THE VOICE OF THE HEARTH, BARBECUE AND PATIO INDUSTRIES
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Marin Marin The Marin The Marin collection collection takestakes inspiration inspiration fromfrom the Northern the Northern California California coastal coastal community community of Marin of Marin County, County, located located just north just north of San of Francisco’s San Francisco’s Golden Golden GateGate Bridge. Bridge. Taking Taking cues cues fromfrom bothboth natural natural elements elements as well as well as modern as modern design, design, Marin Marin exemplifies exemplifies the relaxed the relaxed yet sophisticated yet sophisticated nature nature of theofarea. the area. Marin Marin is a full-line is a full-line collection collection that that includes includes dining, dining, deepdeep seating seating and and lounge lounge options options in both in both cushion cushion and our and our patent patent pending pending Flex Flex Comfort Comfort seating. seating. Marin’s Marin’s cushioned cushioned deepdeep seating seating features features our Plush our Plush Comfort Comfort cushions cushions and Sytex and Sytex seating seating systems, systems, which which create create a superior a superior levellevel of comfort. of comfort.
Destinations DestinationsFabrics Fabrics Destinations Destinations features features 37 Sunbrella 37 Sunbrella Select Select fabrics fabrics that are thatnot are not found found just anywhere. just anywhere. This This special special collection collection is available is available in limited in limited distribution, distribution, including including the specialty the specialty retailretail and design and design channels. channels. The fabric The fabric collection collection is inspired is inspired by the byrich the rich colors colors and vibrant and vibrant patterns patterns of world of world cultures cultures and brings and brings a a totally totally unique unique looklook to to outdoor outdoor furniture. furniture.
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Belle BelleVie Vie The sophisticated The sophisticated stylestyle of Belle of Belle Vie isVie is reminiscent reminiscent of 19th of 19th century century design design that that was popular was popular among among French French aristocracy. aristocracy. WithWith flowing flowing lineslines in both in both the profile the profile and back, and back, the Belle the Belle Vie collection Vie collection has has a distinct a distinct Art Nouveau Art Nouveau flair flair that lives that lives up toup itstoname, its name, which which means means “beautiful “beautiful life” life” in French. in French. BelleBelle Vie isVie a full-line is a full-line collection collection that includes that includes dining, dining, deepdeep seating seating and lounge and lounge options. options. In addition, In addition, BelleBelle Vie’sVie’s deepdeep seating seating features features our our PlushPlush Comfort Comfort cushions cushions and Sytex and Sytex seating seating system, system, which which create create a superior a superior levellevel of comfort. of comfort.
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| CONTENTS | FEATURES Where Creativity Thrives 16 Allen Gant, Jr., had a vision, of retaining
Glen Raven’s past while taking it into the future; his goal was to stimulate employee collaboration and innovation.
That Entrepreneurial Spirit 34 Karen and Paul Galindo have made a success
of their marriage, and of three stores they ran under the names Greenhouse Mall, and Outside in Style, based in Texas. Now they’re closing those stores, and opening a woman’s fashion shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Make Room for Modular 46 Turnkey outdoor kitchens could be small retailers’ building blocks to success; don’t be intimidated.
Casual Market New Exhibitors
A preview of offerings from new exhibitors at the Mart.
Back To School 6 2 CEO Kathy Juckett takes 116-year-old
Telescope Casual Furniture back to school; the results are impressive.
Balancing Act 76 In Steamboat Springs, there’s more to life than just work.
New Products at the Mart 84 New and on display in Chicago.
46 4 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
Perspective ICFA Awards Program
104 Business Climate
Who Reads Hearth & Home?
ON THE WEB News Online “Almost Constantly” Continues to Rise First Time Homebuyer Watch: 2nd Quarter 2019
Recipes Primo Ceramic Grills’ Texas Beef Brisket Bull Outdoor Products’ Fire Roasted Apples
THE VOICE OF THE HEARTH, BARBECUE AND PATIO INDUSTRIES
SEPTEMBER 2019 ®
The Stockton Collection from Inspired Visions: Elegant lines and generous proportions are the hallmarks of each piece of our handcrafted, plantationgrown teak that offers durability and water resistance, even in salt water environments – Peak Season. CASUAL
On the Cover
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Copyright © 2019 by Village West Publishing. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. All advertising is subject to approval by the publisher. Please address all correspondence to Hearth & Home, P.O. Box 1288, Laconia, NH 03247, (603) 528-4285, (800) 258-3772, FAX: (603) 524-0643. Hearth & Home, The Outdoor Room and Vesta Awards are registered trademarks of Village West Publishing. Village West Publishing is not associated with, and has no financial interest in, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association.
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| Perspective |
Past & Present Glen Raven’s company motto is, “Let endless possibilities begin.”
hat’s precisely what Allen Gant Jr. did when he hired architect Calvin Tsao, of the architectural firm TsAO & McKOWN, to re-purpose the 119-year-old textile mill built by his grandfather and known as Plant One. | Manufacturing |
Allen Gant, Jr., had a vision, of retaining Glen Raven’s past while taking it into the future; his goal was to stimulate employee collaboration and innovation.
16 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
PHOTOS: ©2019 DAN ROUTH PHOTOGRAPHY. WWW.DANROUTH.COM
www.hearthandhome.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 17
That building had been in constant use since then, with the exception of a two-year period prior to becoming known as Sunbrella HQ. Through all of those years, Plant One was tied to the history of the Gant family, their struggles and their successes. So it’s understandable that Gant wanted to preserve much of the original structure. On one morning in July, writer Tom Lassiter interviewed a number of key players in the Glen Raven hierarchy, while Dan Routh photographed the interviewees, employees, and the building itself – area by area. Beginning on page 16, and running for 12 pages, is a mini-documentary of the merger of past and present, with a strong nod to that company motto.
Back to School Up in northern New York – Granville to be precise – is another company with a long history, and a strong connection to the patio furniture industry. Telescope Casual Furniture has been around for 116 years, and according to CEO Kathy Juckett, “There was a lot of stuff that we did just because that is how we always did it.” (How true for all of us!) Juckett has been CEO of the company for about 16 years, and she has worked in the company for about 40 years, having started at the ground level out in the factory. She had watched various manufacturing styles come and go; The Toyota Way was the one that grabbed her attention. “We just sat down and immersed ourselves in the whole process for six months,” she says. “It was what we did all day, every day, right here in the factory. We had someone come in and work with us, but the basic premise of it is so, so simple.” Bottom line? Everything is running much smoother today, and the bottom line has increased. Exit Interview Karen Galindo is well known in the patio furniture industry. She started selling patio furniture when she was 11 years old, and will end that portion of her life on October 27 when her going-out-of-business sale ends. Her next incarnation will be as the proprietor of a lady’s retail boutique in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Hearth & Home had a frank discussion with Galindo about many things related to the patio industry, and what she did for her 50th birthday. Galindo made a list of 50 things she had never done before, then set out to do them all, e.g., holding a tarantula, driving a military tank over a beat up car, flying in a glider, etc. Karen Galindo will be missed.
Click here for a mobile friendly reading| experience www.hearthandhome.com SEPTEMBER 2019
NAVIGATING THE RAPIDLY EVOLVING HEARTH LANDSCAPE Q&A WITH PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTOR MIKE HOLMES Mike Holmes is a professional contractor, television host, public speaker, educator, influencer and writer. As one of North America’s most trusted home authorities, his no-nonsense approach has struck a chord with industry leaders worldwide, leading him to be recognized for his trustworthiness by Forbes and Reader’s Digest. He has built an international brand based on quality, integrity and trust.
enovating a home isn’t just a necessity anymore. Gone are the days that homeowners wait to fix things until they don’t have any other choice. Today, more and more people are renovating to please themselves. It’s about love for their own environment, their own serenity. We sat down with Mike Holmes, professional licensed contractor with over 35 years
8 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.napoleonfireplaces.com
of experience, to discuss some of the most important things to consider when helping your customer’s home renovation dreams come true. Q: In your experience, what are the most important things to consider before helping a customer choose the right fireplace? Holmes: For me, the most important thing to remember is that homeowners don’t live and breathe hearth like we do. It’s our job to ask the right questions, understand needs, and manage expectations. In all my travels I have met many very smart hearth professionals based on their technical expertise, but I find many hearth professionals jump into the product mechanics before they understand the homeowner’s emotional desires.
I always say “slow down” and begin by taking the time up front to truly ask the customer the questions that matter, not just about the size of the unit or the number of BTUs. Why do they want the fireplace? When, how often and in what situations do they dream of using it? What “look & feel” are they seeking? What’s their vision? If all dealers and installers had started with these questions, I would have less need to go back and “Make it Right®” amid all the tears like on my show. The more that we actually talk and get to know the customer, the better we’ll be at giving them what they truly want. That will lead to increased satisfaction which subsequently equates to more positive social reviews and referral business.
Q: How are today’s homeowners evolving and what can you do to stay ahead of the curve? Holmes: I think the single biggest evolution is simply that yesterday’s renovations were mandatory, and todays are elective. I find that Millennials are much more interested in buying “experiences” than my generation. We’ve come a long way from the years when the main benefit of fireplaces was heat. Ask the Millennials, like my son, and today it’s about setting mood, style, safety, efficiency, and the environment. That’s why I believe that hearth professionals need to embrace electric fireplaces, creating installations that cannot be duplicated by DIY’ers and home centers.
Q: How can dealers and installers sell more upgrades to homeowners undergoing a renovation? Holmes: I have always found that people will never buy something you don’t show them. One mistake I see in all forms of home improvement is assuming everyone wants the lowest price and not giving homeowners the option to pay more to get more. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bathroom or a kitchen or a deck. It’s all about making people’s dreams come true through ideas that spark their desire for more enjoyment. Homeowners will buy more if they see more, and that includes fireplaces in rooms and spaces that customers didn’t think were possible. And thanks to innovations in the industry today, we can dazzle them with gas, electric and indoor/outdoor options. It makes sense to me to make a mess only once and get the most out of each renovation so adding to the job can save the homeowner money down the road. This opens the opportunity to upsell better product, more product, and more services.
I’m also seeing great opportunity outdoors. For example, I just love the gas indoor/outdoor Luxuria fireplace from Napoleon; I have one myself. The unit allows for two-way viewing from inside and outside, giving homeowners an outdoor living centerpiece, a relaxing indoor focal point, and double the ways the fireplace can be enjoyed.
Napoleon is a top North American manufacturer of woodburning, gas and electric fireplaces. Napoleon aims to inspire and enhance the most memorable experiences people enjoy in their homes. To find out more about Napoleon, visit napoleonfireplaces.com.
www.napoleonfireplaces.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 9
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| Manufacturing |
Allen Gant, Jr. and Allen Gant III at the foot of the Grand Staircase. The staircase and surrounding area can function as a meeting space for upwards of 300 people.
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PHOTOS: Â©2019 DAN ROUTH PHOTOGRAPHY. WWW.DANROUTH.COM
The view from atop the Grand Staircase at Sunbrella HQ, looking across the street to Glen Ravenâ€™s corporate headquarters. The Blend coffee shop is on the first floor at the lower right.
THRIVES Allen Gant, Jr., had a vision, of retaining Glen Ravenâ€™s past while taking it into the future; his goal was to stimulate employee collaboration and innovation.
Click here for a mobile
friendly reading experience www.hearthandhome.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 17
| Manufacturing |
TIME 9am on a midsummer Thursday. SETTING The Blend, the coffee shop just inside the main entrance to Sunbrella HQ. THE SCENE Three guys lingering over cups of java, chatting and smiling as if they’ve just finished 18 holes on a Saturday afternoon. In walks Allen Gant, Jr., Glen Raven’s chairman of the board. Nothing changes. The three guys don’t even look up, and their unhurried conversation continues. The chairman’s expression telegraphs pure satisfaction. Another top executive might not look so kindly on three employees lingering over coffee with the workday well under way. Not Gant. He sees his Glen Raven associates at ease, sharing information, ideas, and perspectives. ATMOSPHERIC STRESS LEVEL Zero. Potential for creativity: 110%.
