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Von Walstrom joins Venus Group

Industry veteran Vivie von Walstrom in June left Baltic Linens to become the corporate design director of Venus Group Inc., manufacturer and importer of bedding, bath, kitchen textiles and table linen lines, based here.

Von Walstrom, Cotton Inc.'s Textile Designer of the Year in 2000, now heads Venus' three divisions — institutional, fabric and retail — specializing in the latter.

"My goal is to do for Venus what I did for Baltic," von Walstrom said. "I expanded Baltic from just dollar stores into specialty and department stores."

Venus' retail division was launched less than two years ago.

"They already have their foot in the door, but not enough product," von Walstrom explained. "They have some kitchen textiles and bath and beach towels at some major specialty stores, but I want to get their bedding and bath ensembles in there, too."

In her new post, von Walstrom, formerly executive vp at Baltic, reports to Rajni Patel, vp and co-owner of Venus.

"I'm very excited to work with her," said John Wallace, national sales manager. "Not only is Vivie very talented, she is a very nice person."

Wallace added that von Walstrom's main mission in her new post will be to make Venus "more important to the retail population, particularly mid- to upper-tier stores. We can already do a lot with direct containers for the lower end of retail, like the dollar stores. But we are very good at sourcing product, and we want to move our retail division to a higher level."

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