Ashford Court sees growth spurt
Cecile Corral -- Home Textiles Today, April 16, 2001
NEW YORK — Barely one year has passed since decorative pillow manufacturer Ashford Court, based here, set up shop, and already the company is outgrowing its Richmond, VA, factory and its New York showroom.
But not just because of a boom in decorative pillow orders.
It's actually Ashford Court's other quieter businesses — bedding and throws — that are blooming beyond the company's current boundaries.
"The greatest response we got from market was for our bedding," said Neil Zuber, president and co-owner. "Retailers were asking us for more bedspreads and duvet covers than ever before."
Decorative pillows still occupy the bulk — 80 percent —of Ashford Court's business. But bedding is slowly but surely grabbing a larger chunk, now 15 percent, and throws, at a small 5 percent, remain steady enough to demand a larger showroom and production facilities.
Zuber said that before fall market in October, Ashford Court will move into a new showroom at 295 Fifth Avenue that is double the size of its current space. And by yearend, the 55,000-square-foot factory will be increased to twice its current size.
"The bedding and throw categories continue to increase for us, and we need more space in showrooms to let retailers know that we are in those businesses, too," Zuber said.
Added Amy Bell, executive vp, design director and co-owner: "Right now we have plenty of space for our decorative pillows. But we have more going on now. Production has doubled for us."
For its new bedding and throw offerings for April market, the company's second market since it opened its doors, Ashford Court introduced many new duvets, including the popular quilted animal and Southwest designs, as well as a new India-inspired throw bearing a giant elephant motif.
New decorative pillow collections included expansions of their existing kilim and ethnic collections with a new brick colorway and a new India-inspired collection that features spice colorways.
Before starting their company, Zuber and Bell worked together at numerous home textile manufacturing companies, most recently co-operating Madison Landing, the upscale decorative pillow division of Ex-Cell Home Fashions. Then one year ago, Zuber and Bell left Madison Landing, bought the assets of Decorite Inc. and, with that, launched Ashford Court.
"And now we can proudly say the transformation is complete. We are 100 percent Ashford Court now," Bell said.
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