By Tom Lassiter
hat’s exactly what Gant envisioned would take place in Sunbrella HQ, the new home of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, maker of Sunbrella-brand textiles. Employees moved in late last fall, transitioning from their former quarters across the street in Burlington, North Carolina. Sunbrella HQ, a 100,000 sq. ft. structure, is old and new at the same time, and strikingly handsome. The ambiance is soothing yet stimulating. Employees of Custom Fabrics go about their responsibilities in an environment that fosters impromptu conversations and easy collaboration. Departmental lines on
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the second floor, where creative teams are stationed, are invisible. Sightlines on the long, east-west axis are unobstructed. A sharp-eyed marketing associate can look eastward and determine if the designer she needs is available. It’s primarily an open-office environment with oodles of common space. But within steps of every desk are soundproof private spaces to gather one’s thoughts, make a private call, or have a confidential conversation. The four-person spaces with facing twoseater benches are dubbed “rail cars.” Close the sliding door and you can easily imagine yourself on a fast train to Brussels. The door’s smoky glass elevates the privacy.
The Blend coffee shop, where Sunbrella employees can purchase a beverage, take a quiet moment, or chat with colleagues.
“Let endless possibilities begin.”
Allen Gant, Jr. stands near one of the many spaces available for impromptu meetings. This one on the second level is called “The Picnic Table.” Behind him is one of the light wells that allow daylight to penetrate to the ground level, deep inside Sunbrella HQ.
Large tables give fabric designers plenty of space to work with samples and plan collections. Design reference materials are close at hand, as are Sunbrella’s fabric archives. This is the view from atop the meeting space called the Fish Bowl.
www.hearthandhome.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 19
| Manufacturing |
TOP: The glass-walled Fish Bowl, with meeting space for 20, has a conversation lounge up top. Sunbrella HQâ€™s high ceiling and clerestory windows make for an airy, spacious environment. ABOVE: The library at Sunbrella HQ has current periodicals and reference materials. The custom seating, which features built-in reading lamps with indirect lighting, is by furniture designer Donald Judd. RIGHT: One of the two light wells has a staircase connecting the two levels at Sunbrella HQ. Each light well at ground level was excavated to a depth of 10 feet and filled with soil to become an interior garden.
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...the building’s mission is to provide a fertile environment where creativity thrives. There’s space, space, and more space to chat, brainstorm, or just think. “The best meetings are hallway meetings.” That’s a line from David Swers, president of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics. Swers advocates spontaneous conversations. To Swers, an impromptu, face-to-face exchange provides the best information. Email, voicemail, and texts are poor substitutes. Hallway meetings in the division’s former quarters – a round, multi-story building with curving hallways and cubbyhole offices – were possible but far less convenient. The layout hobbled spontaneity, and a meeting with more than two or three risked causing a traffic jam. Not so at Sunbrella HQ. To Swers’ liking, and in accordance with Gant’s vision, the building’s mission is to provide a fertile environment where creativity thrives. There’s space, space, and more space to chat, brainstorm, or just think. Rooms for scheduled meetings don’t have whiteboards or easels. Employees simply write on the glass panels that overlay Sunbrella wall coverings. Gant is passionate about what fueled his vision for Sunbrella’s new home. It was built by his grandfather in 1900 and known as Plant One. The 119-year-old textile manufacturing plant, steeped in Gant family and corporate history, has been in virtually constant service since then. It was silent for two years before being repurposed to become Sunbrella HQ. “Our most valuable asset is the brainpower we’ve got,” Gant says. Competitors can, and do, make fabric using similar synthetic fibers. Glen Raven’s competitive advantage, he preaches, is cultivating an environment that allows people to excel, individually and corporately. “The ability to give people the freedom to innovate,” he says, is “something that (our competitors) don’t have.” Sunbrella HQ was designed to remove as many workplace stresses as possible. Every aspect that impacts employee comforts and needs, from lighting to ultraprivate restrooms, was considered.
To Gant’s way of thinking, reducing stress allows for more creativity. Do everything possible to make it easy for people to do their jobs, and they’ll excel naturally. This approach for the flagship division of Glen Raven aligns perfectly with the company’s motto: “Let endless possibilities begin.” Living History Glen Raven CEO Leib Oehmig jokes that Allen Gant Jr. “can’t walk 10 feet in Sunbrella HQ without telling a story.” It’s not an exaggeration. Plant One was the initial building erected by the family-owned company that now has more than 60 locations in 17 nations. The casual furniture industry knows Glen Raven for its Sunbrella brand, the line of performance fabrics that revolutionized outdoor furniture.
Allen Gant, Jr. in the Sunbrella fabric archive, located just steps away from fabric designers.
One of two showrooms where members of the Sunbrella team can meet with customers.
www.hearthandhome.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 21
| Manufacturing | Other Glen Raven divisions include Technical Fabrics (high-performance products for commercial and industrial applications), Trivantage (which distributes cut yardage to awning, marine, and upholstery markets), and Switch Four (which creates software solutions for business). Evidence of Plant One’s nearly 120 years’
service is everywhere. Gant serves as an interpreter during a walking tour, explaining the history behind clues that are visible to all. Those dark, linear stains on the golden pine floors? He calls them “railroad tracks,” a pattern left by equipment that once traveled back and forth, servicing the spinning frames.
Plant One and other Glen Raven facilities seen in an archival photo, probably from the 1950s. Plant One is behind the water tower in the foreground.
The Glen Raven campus today: Sunbrella HQ (light-colored roof) is at the far left. On the right are other Glen Raven division and corporate offices. Sunbrella staff made the move across the street last fall.
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Nearby are scores of shiny metallic shards embedded in the wooden flooring, now polished smooth. The circular metal shapes are detritus from the spinning process. Now they gleam underfoot, reminders of another textile era. A mid-20th century aerial photo leads Gant to point out the spot where a relative once maintained a trout pond. Trout aren’t native to central North Carolina; the waters are too warm. But a trout-loving Gant figured that water from Plant One’s chillers would accommodate the species, and he was right. Gant laughs at the memory as he shares it with his son, Allen Gant III. The younger Gant is director of Outdoor at Sunbrella. Plant One was built to accept raw cotton, spin it into thread, and weave it into fabric. A repurposed steam locomotive powered the equipment via a system of belts and pulleys. Later, the plant was converted to electricity. More than 50 years ago, the first yardage of a new Glen Raven product was manufactured in Plant One. The breakthrough fiber was solution-dyed acrylic. Fade and stain resistant, it was perfect for awnings and marine applications. Glen Raven called the fabric Sunbrella. The Human Factor Glen Raven executives understood that a new structure could be designed and built for the growing Custom Fabrics division for much less money, but Plant One – with its distinctive masonry, towering wooden columns (each made from a single longleaf pine), and rich history – offered intangible benefits. Could Glen Raven harness those attributes to benefit the company? Could the company, Gant recalls asking, “trust our brain power, the people that we employ, to use this space in a pretty innovative way? “And the more we talked about it, the more the human spirit came back into the equation,” he says. The potential offered by Plant One to be a transformative space, coupled with the innovative track record of Sunbrella’s employees, tipped the scale. Glen Raven would invest in Plant One. Privately held Glen Raven will only say that the cost ran into “eight figures.” “We joke about it,” Gant says. “It is a substantial investment, but it’s the investment for our future. It’s an investment
M ODE R N | OUT DOOR | L I V I N G Apricityâ€™s bold, exciting, elegant collections give retailers the latest trending designs in outdoor entertaining. The Apricity brand delivers the highest quality and elevated looks to the industry. Prepare to take your product mix to the next level.
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| Manufacturing | for our customers and our suppliers and our industry. We believe that all of our stakeholders will benefit greatly. “Would we do it again, knowing what we know now? Absolutely. No question about it.” Once the decision was made to renovate Plant One, the challenge was to select an architectural firm that could preserve its assets while transforming it to serve for the decades ahead. Five leading architectural firms – including three acknowledged to be among the world’s best – were interviewed multiple times. The selection committee included some Sunbrella staffers well known in the casual furnishings industry, including Suzie Roberts, vice president of Sales for Custom Fabrics – Americas, and Greg Voorhis, Custom Fabrics Design director. Each firm was asked to submit proposals describing how it would approach the redesign. Each submission offered unique, creative approaches, Gant says. But one stood out for insights and experience that particularly matched Glen Raven’s goals. TsAO & McKOWN Architects, led by principal Calvin Tsao, was awarded the contract.
A workspace in Sunbrella’s marketing department.
The firm’s expertise, Gant explains, includes designing spaces that encourage communication, collaboration, and the sharing of ideas. That meshed perfectly with Gant’s vision.
Allen Gant III in his office. Offices are 10 x 13 ft. and have identical furnishings.
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Although the company was confident in its choice of design firms, the first months of interactions between the Brooklyn-based architect and the North Carolina client led to some head scratching at Glen Raven. Glen Raven people initially were concerned with the obvious, such as which departments would be on the first floor versus the second. The architects were looking deeper for clues that would make that decision. According to Gant, “Tsao said, ‘Forget all that. Let’s look at how we can make it innovative, and how we make it so people can work together.’” A team of architects converged on Sunbrella’s offices. They studied how Sunbrella associates used their workspaces, where two and three people sometimes shared an office. They noted where people went for face-toface conversations and with whom. They studied where art resources were stored, and the machinations that designers went through in developing new products. They wanted to know how orders were taken and how they flowed through the company. They interviewed everyone, from the CEO down to employees on the loading dock. “Our people had trouble with that,” Gant allowed, “because we’re a pretty private business.” People wondered, why does that matter?
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| Manufacturing |
The structural timber in Sunbrella HQ, harvested from old-growth forests, is as strong today as when the building was constructed in 1900. Only one column had to be replaced during the renovation.
Allen Gant, Jr. chairman of Glen Raven, and Suzie Roberts, vice president of Sales for Glen Raven Custom Fabrics.
That big question was answered when Tsao delivered his initial conceptual drawings. The arrangement of Sunbrella’s functional areas took into consideration the unique needs of each department. The design team operates differently from sales, which has different processes from marketing. Yet they all need to work together, interdependently, cooperatively. Similarly, sales and customer service departments have their own unique functional requirements. Rather than a cookie-cutter solution, shoehorning
departments and people into cubicles with designated square-footage per person, the architects produced a space plan designed to enhance how Sunbrella people work. The client instantly recognized the genius in the architect’s concepts. Gant says, “The light bulb went on. We said, ‘We’ve made the right decision with this guy.’” The renovation took more than three years, and the plan evolved along the way. Some spaces were designed to be chameleon-like, says Allen Gant III, serving varied purposes from day to day.
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“One day it’s going to be business as usual,” he explains. “The next day, we’re going to have three customers here presenting fabric. The day after that, we’re going to train 150 sales reps. “The ability to design a space so that it will change and alter itself as we need it is a really tough thing to do.” The Grand Staircase, which greets everyone coming into Sunbrella HQ, is a case in point. Visually, it’s reminiscent of the new staircase off the main lobby of the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. It’s impressively broad and is an obvious route from the first to second floor. The wooden staircase is also an inviting place to sit quietly in the morning sun or to gather 300-plus associates for a company meeting. The structural steel supporting the Grand Staircase is hidden. “Engineeringwise, it could be done much simpler, but you couldn’t seat 300 people,” Gant III says. Beneath the Grand Staircase is a hidden gem, a state-of-the art auditorium for presentations, training, and meetings. There’s tiered, conference-table seating with space for laptops, notebooks, and charging ports. The telecommunications equipment allows meetings with Glen Raven locations and associates around the globe.
