Evandale enters home textiles fray

Marvin Lazaro, April 15, 2002

Longtime gift and tabletop manufacturer and importer Evandale has sets its sights on home textiles.

A line of decorative pillows and throws and a line of window treatments will make up the company's initial foray. Over 45 styles of pillows, 25 styles of soft window coverings and 4 to 5 throws will be offered to retailers from its 225 5th Ave. showroom.

"We were doing a small custom order decorative pillow business, and we realized there was a business out there," said Jenny Gruber, vp of design. "We knew we could do it and do it well, so we took it and ran with it."

Gruber was brought on specifically by Evandale's parent company, J.W.E. Silk Inc., to head the home textiles venture. Formerly of Dakotah, Ex-Cell Home Fashions and Louis Hornick, Gruber had little more than a month to prepare the line.

"We've got good product that's fashion-oriented, special and one-of-a-kind," she said. "We used interesting, exciting fabrics so we could jazz the buyers and really get them excited about what we're offering."

Gruber said that, thanks to the parent company's apparel operations, Evandale had a large fabric library to draw from. Several silks, jacquards, double weaves, dobbys and boucle, as well as others, have been used. All of the product is manufactured and imported from Evandale's facilities in Shanghai, China, and aimed at the department store, specialty store and big box retail channels.

"It's quite a full presentation," Gruber said. "Our line uses some innovative fabrications at value-oriented price points.

"I think there's a lot to draw from."

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