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Liston sets the table for textiles success

With an emphasis on bright, colorful designs, Nancy Liston was hoping her offering of textiles and tableware would attract some attention, and ultimately some orders, at her first-ever New York Home Textiles Show.

Liston has transformed her Hailey, ID-based company of more than 20 years, Liston Studios, from a consulting company into a manufacturer and marketer of consumer goods.

Tapping into her highly technical background, Liston got involved in producing her own goods approximately six months ago. The increasing prevalence of digital printing in the textiles industry provided much of the impetus for her entry into the marketplace.

According to Liston, this show represented an opportunity to test the waters and have some fun. "Some of the people I've marketed to directly shop here, so I decided to give it a try," she said. "Plus, I love New York."

Liston's product lineup, which is produced entirely in the United States from European linen or cotton huck toweling, includes tableware, napkins, decorative pillows and place mats.

The company's collection of textiles is digitally printed and cut and sewn in a North Carolina facility. Liston decided to complement that product with dinnerware, which is glazed in Idaho.

Some of the company's coordinating designs include Chic's, April in Paris, Les Fruits du Soleil, Gone Fishing and the New York Minute. Price points in the line include $28 for linen place mats; $20 for six linen napkins; $180 for a linen tablecloth; $130 for cotton tablecloth; $25 for four linen towels; and $85 for two aprons.

Targeted towards high-end boutiques, all of designs for the collection are created and developed by Liston herself.

"Everything that's here, including getting it here, is done by me," she said.

Liston has enlisted the help of one sales representative in the Northwest and acknowledges that she may ultimately need to add representatives in other regions as the business grows. Liston added she is open to potential licensing partnerships in an effort to add some brand cachet to her company's product lineup.

However, Liston believes the collection provides plenty to retailers right now.

"What I have to offer is new and fresh," she said. "It's all merchandised for you, so you don't have to try and match things. It's fun, colorful and bright."

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