Large, high-topped tables give Sunbrella designers plenty of space to work with fabrics.
Acoustics are perfect in the soundproof room, where the walls and seating are covered in Sunbrella products. Exterior sounds don’t intrude, nor does any sound escape to bother others. The auditorium is designed for efficiency. All the seating returns itself to a stored position once a person steps away. As work progressed, the scope of the project grew. Flexibility is great, but “you can take that too far,” Gant says. Rather than pack too much multi-purpose space into Sunbrella HQ, the company decided to construct an attached welcome center, complete with a concept studio, café, and makerspace (a collaborative work space) that would serve all of Glen Raven. The welcome center, which should be completed soon, is physically connected to Sunbrella HQ. A pedestrian bridge will connect it to the buildings housing the corporate and other division offices. The welcome center, Gant says, will become “the heart of Glen Raven Corporation,” uniting the east and west campuses.
Sarah Dooley, Sunbrella Upholstery Marketing manager.
Suzie Roberts, vice president of Sales, and Greg Voorhis, Design director for Glen Raven Custom Fabrics.
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| Manufacturing | Random Observations Sunbrella HQ is an acoustic marvel. Two groups of people just 20 feet apart can have animated conversations, yet their voices don’t annoy one another. Chalk it up to high ceilings and generous presence of sound-absorbing Sunbrella wall coverings. There’s no background noise, no saccharine elevator music. Just calm quiet, rather like an art museum. That’s quite a contrast to the roar of textile-making equipment that once filled the space. The lighting is phenomenally even. Daylight, a little or a lot, seeps into all but the most private spaces. The source of artificial lighting is visible and direct only in a few areas, such as the designer’s space where fabric colors must be viewed in perfect conditions. The color temperature of the light there matches and supplements the natural daylight. Otherwise, one never sees the direct source of light that gently
spills from overhead, reflected from the light-color ceiling. Clerestory windows along the rooftop spine allow ample light to reach the center of the second floor. Some of that light spills down to the first floor through two centrally located cutouts. On the first level, the concrete floor was removed and dug out to a depth of 10 feet. Now those light wells are lush with green plants. Ultimately, Gant III says, hardwoods may be planted. Glen Raven takes the long view, so the trees will have plenty of time to mature and room to grow. Each functional area has a break room consisting of a full-size refrigerator, a sink, countertop, a microwave and space to prepare a snack or lunch brought from home. Waste receptacles are non-existent. This facility, like all Sunbrella facilities, is landfill free. Recycling is part of the business plan.
The Highest Reward
Architect Calvin Tsao says he’s pleased with the initial feedback on how well Sunbrella HQ is serving its occupants. “The early reports have been fantastic,” he says. Tsao is “very happy with the architecture side,” but leaves it to others to critique the building’s functionality. One review, however, carries particular clout. Tsao got a phone call from Allen Gant, Jr., around Christmas last year. Sunbrella HQ had been occupied for only a few weeks. Gant, Tsao says, was “extremely emotional. I’ve never had a client pleased to such a point of emotion, acknowledging our work with such sincerity.” Tsao recalls Gant saying that the architects “managed to give him what his heart desired, and perhaps even a little more. That,” Tsao says, “was the highest reward we could get.”
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Buildings with large open spaces are notoriously drafty. HVAC distribution systems, typically suspended overhead, usually are the culprits. But Sunbrella HQ appears to be draft free. Most conditioned air seeps upward from vents in the wooden floors, while some falls down from overhead ducts. Big ceiling fans high in the second-floor ceiling turn lazily. One never hears or feels the HVAC cycle on or off. Sunbrella associates say rainy days are special. “It’s kind of a magical thing when the weather changes,” says Sarah Dooley, Upholstery Marketing manager. “The whole building comes to life with it. It reminds me of being a kid and hearing the rain.” Weather moments, she says, are also reminders about Glen Raven’s performance fabric products and the emphasis on durability and quality. Rain, she says, “makes for a fun little experience.” Meeting rooms, and there are plenty, have deliberately informative names. “Sales 4,” for instance, is in the sales department and seats four. The meeting space with the most fun name is Fish Bowl 20, a centrally located, glass-walled space. Curtains of Sunbrella fabric can be drawn for privacy. A stairway leads to another space atop Fish Bowl 20, which is outfitted with cushy lounge furniture. It’s good for brainstorming, quiet conversation, and panoramic interior views. The planners and dreamers thought of just about everything for a modern workforce with associates ranging in age from 20-something to 60-something. Sunbrella HQ provides a secluded family room with a refrigerator and a lock on the door, perfect for nursing mothers, says Dooley. “Just to have thought about that makes a huge difference,” she says. Glen Raven’s business culture, which encourages employees to grow, experiment, and have the freedom to make mistakes “is built into the building,” says Voorhis. That, he notes, “gives us less stress.” And then there are the bathrooms. “I’m a bathroom fanatic,” the chairman says. “I think every bathroom in a commercial building should be nicer than your bathroom at home.” By that, he means nice and private. So every restroom – “and they are all over the building and half of Georgia” – is made to accommodate just one person, protected by a door that closes like a bank vault.
| Manufacturing | The lights come on automatically; ventilation is “threefold what the specs call for. Top to bottom, it’s soundproof.” The restrooms are situated in banks of eight, with four on either side of a short corridor. No knocking is necessary. Green “vacant” signs turn to red “occupied” when the latch is turned inside. Don’t look for the usual gender signage. These restrooms are first come, first served. “Male. Female. Whatever your calling is, we don’t care,” Gant says. “It’s individual. And every one is exactly the same.” And the verdict? “I love them,” Roberts says. “We are so much happier with the bathrooms,” Dooley says. “So much happier.” “Privacy,” Roberts says. “It just works.” Looking Ahead Glen Raven held a board of directors meeting last spring, where the No. 1 topic was forecasting the future. Not the next quarter, and not 2020 or even 2025. The board’s task was to imagine what Glen Raven must tackle to be successful over the next 30 to 50 years. That sort of long-range attitude is rare if not downright non-existent in the rest of American enterprise. Glen Raven’s status as a privately held, family-controlled enterprise certainly helps make that kind of perspective possible. But that long-range view is not a departure from the past; it’s just the latest case in point. The company is renown for crafting a vision, building confidence in a venture, and sticking with an innovation it believes in until the rest of the world catches up. Sunbrella is the foremost example of that stance. The transformation of Plant One to become Sunbrella HQ aligns perfectly with the company’s history of investing in its future. “The time horizon for us is way out there,” Gant says. “We’re 139 years old, and we’re interested in being here another 139 years. We’re going to amortize this investment over a long period of time.” Oehmig, the CEO, says the HQ investment is the same as constructing a new production facility or another capital asset. Sunbrella HQ is “an investment that should have that type of payoff for us. It’s more than brick and mortar,” he explains; it’s an investment “in our people that will inspire them and put them in a position to do their best work.”
Allen Gant III (left), director of Outdoor for Sunbrella, with his father, Allen Gant, Jr., Glen Raven’s chairman of the board. The grandfather of Allen Gant, Jr. founded the company in 1880.
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Sunbrella HQ has been in service for less than a year, but early returns indicate that the facility is meeting its goals. The open floor plan and ease of circulation have resulted in “constant collaboration,” Voorhis says. Dooley agrees. “That whole hallway meeting culture is able to really blossom here,” she says. Custom Fabrics has seen customers visit more frequently. Customers who used to visit once or twice a year to consult with the Sunbrella team now seem to pop in almost every month. “They get so much more accomplished when they are here,” Roberts says, “that it saves having to have two or three more meetings.” Ultimately, Oehmig says, the success of Sunbrella HQ will be measured by how it benefits customers. “If we can help our
customers reach their goals,” he says, “then we will be successful.” In the long run, Glen Raven is counting on extending and growing its track record with Sunbrella. Sunbrella HQ now houses about 130 employees. There’s space available to raise that total to 400 without driving a nail or moving a wall.
Ed. Note: The International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) has announced that Allen E. Gant Jr., chairman of Glen Raven, Glen Raven, North Carolina, as well as Jack and Gwen Raseman, founders of DeckN-Den Limited in Kalamazoo, Michigan, will be recipients of its 2019 Lifetime Achievement Awards.
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| Exit Interview |
ENTREPRENEURIAL Karen and Paul Galindo have made a success of their marriage, and of three stores they ran under the names Greenhouse Mall, and Outside in Style, based in Texas. Now they’re closing those stores, and opening a women’s fashion shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
By Richard Wright
aren Galindo is well known in the Patio Furniture industry. She’s known as someone who works hard, knows the business, and speaks her mind. She doesn’t like manufacturers who compete against her with their own stores; nor does she like manufacturers who sell to Internet sellers. Hearth & Home: Let’s begin way back. When did your folks start the Greenhouse Mall? Karen Galindo: “In 1977 they opened up a Greenhouse store; in 1978, they added patio furniture. In 1994 my parents retired and Paul and I took over. We have been running it for 25 years. Tracy (Wolfrom) came on board with us as well. We ran the single store, in Austin, up until about 2002, and then we opened a store in San Antonio, and in 2008 we opened our Bee Cave location, which is in west Austin, and then we opened Exteriors (a Designers’ Showroom) in 2009.” You kept yourself pretty busy opening stores, didn’t you?
Galindo: “I guess so. All the store moves were good moves. We were glad we opened all the stores and now, of course, we’re closing all the stores. I think it will be a mad rush to see who moves into the Austin market when we vacate. Someone is going to.” When you put up a designers’ showroom in Austin, did that work out well for you? Galindo: “Yes, it did for a long time and then we finally closed it because we found the designers were working online and working on the phone; they weren’t working in our showroom anymore. But it worked for a long time and then we moved it onto our premises here. We also went more into the commercial end – hotels, restaurants, etc. – and that was a good move, too. I think designers have lost a lot of their business.” What year did you and Paul hook up? Galindo: “In 1987 we met at the University of Texas, and in 1992 we got married.” At one time, Paul was a practicing lawyer, wasn’t he?
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Galindo: “Yes. He was a lawyer. I’ve worked in this business since I was 11 years old, selling patio furniture and greenhouses. I told Paul, ‘If you don’t come work with me, you will never see me again because I will be in that business 24/7.’ He quit his job and came to work with me in retail, and we’ve loved it ever since.” That makes for a very good team, doesn’t it? I suspect he did all the books and handled all finance? Galindo: “It does. Yes, he was Mr. Tort. He would run around and tell us ‘That’s a trip hazard. You need to mop that up. We need to do this.’ Paul is a very cautious person, and it’s good to have someone like that on your team, someone who is a rule follower.” Well, I’ve always known you needed a leash, but I didn’t know it was Paul. Galindo: “That’s true, too. That’s hilarious!” Anything else about Paul?
Karen Galindo in Santa Fe.
Galindo: “Not really. We got out of the greenhouse business when we rebranded in 2012, and we were also doing playsets by then. Other than that, we’re kind of the classic American story of patio furniture retailers. We started out and we just added on and added on and then one day we decided not to do it anymore.”
Galindo: “We were down 25%, but we fared better than a lot of our friends who were in Florida and California, in those kinds of markets. Did we feel it? Absolutely, but we didn’t feel it to the extent that all those guys felt it.”
That must have been a very tough decision.
Galindo: “Because Texas is more insulated than other markets. I think Texas was healthier economy-wise, and that’s the only reason.”
Galindo: “Extremely. That has been the hardest decision of my life, bar none.” Let me get some more background information. When Lehman Brothers collapsed, the Great Recession hit, and the patio industry felt the pain. Did your company get hurt dramatically?
Why do you think that was the case?
