fabrics to embroideries to animal furs.
     "Everything comes in sets of two and all of our pillows are available as 18-inch or 22-inch squares," said Tiffany N. Yaraghi, product development manager, pillows.
     Safavieh's original goal was to offer an independent dec pillow line to its customers "because we felt it should not be matchy-matchy - and we still don't," she continued. "It makes for a more interesting look. Designers would not go out and buy the same fabric for the whole room. They go out and buy a variety of fabrics to create a harmonized look because they want the decor to look acquired over time. That is what we want to accomplish."
     The upscale rug house recently created and launched its first dec pillow catalog.

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