Well, Texas in many ways is its own country, isn’t it? Galindo: “That’s true, and many Texans here agree.”
Was your rebranding successful? I know you spent, what, a little over a million dollars in rebranding? Galindo: “Yes. The rebranding was definitely successful, and we’re glad we did it. We needed to do it, and I said at the time, ‘You either make the decision to update your stores, or the decision gets made for you.’ It gave us a really, really fresh look. Customers appreciated it. So without a doubt it was the right thing to do. “However, it was a tough and excruciating thing to do because we were still open during the renovation. I would advocate that as many disrupters as there are in the market now, with all these beautiful facilities and façades and shopping centers, it’s more important than ever that stores look good.
Click here for a mobile friendly reading experience www.hearthandhome.com | SEPTEMBER 2019
When Karen Galindo turned 50, she made a list of 50 experiences she had never tried – and then set about doing them all. You’ll find a number of those items scattered throughout this article.
| Exit Interview | “As Mom-and-Pop stores, we have trouble competing with these mass merchant stores that always look great and have people who are entirely dedicated to how they look. Mom-and-Pop stores can’t do that. We have to wear a lot of hats. So I would say, it’s time for everyone to look around and see if they need to update their façades.”
Some of the others on her list include Going to a nudist beach (“Not sure I will do this one again.”) – scuba diving – snowshoeing – Hip Hop dance lessons – racing BMWs at Thermal, California – riding a mechanical bull – soaking in a mud bath – worked as a waitress – walked on a balance beam – shot a gun at a range – competed in a Dry Triathalon at Orange Theory – participated in a Chabad – had an expert paint the upper half of her body – had a Shiatsu message at a Japanese spa – learned to throw pottery – entered a salt water sensory deprivation tank – rode a tandem bike (barely) – learned to open a bottle of champagne with a saber – went ATVing – went parasailing in Oahu – learned (a little) about playing steel drums, and more and more.
It has been said many times that a gallon of paint doesn’t cost a lot of money. Galindo: “Yes, there is stuff you can do.” You told me at one point that, after rebranding, after the first year, your traffic was down, but sales were up a bit. Did that continue that way? Galindo: “I would say sales stayed steady and, yes, I would say traffic counts are down, which is really detrimental to us as an industry because it makes every customer who walks through that door more valuable. I think most of us would admit the traffic counts are down, and I blame that on things such as Amazon and the Internet. The reason that sales are up is because people who are coming in are spending more, and they are definitely dedicated to the products that we sell, so we better have those products. I think that it’s a scary trend that traffic counts are down.” You are now closing stores. Why not sell them? Is it because you can sell the land? Galindo: “Yes. I am going to sell the land because the land is valuable and I advocate to any retailer out there, if you can afford your location that is probably the smartest thing you can do in terms of a retirement plan. I am not going to owner-finance someone to come in and run my company into the ground, and then I’m liable for it. I will get my money out doing a GRB (Graduated Retirement Benefit). I could have sold it to someone, but I don’t want to take the risk. It’s too risky, and I know that has happened in our industry.” Well, you’re fortunate that your land is so valuable where you are.
Galindo: “Yes, in Austin and San Antonio. We own two of our three stores.” What about key changes in the industry over the years? When I started covering the industry in 1989, I believe it was a friendlier place. Galindo: “Oh, I agree.” I remember going to the Apollo Awards banquet and every woman was dressed to the nine’s and everybody was in a jovial mood. This was still a new category, and they were doing well. Now I feel a different vibe when I go to the Merchandise Mart, and at times some manufacturers are kind of rude. Galindo: “I think there has definitely been a shift. A lot of the players have changed, and it doesn’t feel as personal anymore. The thing about the industry is that it was always so tiny and personal; we always said it was like high school. You would walk down the hall and see everyone. We were all close friends then. Now some big companies have moved in that are not as friendly, or not as personal, and it has changed the vibe of the industry. “Leaving it is one of the hardest things that I had to decide, because I truly and honestly love our industry. It has been my entire life. I feel 100% connected to it, and I wonder if I will have an identity when I am no longer a patio furniture retailer. Will I still have that? What is my identity going to be, because that’s all I know. So it has made it a tiny, tiny bit easier by the fact that I don’t feel like it’s personal anymore.”
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Surfing lessons in Lahaina, Hawaii. Karen not only learned to surf, but was actually pretty good at it.
What about key changes in the industry? When you look back, what were the major changes? Was it when Sunbrella finally was accepted by retailers and by consumers? Was it when you got rid of strap furniture and started doing... Galindo: “Oh, my gosh. From my perspective, from 1977, sometimes we come across old photos and we die laughing at what products looked like because they looked so basic and so old fashioned. I would say probably the biggest change is when cushions became mainstream and people started buying chat sets. Terri Lee (Rogers, president of OW Lee) invented the chat set, and people started buying chat sets instead of dining sets, or they started buying living room deep-seating collections as opposed to dining sets. “I would say that one of the biggest shifts was the improvement of materials that allowed for that living room look as opposed to just a patio set look. I think that we are seeing a lot of interesting materials coming out now in terms of, say, wood synthetics. I think that is going to be something that changes what people buy quite a bit because consumers are so attracted to it. What else do I think accounts for change? The types of houses that consumers are building in terms of the space for patios.” Absolutely, but when you say cushions, wasn’t Sunbrella a major part of that where people said, ‘That’s terrific. It’s a fabric I can leave outside,’ or not? Galindo: “Glen Raven has done a brilliant job of branding Sunbrella. Sunbrella is the only brand that we have in our industry that the consumer recognizes by name. Consumers come in asking for it by name. They did a brilliant job of helping to transform the industry in terms of what we are able to sell because, before cushions came on the market, it was all strap and then sling furniture.” I remember being in a small town in Mexico with my wife Jackie, about 10 years ago, and we were walking down a dirt road, very rural, and all of a sudden we saw a couple of shops and in one of the shop windows it said, “We carry Sunbrella.” Galindo: “Oh, that is hilarious!”
Karen has always been terrified of heights, but she made it to the top of a small mountain called Tent Rocks in Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico.
Karen wanted to write, produce, and record a song, so she began by taking voice lessons. (See and hear the final product on YouTube).
What other changes in the industry? What about when synthetic woven goods came out? Galindo: “The synthetic woven products were so dramatically beautiful to all of us because, prior to that, we were just bending metal. Consumers responded to it so well, and I think Lane Venture was the big mover and shaker. I credit Art Thompson for all his marketing, for all the magnificent beauty of the products that they made in terms of getting those lifestyle shots in front of the customers. He was a real innovator in our industry. Lane Venture was light years ahead of the rest of us when it came to marketing and merchandising and showing a lifestyle. I think he was as good as it gets.” I agree. He was one of my favorite people. Any other pivot points that you can recall? Galindo: “So we have gone through all our different categories, right? We have
the cast aluminum and the woven, and then extruded aluminum regained a lot of popularity recently. The next trend, I feel, is Realisteak by Klaussner. It is a synthetic teak that looks just like slightly weathered teak, but is all synthetic and does not weather or require maintenance. “The consumer either doesn’t realize or doesn’t understand what wood is really about. That is when we get our hands on them and we explain, ‘Well, if you buy this Gloster product, it’s an example of a synthetic and it looks like this forever. You don’t have to do anything to it.’ I think that is going to be another big category coming up. It has been for us already.” What about your customers through the years? Were they much nicer in the past? Galindo: “Yes, everyone was nicer and more patient. I remember when 9/11 happened, all of a sudden people got nice again – for
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| Exit Interview |
a little while. The consumer trend toward being hostile to retailers has been going on for a long time, and it certainly isn’t made better by people like Amazon. The consumer gives so much leeway and love to Amazon, and they’re not doing a thing for them. “A lot of times the product is misrepresented and by the time it arrives at the consumer’s home it is not what they thought it would be. I think that makes people meaner, because we can’t be as responsive as people want us to be, especially as life gets harder. We ask our guys to drive around these big panel trucks and make deliveries in rush hour traffic. It’s ridiculous.” Hmmm, people seem wired. They seem uptight. Life isn’t slow, it’s too fast. That appears to play right into the hands of the patio furniture industry. Consumers should be coveting Outdoor Rooms in which to relax, be with the family, enjoy some music, and have a cocktail. Is that your view? Galindo: “I think that people want to find ways to relax more, but I don’t think there has been a time in my life when I have been less relaxed; I blame the cell phones. The cell phone keeps us wired at all times. Now we go outside and we’re still on our devices, right? But at least we have a comfortable place to sit and maybe we can commune with nature a little bit. I think that relaxation in this country has changed dramatically; we just don’t relax like we used to. I think we all multitask to the point where it makes us sick.” Exactly. When did you purchase your second home in Santa Fe? Galindo: “In 2011.” You also started a patio shop there, correct? Galindo: “I did, and I partnered with some designers. One of them got really sick and couldn’t do it anymore, so we closed it down. Now I’m going to have a lady’s retail boutique on Canyon Road in Santa Fe.” What kind of goods will you be carrying? Galindo: “Leather and jewelry and clothing. So I’ll still be a retailer. I’m just going to do it in fashion now. I’m looking forward to it; this will be my Phase II.
For a person afraid of heights, flying in a glider must have been difficult.
Hopefully we will be able to open in a couple of weeks (around the middle to end of July). The fact that we are closing three stores and opening a new one – all at the same time – is ridiculous!” Is it difficult for you to be leaving a great business that you created? Galindo: “Honestly, the hardest part for me is going to be saying goodbye to vendors that I’ve had for 30 years, and not being a part of the industry anymore. Truly, I will shed tears over that.” I hear a customer in the background. Go sell something, I’ ll call back tomorrow. (A day later) We were going to talk about manufacturers, and you’ve had some great ones; you created great partnerships with these people. Talk to me about that. Galindo: “We have had some 30-year relationships with some of our factories. I have no doubt there are other people circling around the Austin market now that they have heard that we are leaving. We really did believe in the partnership model with our factories, so I think it’s going to be tough for people like Terri Lee Rogers, and the nice folks at Homecrest, and people like Jensen Leisure. We’ve formed some really good relationships – TUUCI and Treasure Garden are good examples. I’ve just named a handful of them, but it’s going to be really, really tough to leave those guys behind.”
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Did you find many quality problems through the years? Galindo: “Very few. We always clung to the high-end, and when you deal with high-end products the quality issues are negligible.” What about pricing of the products? You’re in very wealthy areas in Austin and San Antonio, so you probably had no problem with the cost of goods, right? Galindo: “No, I don’t agree with that. I think the consumer has been dumbed down so much by the mass merchants, and even by different players on the Internet, that they don’t consider what we are asking patio furniture to do in terms of being outside in a climate such as that of Texas, with the wind and the rain and the heat and the sun. “They don’t think about it in terms of, ‘Okay, I’m buying this $800 chair that is going to last me for the next 20 years and I might have to replace the cushion in 10 years.’ They don’t give it the value that it deserves. I think the American consumer is being dumbed down by the mass merchants.” What about competition? Do you have much in your areas? Galindo: “The biggest competition probably was the Internet and Restoration Hardware. We, of course, had other Momand-Pop stores, and we had Chair King. I would say the biggest problem is getting footprints in the door, just getting people to come out and shop specialty. In our industry we’re seeing the degradation of that.”
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| Exit Interview | That kind of surprises me because I think a good specialty store is fun to shop. Galindo: “I do too, but you and I are a dying breed. It gets harder and harder to get people in the door.” Almost all the patio products are designed by men, but the buyers are all women. That seems a little out of balance, doesn’t it? Galindo: “Yes, I feel like we don’t have enough of the female perspective, and you’re absolutely 100% right – we deal with a female customer. I hate to say this, but that is one reason OW Lee is doing so well, because it’s run by Terri Rogers who is a female. There are not enough women in our industry, and I wonder why that is.” But at OW Lee, who is doing the design? The son, Paul Rogers, right? Galindo: “I know. But he must get feedback from Terri.” Ed. Note: We contacted Paul’s sister, Leisa McCollister, to get the real skinny: “Paul presents designs to us (usually 10-12),” she says, “and we narrow it down from there with input from our product development committee which includes myself, my mom (Terri Lee), my uncle Chris Goff, who is in charge of operations, and a few other key employees. Paul really drives the whole process from conception to sourcing materials to even styling the photo shoots and showrooms, but we all have input.” Is there anything else that you would like to get out? Galindo: “Just my appreciation for everything that the factories have done for us over the years. The only reason we were successful was because they helped us be successful, and I just hope that they will keep doing what they are doing in terms of creating products that are light years ahead of what the mass merchants are doing. That’s the only thing that is keeping us going in a forward motion. “I would like to publicly apologize for leaving them (laughs). All good things come to an end, and I guess we do, too.”
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Number 50 on the Galindo list was driving a tank and crushing an old car. “That was one of the best things I did, and one of the most memorable,” she said.
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| Modular Outdoor Kitchens |
MAKE ROOM FOR MODULAR Turnkey outdoor kitchens could be small retailers’ building blocks to success; don’t be intimidated. By Lisa Readie Mayer
ffice-supplies retailer Staples has the “Easy Button;” specialty hearth, barbecue, and patio retailers have modular outdoor kitchens. These turnkey cabinetry systems are the “Easy Button” to helping small independent retailers compete in the outdoor kitchen category and reclaim sales that have been eroding to landscapers, building contractors, appliance retailers, and other professionals.
“Previously, it had always been really hard for most small specialty retailers to offer custom masonry outdoor kitchens,” says Jim Ginocchi, president of Coyote Outdoor Living. “There are many hindrances, but chief among them is coordinating and controlling all the subcontractors needed to complete the job. You had to have someone design the kitchen, construct the frame, a mason
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to finish it, a source for the counter, and someone to make the cutouts for the appliances. As a result, it was easier to just sell the built-in appliances. Not so anymore.” Modular outdoor kitchens are emerging as a compelling alternative. Similar to indoor cabinetry, modular outdoor cabinetry comes in standard-sized components that, like building blocks, can be customconfigured in any layout. The components are delivered fully finished, with appliance cutouts in place, and link together quickly and easily at the customer’s home without special equipment or skills. NatureKast.
Unlike rock or stucco islands, most modular outdoor cabinetry is similar in appearance to indoor cabinetry and delivers a sleeker, more modern aesthetic. This seamless, indoor-outdoor design trend is catching on in outdoor kitchens. Depending on the brand, outdoor cabinetry is available in a broad assortment of finishes, including stainless steel, powder-coated stainless steel, powder-coated aluminum, marine-grade resin materials, and glassfiber, reinforced-concrete panels that look like weathered wood, stacked stone, brick, or concrete. For one-stop shopping convenience, some manufacturers also include an option for a countertop. The entire process from design to installation is much faster than with traditional masonry islands. Some manufacturers offer in-stock, modular kits that can be delivered and installed in as little as a week, but the typical project completion
is four to six weeks. In addition, while custom masonry islands are almost always a pricey undertaking for the homeowner, modular outdoor kitchens are offered in a much broader price spectrum, making the concept available to a wider demographic. That’s not to say they’re inexpensive. On the contrary, some systems cost as much as, if not more than, a masonry island. However, there are a number of value-priced options available that allow more homeowners to realize their outdoor-living aspirations. Another key selling point: Since modular outdoor kitchens are easy to reconfigure or expand, even if a customer starts out with a small and simple outdoor kitchen, they can add components later as budget allows. Modular Manufacturers “Most homeowners want to turn their outdoor spaces into multiple, fully decorated rooms – including a real kitchen,” says
Stephen Schroeter, co-CEO of Napoleon, which offers Oasis Modular Components. “The trend in outdoor kitchens is moving to modular systems and away from heavy rock looks. A sleeker design aesthetic is popular with consumers today. Modular outdoor kitchens are a good solution for retailers because they are easy to put together, have fast turnaround times to complete the project, and retailers can make more than just a grill sale.” Indeed, beyond the grill and the modular cabinetry, experts say most outdoor kitchens typically include at least one or two other appliances, such as a refrigerator or sideburner. In addition, consumers are increasingly opting for multiple islands on the patio: one for cooking elements and another for beverages and dining. Many are even buying modular outdoor cabinetry as a storage solution for sports equipment, patio seat cushions, towels, pool toys, or pet gear. Click here for a mobile friendly reading| SEPTEMBER experience www.hearthandhome.com 2019
| Modular Outdoor Kitchens |
Oasis PRO825 by Napoleon.
Napoleon’s Oasis Modular Components are made from stainless steel and carboncolored, powder-coated, galvanneal steel, and are available in drawer units, shelf cabinets, grill and appliance cabinets, trash pull-outs, and transition pieces. The modules also come with leveling feet, knock-outs for gas and electric hook - ups, and can be arranged in custom layouts. Gensun’s turnkey outdoor kitchens look as if they moved from the indoor kitchen to the patio. Easy to assemble and fully finished, consumers can choose from a host of pre-designed islands in two different looks, one with contemporary styling and the other with traditional detailing. Or consumers can customize their outdoor kitchen from the many standard cabinet modules and 20 exterior colors. NatureKast Weatherproof Cabinetry also could be mistaken for interior cabinets. The high-end modular line made of
Outdoor Living Suite by Hestan Outdoor.
high-density resin, replicates the natural color and texture of real wood. “We created casts of real wood doors, so it looks exactly like wood, but won’t warp, fade, or crack,” explains Chris Exelby, vice president of Sales and Marketing. The line takes more cues from indoor cabinetry, including options of crown molding, corbels, and door faces in Shaker, contemporary, and louvered styles. The cabinets can accommodate all built-in grills and appliances, and come with lifetime warranties. “Outdoor cabinetry is a booming industry,” says Exelby. “We’re growing over 100% annually.” Coyote Outdoor Living has introduced Ready-to-Assemble Outdoor Kitchens made from glass-fiber, reinforced-concrete (GFRC) panels, precast with a stone-, wood- or concrete-look finish. The panels are shipped flat and installed on site with L-brackets, self-tapping screws, and corner support pieces, before the countertop and appliances
Predesigned Outdoor Kitchens by Gensun Casual.
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are added to complete the outdoor kitchen. Ginocchi says a pair of installers can assemble an entire outdoor kitchen in a few hours, with no additional finish or masonry work required. Coyote’s grilling islands are available in 5-, 6- and 8-ft. lengths; it also offers bar islands, and island bases for its electric grills and Asado Kamados. Fire Magic’s Ready-To-Assemble Islands are made from finished GFRC panels, flatshipped in five simple-to-assemble pieces. The island packages are offered in straightrun and L-shaped configurations, a variety of finishes such as stucco and rustic wood looks, and different combinations of built-in Fire Magic grills, sideburners, refrigerators, and other appliances. Hestan’s Outdoor Living Suites, 8- or 12ft., fully-finished, stainless-steel entertainment islands, can be outfitted with a Hestan grill, sideburners, refrigeration, accessories, storage, and more, and incorporate several electrical outlets. They can be further customized with
Ready-to-Assemble Outdoor Kitchen by Coyote Outdoor Living.
Ready-to-Assemble Island by Fire Magic.
a raised bar ledge and Hestan’s signature color panels on the appliance controls, doors, and drawer fronts. A stainless-steel countertop is available, or a stone top may be sourced and added locally. Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens and its Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens branded line, offer a comprehensive selection of stainless-steel components that are designed to fit most outdoor grills, appliances, and bartending centers. They come in a huge array of door styles, powder-coated colors, and textures, including 10 new, realistic, wood-grain finishes. The Arcadia Series from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet is among the priciest modular outdoor kitchen systems. The line includes 20 custom-configurable cabinetry components, with leveling legs, and a speedclip system to facilitate installation. Four horizontal panels run across the face of each cabinet, creating a sleek design that is carried through on the door and drawer handles. The
Exterus Express Island by Forshaw of St. Louis.
panels are offered in two standard finishes – oiled ipe wood or charcoal-gray, powdercoated stainless steel – but custom powdercoat finishes also are available. Unfinished Modular Options While finished modular components offer the most turnkey path to an outdoor kitchen, unfinished modular systems offer many similar benefits, but the exterior finish is applied after installation at the job site. “This is not an issue for most dealers who install fireplaces, because they’re already doing finishes and don’t need to sub it out,” explains Philip Chamberlain, National Sales manager for Forshaw, makers of Exterus Modular Island Systems. “And consumers really like the flexibility to customize finishes.” Exterus dealers guide customers through a simple, three-step design process to create an outdoor kitchen, first choosing grills and accessories such as sideburners,
refrigerators, and trash pull-outs from partner brands such as Fire Magic, AOG, Summerset, Primo, and True Refrigeration. Next is planning the layout using the line’s standard cabinetry components, before finally choosing the exterior and counter finishes from a selection of stucco, natural stone veneer, and granite options. The exterior materials are shipped along with the unfinished cabinetry modules for installing and finishing at the customer’s home. Forshaw’s Exterus Express Islands offer even faster turnarounds – as little as five days – and easy-entry price tags starting at about $6,700. They are available in-stock, in a handful of popular configurations and pre-selected appliance and finish packages. “When we introduced our concept 12 years ago, the Southeast region was the first to catch on, but now it’s spreading into the Northeast and throughout the country,” says Chamberlain. “The growth has been incredible.”
Post & Panel System by Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens.
www.hearthandhome.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 49
| Modular Outdoor Kitchens | The unfinished modular cabinetry components in Grillnetics Outdoor Cabinetry system require one additional step – assembly – on the path to an outdoor kitchen. The panels of patentpending aluminum framework, pre-clad with PermaBase cement board, that make up each of the 60 available components, are shipped flat. Assembly of each module takes about 15 minutes, according to Grillnetics National Sales manager Mick Sage. “This system is lightweight, strong, adjustable for any grill, doors or drawers, has a lifetime warranty, and is very easy to put together and finished onsite,” he says. “We offer full design support and can ship next day on standard cabinets. “Contractors love it,” he adds. “Toll Brothers is using it in their model homes, offering outdoor kitchens as an upgrade. Lots of contractors are looking for a quick, turnkey solution for outdoor kitchens.”
necessity for communal spaces. It ships flat and installs easily, keeping delivery and labor costs low. Panels can be replaced, even with a countertop in place, making it easy for communities to repair without updating the entire unit. “It’s easier to keep clean, easier to install, and a less-costly investment for the builder than a full kitchen,” says Mitch Slater, president and owner of Danver and Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens. Contractors and developers are not the only group looking to claim a piece of the outdoor kitchen category. Other channels, such as pool builders, kitchen and bath designers, and appliance retailers are taking note of the outdoor kitchen trend and discovering that modular outdoor kitchens are an easy and efficient way to offer the service to customers. Manufacturers are actively courting these industries, exhibiting at the likes of
Grillnetics Outdoor Cabinetry System.
A Battle for Category Ownership Many of those contractors are in multifamily housing. In addition to residents’ private balconies, for which the lighter-weight cabinetry is better suited than masonry islands, builders are increasingly offering communal outdoor kitchens as part of the amenity package. This year, Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens introduced its new Post and Panel System to builders, architects, and designers of multifamily environments. The islands have the sophisticated look and countertop workspace of a typical Danver outdoor kitchen, but are designed without storage. The system is ADA-compliant, a
As these other channels try to carve a niche, experts caution that hearth and barbecue retailers may see outdoor kitchen business slip away if they don’t take ownership of the category. “Specialty hearth and barbecue retailers may be beaten to the punch,” says Ginocchi. “Retailers need to offer the total package – including grills, outdoor appliances, accessories, patio furniture, heating lamps, and an island solution – in their stores. “A customer coming in to look at a grill can lead to the purchase of an entire Outdoor Room. But the same scenario could easily happen in an appliance store when a customer comes in to buy a dishwasher. Specialty hearth and barbecue retailers have the expertise in grills, but if they don’t sell outdoor kitchens, the customer will buy it elsewhere. Consumers want an outdoor kitchen and they want it now.
Modular Outdoor Kitchen Suite by THOR Kitchens.
the International Builders’ Show, National Hardware Show, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, among others. Recently, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet’s Arcadia Series won a “Best of KBIS” award, and Urban Bonfire Outdoor Kitchens recently took the “Best in Show: Kitchens” prize at the Architectural Digest Design Show. “Mass-premium” appliance manufacturer THOR Kitchen introduced an eight-piece Modular Outdoor Kitchen Suite, including a grill, a set of refrigerator drawers, pizza oven, and other storage cabinets. The flexible system can be configured in L- or U-shaped layouts, and according to the company, is offered at a “practical price.”
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“It might be time to figure out what’s not selling and move some of those cart models off the floor,” Ginocchi continues. “A retailer can display as small as a 4-ft. island with different built-in appliances to show customers an outdoor kitchen option. Put the island outside and use the grill, pull out the trash drawer. It’s the best way for customers to imagine using it at home.” He says, “The fear (around selling outdoor kitchens) has been ingrained for so long. Retailers need to understand that this is an attainable solution for them and their customers. This concept is easy to design and install, and is completely sellable.”
O UT DO O R FUR NIT UR E AND K ITC HENS HEADQUARTERS – 9449 8th Street | Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 Phone: 909.989.9977 | Fax: 909.989.9970 | Toll Free: 866.964.4468 CHICAGO SHOWROOM – Merchandise Mart Suite 1667 | Chicago, IL 60654 GENSU NCASUAL .COM
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| New Exhibitors in Chicago 2019 |
NEW EXHIBITORS 1
1 TRIMM Copenhagen
The Rocket Daybed has coordinated ottomans and pillows and was designed in Denmark by Rikke Gjoerlund. The daybed and ottoman, as well as the pillows, are covered in high-grade Sunbrella Plus water repellent fabric, which is mold and UV resistant. Phone: (877) 874-6611 Website: www.trimmcopenhagen.com Booth: 7-7094A
2 E. C. Woods
The Tacoma Bar has four versatile modules made from quality poly material. The bar is available in a wide variety of colors to fit any dĂŠcor, and homeowners can customize a space to create a variety of outdoor bar areas. Phone: (574) 849-3542 Website: ecwoutdoorfurniture.com Booth: 7-8109
3 Canopy Home and Garden
Ranging from tan to dark grays, the colors in the wicker Laurel four-piece deep seating group complement the silver hues of the cushions. To provide extra support, the cushions extend higher than the back. The coffee table offers storage by lifting the top. Phone: (404) 855-3910 Website: www.canopy-hg.com Booth: 7-7100
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4 Ledge Lounger
Relax on the stylish signature Chaise when lounging poolside. Contoured and made from quality UV-rated resin, the Chaise is designed for water depths of up to 9 inches and can withstand the sun, water and chemicals from a pool or any outdoor environment. Phone: (888) 749-5336 Website: www.ledgeloungers.com Booth: 7-4029
5 Lillian August Outdoor
Providing a spot for guests to place a drink or snacks at an outdoor gathering, the Burleigh Cocktail Table is made of teak and stone. The attractive old gray finish gives the table a refined, yet rustic look. Phone: (828) 322-2640 Website: www.lillianaugust.hickorywhite.com Booth: 7-6093
The modern and artistic Millenia Fire Table is constructed of high-performance concrete with a travertine finish. The thermocouple-controlled, stainless-steel burner has an electronic ignition. Authentic Bali beach rock is included and 3-inch aluminum legs are optional.
Phone: (909) 631-7869 Website: www.pyromaniafire.com Booth: 7-1083
7 Quality Works
The Cube Dining Chair is a sculptural piece of furniture available in teak and aluminum frame versions. The chair retains the warm look and comfort of teak. The sling seat and back are modern and durable. Phone: + 62-31-99200901 Website: www.q-works.net Booth: 7-10097
Click here for a mobile friendly reading experience www.hearthandhome.com | SEPTEMBER 2019
| New Exhibitors in Chicago 2019 |
8 Buying Made Easy
Made from Acacia wood in a natural finish with cushions in a subtle gray color, the Tahiti Patio Set consists of a twoseater sofa, two single-seaters and a handy coffee table. The eco-friendly set can be used indoors or on a covered patio area.
Phone: +27 82 820 6969 Booth: 7-2055
9 Foss Floors
Mosaics premium carpet tiles are made of 100% post-consumer drinking bottles. The tiles are self-sticking; peel and press when installing to give an area a fresh, stylish look. The versatile tiles can be installed anywhere: on concrete, wood, vinyl and even carpet and are fade and stain resistant, waterproof and simple to clean.
9 Casual Pic2-5x7.jpg
Phone: (706) 581-2582 Website: www.fossfloors.com Booth: 7-5035
The Tasman Hose Trolley has an elegant frame, single color scheme, and a highly-functional design. The trolley can remain a permanent and noteworthy feature in the garden or yard, even when not in use. It has powder-coated galvanized steel and sturdy tires for all ground conditions. A nylon clip keeps the hose tidy. Choose from a black or white trolley and hose. Phone: +32-496-309-313 Website: www.zee.be Booth: 7-7088A
11Decorative Concepts 10
The Decorative Corners Rug defines the space in open areas. With an attractive natural weave pattern, handcrafted rug corners, the rug gives texture and style to decks, patios and Outdoor Rooms. Made of woven vinyl, the rug has a high-density backing of compressed recyclable fibers for comfort and durability. Phone: (423) 682-7257 Website: www.decorativeconceptsllc.com Booth: 7-7066
Floating daybeds come in a range of designs that will enhance any outdoor setting. The beds are suited for the outside or indoors for both private and commercial uses. A variety of beds are available, including Bambino, Classic, and Deluxe Collections. Phone: (224) 236-0947 Website: www.tiipiibed.com Booth: 7-7094
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| Viewpoint |
BACK TO SCHOOL CEO Kathy Juckett takes 116-year-old
Juckett: “Probably 60.”
Telescope Casual Furniture back to school;
Is hospitality still growing as fast as it was, and if so, why?
the results are impressive. By Richard Wright
alk by the Telescope showroom during any market, whether it’s the Preview Show in July or the Casual Market Chicago in September, and you’ll notice a crowd has gathered – a crowd larger than any other manufacturer’s. As customers and reps can attest, Telescope is doing a lot of things very right, from product design, to materials, to pricing. Hearth & Home: How long have you been CEO of Telescope Casual Furniture?
Juckett: “Excellent. Our sales are up double-digits in both retail and contract.” How about Canada? Did anything change up there? Juckett: “Yes, we have definitely grown a bit in Canada. We have some new representation there that is doing a pretty darn good job, especially in western Canada.” What percent of your business comes from online sales?
Kathy Juckett: “Maybe 15 or 16 years.”
Juckett: “It’s fairly small. I would say maybe 10 or 12%.”
How well did Telescope do in the U.S. this year? How were your sales?
What percent of your business is through the specialty channel?
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Juckett: “Yes. To some degree, I think hospitality is affected less by economic changes than some of the other parts of the industry. We make a very good product and our customer service is outstanding; we get constant feedback from the hospitality people that we do business with. They just love having a company where they can pick up the phone, talk about the problem, and get it fixed. “You’ve got to be that way because it’s a black eye on them if they can’t get it fixed. Nobody wants to do that stuff, but you’ve got to do that stuff. The most important function you can have after making that sale is supporting the customer. Apparently there are a lot of companies out there that don’t, we’re told.” What is your view of the specialty network in terms of financial health? Are there many retailers who are struggling a bit?
PHOTOS: ©2019 JUDE GOLDMAN PHOTOGRAPHY. WWW.JUDEGOLDMAN.COM.
Juckett: “I don’t think so. A few years ago I would have said, yes. In the big shakeup, a few guys may have crashed but the strong survived and have been able to maintain through flat economic times and flat retail sales. Certainly they have become pretty savvy about getting people into their stores and have found ways to make it work. Our core dealers have done okay and are doing very well right now, and that is really encouraging to see. “They have figured out ways to deal with the Internet and they have figured out how to make that work with their own programs. Many of them are dabbling in hospitality themselves, through their stores, and hiring people to go out to all of their local golf courses and hotels and motels, etc.
Juckett: “It is, and you can’t have the attitude of getting the sale at all costs because I’m not willing to pay the costs of upsetting the people that have been our bread and butter for centuries. You’ve got to be respectful to the guy out there who is on the front line.” What about any trends that you may have noticed that are relatively new? Juckett: “Pretty much anything Marine Grade Polymer or plastic, and the Millennials definitely tend toward a more modern, simplistic design, less is more kind of thing. Millennials are tough because they want what they want right then and there. They are used to an instant society, one that grew up with Amazon Prime. We have a
put things together, and we don’t really want them to have to put things together. Millennials are having quite a bit of influence in design and are actually designing some of their lines for us, which appeals not only to the Millennials but obviously other people with that type of design taste. That is how we’re dealing with the Millennials. We get the Millennials to design for the Millennials.” How many dealers do you have now, Kathy? Juckett: “It’s a huge number of retailers, but there are about 800 core dealers that do the bulk of the business. We have actually been growing that number of dealers. We have been purposely going after that. We have been really working at broadening that base.”
L to R: James Lamb, Henry Vanderminden IV, Michael Zinn, Jake Warren, Robin Dodge, Chris Ettori, Sarah Warren, Robert Vanderminden Jr, Kathy Juckett, Chris Lavin, Carol Scott, Kaela Rockenstire, Bill Vanderminden, Greta Pisani, Rick Doyle, Matt Pisani.
“Our reps will not quote if a store is quoting. They won’t participate in that, and with any of our contract reps the stores come first. So our customers in any store come first, and that is just a policy that we developed right off the bat because we are only as good as their strength, so we want to keep them strong and supported all the way.” That makes total sense, but we both know that many manufacturers do the opposite – they compete against their own dealers. That has always appeared to be short-sighted to me.
little different view of that because we knew how it used to be so it’s just a whole different ballgame for us. “You can definitely see their influence in some of the designs that we’re doing because they know what they would buy and that is important. They like a unique look, but they also like things to be clean and a little toward modern, not completely modern in a lot of cases but just a little more clean and fresh – and they want it quickly. Instantly. “They are used to the whole IKEA concept of assembling and not being afraid to put it together. We don’t do much of that because our retailers tend to not appreciate having to
You don’t mean there are a lot of new retailers starting up in the industry now, do you? Juckett: “No. We’re just getting floor space in other places that we haven’t had in the past. Whether we’re replacing somebody or not is hard to say, but we are getting there. We are getting in there because we are making products that people really want on their floor. We have definitely increased our dealer base very nicely in the last three years.” Are sales of your Marine Grade Polymer furniture still growing at a very nice pace? Click here for a mobile friendly reading experience www.hearthandhome.com | SEPTEMBER 2019
| Viewpoint | Juckett: “Yes.” Are you surprised that there hasn’t been a rush from more manufacturers into that field? Juckett: “There has been. There’s lots of competition now. But not too many people are using the same high quality material that we’re using. They are using the cheaper stuff that has foam cores. There are not a lot of people out there producing with Marine Grade, top shelf stuff.”
“When Kiichiro Toyoda made his first car in Japan, he didn’t have any money. He just decided he was going to make cars. So he learned to make do with anything and everything that he could find, and he learned to continually improve every process, making it better and better. As his business grew and he started to make a little bit of money here, a little bit of money there, then he could modify things, not for the sake of modifying them, but only if it made sense to modify, only if it was going to
Kathy Juckett with employee Michael Blockburger, Tables Department.
A snapshot of the showroom, Patio Essentials.
We understand that, for the last few years, you have been implementing The Toyota Way, a managerial and production system, and that the results have been impressive. Juckett: “I’ve been here 40 years and I’ve watched all these fads, this type of manufacturing style and that type of manufacturing style. There are all these theories that go around. When our group first started looking at it, what we found was that we learned about it in the first six months. We just sat down and immersed ourselves in the whole process for six months, just getting started. It was what we did all day every day right here in the factory. We had somebody come in and work with us. But the basic premise of it is so, so simple.
“But you must have buy-in from everybody at all levels of your organization, and they have to understand from the beginning that this isn’t some fad. This is how we do business now. This is what we are all about now. You analyze everything, everything that you do and every reason that you do it. How many times you move a product. How many times you handle a product. How many times you have any interactions with that product. If anything that you’re doing to that product does not advance that product to the next phase,
add value to the product in the eyes of the customer. That is how you always have to think. “When you are going to do something in the factory, you’re going to change a process. If that isn’t something that a customer is willing to pay for in the end, then you don’t do it. You might think it’s a great idea, and it might be a great idea, but in the end you have to determine whether or not that is something the customer is going to be willing to pay for in the price of the product. So there has always been continuous improvement – nonstop. We just never stop. It just keeps going and going and going and that becomes your culture after a while.
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then you shouldn’t be doing it. You better figure out how to eliminate that step because that would be considered nonvalue-added. Go on to the next step. “If you have non-value-added labor, non-value-added processing, those are the things you really want to get out of the process, but then you also have non-valueadded but necessary because there are some things that don’t necessarily advance the product or take it to the next step, but it is something that you have to do. Take, for example, inspections. They are necessary, but they don’t necessarily advance it to the next step. “We, as a company, are going to make sure that everything went exactly right, even though this whole system is based on
| Viewpoint | good quality and the parts coming off in good quality to start with. But we still have that stop-gap measure at the end just to double check – it is so necessary. Inspections are considered non-value-added, but necessary. The whole thing is based on a very simple premise. “Don’t spend money where you don’t have to. Don’t throw money at things – just stop. This was the thing that was really
there is almost always something else that is dragging it. If you don’t get to the root cause of the problem, and then, as a group, attack the root cause and eliminate it, you are only putting a Band-Aid on until it happens again – and it is going to happen again if you don’t get to the root cause. You may know the problem, but you haven’t gotten to the root cause because you keep solving the same problem over
CEO Kathy Juckett reviewing jig storage with Chris Ettori, Production Manager and Chris Lavin, R&D and Tooling manager.
Justin Taylor, Metal Department.
hard for us because we were raised by my father, and when my father heard about a problem he would be off to solve it. That was the way we all did it; that was the mode that we were all brought up with in this business. I’m not talking about just the family people, but the people that he brought to the organization with him. We are all problem solvers; that is what we do. “Here’s the thing we learned: When we are faced with a problem, instead of jumping up and figuring out what is going on and solving the problem, we first have to stop and dig right down to the bottom. We have to take those few minutes in the beginning, even if it’s a day or three days or a week. If it’s a really gnarly problem, we come into the conference room and put it all up on the board; we follow very specific problem-solving methodology that is taught by Toyota to get to the root of the cause. “You may think you know what the problem is, but if you don’t look deep enough, and you don’t tear it all apart,
when he’s going to get off every one of those benches, every day. When he is quoting dates now, he is quoting very accurate dates because he has all these tools that we made for him to be able to look and know the date that product is going to come off that final bench and go in a box. “So, being in a business that has been around for 116 years, there is a lot of stuff that we did just because that is how we
and over again, and it makes you angry. “Here’s an example that happened a couple of years ago. We were having a lot of problems accurately predicting our (delivery) dates for our dealers and they were complaining that our dates were not accurate. Before we started listening, we were all working on various aspects of what the problem was with the dates. We decided that we were going to use that as one of our projects when we were being trained by Toyota. It took us about two weeks because we had all been involved in this for two years prior to this process, and we all had tried everything we knew. “At the end of the day, do you know what the root cause of our dates not being accurate was? The production manager didn’t have good enough visibility of the final area, which is the last step in the process before putting it in the box and sending it to the customer. He didn’t have good enough visibility, and he didn’t have any capacity planning tools there so that he could very accurately, not predict, but know
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always did it, and it evolved over time and it worked and it kept working. But the scope of the changes that we have made to the visible layout of the plant completely changed everything. Now, everything goes one thing to the next thing to the next thing. “We first started with the metal department because it is the biggest, gnarliest department with the most parts and most variety in it. The first thing the Toyota people did was to have us lay out a big part of the whole metal department. Then we had to trace where each part went in the course of its production, and it was a giant mess. It looked like a pile of spaghetti. We call it the spaghetti diagram. It was just a mess. Things were just going all over the place here, there and everywhere. “When we tore the department down and put it back together again, it was all set up so that when it comes off the saw it goes right to the lift or the next operation, and from that operation to the next operation, and from that operation
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| Viewpoint | across the aisle waiting for the welders, and it comes from the welders directly to the product block. Now we are using straight lines. There is no spaghetti anymore. Somebody took (that schematic) down and threw it away because we had it posted up in the metal department: It made me so sad. “I wish we had the before and after diagram because the picture tells more than a thousand words. It is like several
for that.’ That is the mentality that is on the shop floor, and even all the way through the organization. They get it. They understand it. You see, they are customers too, they go out and buy stuff, and they wouldn’t want to be paying for something wasteful. In its complexity, it is very simple, really very, very simple. “The other part of it that we really like is the respect part, because the Japanese are huge about honor and respect. We view our
Preparing the Powdercoat chain for raw materials to begin the next rotation.
Inspecting raw material on the Powdercoat Line.
million. And every time you eliminate all the running around that the product is doing, you minimize the opportunity to get hurt, damaged, dinged, or whatever, and you minimize all the non-value-added labor because customers don’t want to pay us for driving this product around in the shop. They want to pay us to cut it, bend it, punch it, drill it, weld it, powder-coat it, and send it to them. They don’t want all the other crap in between. “So the Toyota Way is just, very simply, continually, continually, continually looking at your organization, removing waste, and continually improving, making sure that everything is value-added, and something that the customer is going to want. Now, when I go out on the shop floor, I have supervisors who will say, ‘Hey, check this out. Our customers don’t want to pay
“Kanban is a supermarket. So now the whole factory, the lower level departments, drive toward keeping the Kanban at a level that allows us to, at a moment’s notice, produce any product that we need in whatever powder-coat color wanted. That gives us an enormous amount of flexibility because we determined that our variety was the smallest just before powder-coat. “So you build your frames all the way, as far as you possibly can, so that you have
role as kind of subservient to the people out there (production workers), and people in our organization, in that it is our job to eliminate the things that hold them up and slow them down and make it impossible for them to make their rates or to make whatever they are expected to make for production that day. It’s the job of everyone who isn’t necessarily out there on the floor. “We reduced a lot of our inventory, but then we raised some inventory in areas on purpose so that we could have products available at a moment’s notice to go into any color powder-coat that we happen to be running on that given day. It was all done very scientifically with the guys that knew how to do that type of planning, to know what level of each frame style we need to keep in the Kanban.
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the minimal amount of variety sitting in front of powder-coat because you might have 168 or 180 or 190 or 200, whatever the number is, different frame styles. But that is where you plan from because that is the smallest place. That is the time your variety is the smallest. Once you put 11 finishes and 180 fabrics on your chairs, you’re talking about millions of different potential combinations. So we manage everything from the inventory prior to powder-coat, which makes us incredibly flexible. “Now it’s a little tricky because a contract order can come in and wipe out a year’s supply of something that we might be planning on. So we studied very carefully all of the products that normally get purchased in contract, and we built standard deviations into the inventory level of those products in the warehouse at the Kanban. That is the
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| Viewpoint | last thing we want to do, wipe out our whole supply of different products because of one order. “When people are having arguments out there, or people get snarky with each other, I say, ‘Hey, you’re not allowed to treat each other any differently than I treat you.’ I treat everybody with respect and kindness and they know that getting on the wrong side of me is not a fun thing. It has to be that way. You treat them with respect, and you treat them like they’re important, because they are; you find something to like about every single person that you have in your organization, and that is hugely important. “The Toyota Way is not just about eliminating the waste and the non-valueadded labor, or transportation and handling. Here is a good example that the Toyota folks were telling us about. They had been running this production line of a certain car for a bunch of years, and when their production is slow they don’t lay anybody off because they’ve got billions of dollars, which would be nice if we could ever get to that point. We rarely lay people off, but once in a while we have to. Anyway, when their production is slow they rotate their crews, and they have one crew do the work and the other crew go do continuous improvement exercises on the process that has already been continuously improved a whole bunch of times because there is no end to the continuous improvement. “So this one group of guys were the wiring guys and they wired the whole car at the end, which was one of the very last things that get done. So they were saying, ‘You know, this is just a really complicated process. We really wish that we could take some time out of this because it’s the slowest process on the line, and everything else has to be geared to that process.’ One of the guys working on the job at the time said, ‘You know, the damn door is in my way. Do you know how much faster I could work this thing through and get this all done if the door wasn’t in my way?’ So they all just stood there looking at each other thinking, ‘Wow. We’re not going to put the doors on until we’re done with the wiring part of it.’ “So they increased the speed on their production line and the efficiency with which they did the work by a huge amount
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just by putting the door on after they went to do that particular process. The answers are 99% of the time on the shop floor with the people who do it all day for a living. That is the other part of what we do when we’re brainstorming about something, a particular issue, or an area that we’re having issues with. We bring the people right in off the shop floor and we sit here, buy lunch, and brainstorm through lunch with them and come up with really, really good (A) solutions, but (B) directions for the root cause because the answers are always on the shop floor. “They are always there and that is nothing that I didn’t already know. Toyota didn’t teach me that. I learned that early on in my career by being out in the factory and being on the shop floor all the time. The guys who do the job all the time know the answers to the questions. We just have to know the questions to ask. That is our job as management, and the easiest way to figure that out is not to worry about the questions, just go out and talk to the guys on the floor about what you’re wrestling with and you’ll find out what the question is right off the bat. “Our profitability has been tremendously impacted since we have been working so diligently at removing all of the waste and non-value-added operations, and movement, and all of that from our process, and analyzing our business from the standpoint of where it makes the most sense to plan. There are no secrets to it. It’s not a secret, but it takes a huge commitment. You can’t just give it lip service. If you don’t own it, and you don’t live it, and you don’t have the buy-in from the owners all the way through the whole organization, it isn’t going to happen, and it isn’t going to be effective.” Was it tough to get your key people on board? Juckett: “No, not at all, they could see the logic in it because it is so basic.” Listening to you, a couple of lines came into my head a few times – “Hiding in plain sight,” and that old Bob Dylan favorite, “The answer is blowin’ in the wind.” It’s simple, but being able to see it is not simple. Juckett: “Yes.”
“The Toyota Way” The Toyota Way is a comprehensive expression of the company’s management philosophy, which is based on the two foundational principles of Continuous Improvement (kaizen) and Respect for People. Toyota documented the company’s management philosophy in 2001 but has not made the document publicly available. Dr. Jeffrey Liker, a professor of industrial engineering at the University of Michigan, analyzed the philosophy and principles in his 2004 book, “The Toyota Way.” Liker characterizes the Toyota Way as “a system designed to provide the tools for people to continually improve their work.” According to Liker, Toyota’s management philosophy can be broken into 14 guidelines categorized under four main principles:
The focus should be on extended sustainability rather than short-term gain and fostering a sense of purpose in employees for productivity.
The right process will produce the right results
Add value to your organization by developing your people
Continuous improvement is promoted by eliminating the seven wastes identified by Dr. Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System (TPS). The seven wastes (muda) are: overproduction, waiting, unnecessary transport or conveyance, overprocessing or incorrect processing, excess inventory, unnecessary motion and defects. Employee empowerment in this area comes from the fact that any employee can call a halt to production when a problem is detected.
Leaders must adopt and promote the philosophy to employees; employees and teams must embrace the philosophy and teamwork should be recognized; the development of business partners and suppliers should be fostered similarly to the development of employees.
Continuously solve root problems to drive organizational learning
Managers must monitor operations personally to understand problems; solutions should be determined through consensus and implemented swiftly; the organization must consistently monitor and evaluate its own practices, with the purpose of constant improvement. Elements of the Toyota Way have been widely adopted in business areas including lean production, lean management, Agile software development and project management.
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| Retailing |
In Steamboat Springs, there’s more to life than just work. By Bill Sendelback
n today’s world, it’s not often that one can say they have fun going to work, fully enjoy life in a fabulous location, and yet continue to grow a profitable business. The folks at Mountain Home Stove & Fireplace in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, do just that as they live, work, and enjoy the beauty and recreational benefits in what they call “God’s Country.” Despite the distractions of living in an outdoor wonderland, they also are enjoying – and growing – seven digit sales from a small, but neat and well-designed, 500 sq. ft. showroom, with only seven employees.
Wolf (now there’s a name for an outdoorsman!) Bennett is a trained and licensed architect who designed commercial and residential buildings all over the world, but he prefers residential projects. His next step was as a homebuilder, when he discovered what he thought was the “neat little niche industry” of fireplaces. Then, in Steamboat Springs, he began in the hearth business installing fireplaces for local contractors. In 2002, that evolved into today’s Mountain Home Stove & Fireplace. In 2014, Jackie Buratovich fled the life of a contract construction manager
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to stay in Steamboat Springs and join Bennett as co-owner and general manager. Today’s Mountain Home almost exclusively offers hearth products, including gas, wood, and pellet stoves, and fireplace inserts, gas and wood indoor and outdoor fireplaces, electric fireplaces, fire pits, and gas logs. Half of Mountain Home’s sales are from gas fireplaces. Panoramic view of the ski resort town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in the summer.
STEAMBOAT BACKGROUND PICTURE ©2019 GETTY IMAGES.
L to R: FRONT ROW – Michael Burns, Moki the dog and Jeremy Kuntz. L to R: BACK ROW – Wolf Bennett, Jackie Buratovich, Robert Rowe, Josh Peaslee, and Chris Cantrell.
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PHOTOS ©2019 MICHAEL BURNS. LIGHTPATTERNPHOTOGRAPHY@GMAIL.COM.
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| Retailing |
Bennett used his skill as an architect to make the most out of his 500 sq. ft. showroom.
All employees are cross-trained, even to do installations and service work when needed.
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The store does offer some grills, but only as a convenience for its customers. “We tried to make grills a bigger part of our business, but we just don’t have the showroom space,” says Buratovich, “and we don’t want to compete on grills with the Ace Hardware store down the street.” Steamboat Springs is an old mining town in the northwest corner of Colorado 6,700 ft. up in the Rocky Mountains, but today it’s more famous for its snow skiing, world-class mountain biking, and the more than 100 Olympic competitors who have called Steamboat Springs home. The city founder arrived in 1874, and the city was incorporated in 1900. It was named by early miners who thought the sound of the area’s natural hot springs resembled the whistle of early steam boats. Today, Steamboat Springs has a year ’round population of 12,690, and more than 25,000 permanent residents in the Yampa River Valley. “This is a small community, so our integrity is a huge plus for us,” says Bennett. “If we were not honest in how we treat our customers, we wouldn’t be here. If something is not right, we will make it right.” “You live by your reputation in a little town like this,” Buratovich adds, “so we want to be the best value in our area, offering good, high-value products, highvalue customer service, and fair pricing.” Come summer vacation time, and snow skiing season, Steamboat Springs explodes with tourists and, more important for Mountain Home, second-home owners. As a result, almost 70% of the company’s business is with contractors building second homes. That’s fortunate because “most people cannot afford to live in Steamboat Springs,” says Bennett. “There’s a lot of money here and the property values are very high. An almost-nothing house in downtown Steamboat Springs will cost at least $1 million. If you can find anything for $500,000, buy it. Even trailer homes go for $500,000. We’re surrounded with multimillion dollar homes as large as 10,000 sq. ft.” Mountain Home does serve customers in smaller areas 15 to 20 miles away; that’s where the workers from Steamboat live. “We do pellet, wood, and gas stoves there, but now even in these areas, every home is selling for at least a couple hundred thousand dollars,”
adds Bennett. “When I look at our top sales for the past year, all are to general contractors building second homes,” says Buratovich, Bennett has spent the last 17 years developing and growing relationships with area homebuilders. Now his staff is continuing that important effort. “Construction here is way up,” he says, “but with these relationships, builders feel comfortable coming to us, telling us what they need, knowing that we will supply it and install it with no worries for that builder.”
“Being such a small community where relationships are so important, we do very little traditional advertising.” — Jackie Buratovich
Relationships are the basis for all of Mountain Home’s sales efforts. “This is a small community and it’s very, very community based,” Bennett says. “We get to know people,” adds Buratovich. “My kids go to school with their kids. Customers may have coached my kids. You see people at the market or the rec center, and you build relationships so when they call, you know their name and something about them, and you want to help them.” Mountain Home’s emphasis on relationships has influenced its marketing and advertising efforts. “Being such a small community where relationships are so important, we do very little traditional advertising – no radio, no TV, no newspaper ads,” says Buratovich. “Besides our website, basically we do activities that support our relationships in the community. Almost all of our sales leads result from a Google search.” “We’re doing more sponsoring of local activities,” says Bennett, “such as a local golf tournament, our annual winter carnival, high-school winter sports, and chamber of commerce things – activities
Staggered short walls, placed at an angle, allow more wall space for fireplace displays.
that promote word-of-mouth identity for us.” Bennett says. “The only advertising you might call traditional,” says Buratovich, “is a magazine put out by the shopping center where we’re located that features home improvementtype retailers.” As you can imagine, competition is no big deal for Mountain Home. There are a couple of other hearth products sellers in the area, and an Ace Hardware store; mass merchants are an hour away. “We are up here in the middle of nowhere,” says Buratovich. “People who live here want to buy locally from the small businesses in our area.” “When folks talk about buying from a mass merchant or from outside our area, we explain the implications of that,” Bennett adds. “It will cost them more than they think. We have boots on the ground, we’re here to install and service and handle any warranty issues, and we offer very fair prices.” When they say, “good things come in small packages,” they probably did not mean dealer showrooms. But Mountain Home has certainly done a lot with a little, considering
its minimal 500 sq. ft. showroom space. “As an architect, I took advantage of every sq. ft. and needed a shoehorn to get stuff in,” says Bennett, “but even so, our showroom is not overcrowded.” Bennett staggered short walls, and placed them on an angle to gain more wall space for fireplace displays. In the middle of the showroom, Bennett displays stoves on a small island. “It needs to be appealing to the customer, and we needed a decent flow to the space,” he says. “Surprisingly, we’re not over jammed, but we couldn’t show everything even with triple the space. We really don’t have to show everything for the customer to get the feel for the variety we offer.” “It’s a little challenging to keep it tidy during the busy season with people coming in and out,” adds Buratovich, “but we’re hoping to move next summer to a space with a larger showroom, and perhaps with an outside area for barbecue parties and cooking demonstrations.” Mountain Home also has a 1,500 sq. ft. remote warehouse. The store shows a long list of hearth product suppliers, and they
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| Retailing | purchase dealer-direct from all but one major manufacturer. Mountain Home does its own in-house installations and service work. All of Bennett’s employees are required to get at least one NFI certification, and the company encourages further training. “Hearth products are a lot more complex than most people think,” he says, “they burn, can explode, and can be dangerous if not installed and handled correctly. Being in a
small community, there really are no subs who know what they’re doing. So we provide a lot of training for our employees to make sure everything is done correctly.” “I have a construction management background,” says Buratovich, “so we want to have control over our schedules and quality. Installations and service are definitely profit centers for us.” Bennett points out that all his employees are cross-trained, even to do installations
Store Name: Mountain Home Stove & Fireplace
Number of Employees: Full-time: Seven
Address: 1890 Loggers Lane, Unit H, Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80487
Percentage of Annual Sales by Product Category: Hearth – 99%; Grills – 1%
Number of Stores: One Owners: Wolf Bennett and Jackie Buratovich, also general manager Key People: Chris Cantrell, Sales manager; Michael Burns, Service manager; Rob Lowe, lead installer; Jeremy Kuntz, installer; and Josh Peaslee, sweep, pellet and wood technician Year Established: 2002 Web site: www.mountainhomestove.com Email Address: email@example.com Phone: (970) 879-7962 Fax: (970) 457-4075
Square Footage: Showroom: 500 Warehouse: 1,500 Product Lines Carried: Hearth: HearthStone, Napoleon, Kozy Heat, Vermont Castings, Mendota, Stûv, Heatilator, Quadra-Fire, Golden Blount, Mason-Lite, Hargrove, Eiklor Flames, Stellar, Supreme, Blaze King, Osburn, Morsø. Grills: Twin Eagles, Primo, TEC Infrared Grills, Napoleon
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and service when needed, especially during the busy season. “We all kind of multitask,” he says, “it keeps us learning and keeps things interesting.” You might think that wood-burners would be the big sellers in this rural, mountain area. “No, gas models are our big sellers,” says Bennett. Steamboat Springs is served with natural gas, and the outlying areas use propane. “More than half of our sales are gas fireplaces,” he says. “The convenience of flipping a switch and having a beautiful fire without having to build it has huge appeal here with our dominance of second homes. A growing number are putting in wood-burning fireplaces, and then adding gas logs.” When not selling, installing, or servicing hearth products, Mountain Home employees take full advantage of the spectacular outdoor activities available in God’s Country. “That’s part of what Steamboat is all about,” says Bennett. “We have what we call a ‘powder clause.’ If there is a good dump of snow – a foot or more of powder – most of us will be coming into the shop late, and I don’t mind. We live here in this amazing place because this is our choice of lifestyles.” All of Bennett’s staff skis, snowboards and rides bikes. Several hunt and fish. Bennett also coaches snow skiing at the local sports club, and flies a glider. Buratovich, with her professed “distrust of big cities,” is an avid mountain biker and coaches Nordic skiing and yoga. Chris Cantrell, Sales manager, bikes, skis, and golfs. Michael Burns, Service manager, also is a fly fisherman, avid mountain biker, and expert outdoor photographer. Rob Lowe, lead installer, also is an ice fisherman and hunter. Jeremy Kuntz, installer, is an avid mountain biker, and Josh Peaslee, sweep and pellet and wood technician, enjoys fresh powder snow and camping. It makes one wonder how they find time for work! “This is a fun place to live,” adds Buratovich, “and a great industry to be in. I’d rather ride my bike every day, but this is not a bad job to have. We have the best of all worlds.” “We love this valley,” says Cantrell. “That’s why we’re here. We live in a pretty amazing place, and we want to help make it a better place.”
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NEW PRODUCTS AT THE MART 1Jensen Leisure Furniture
The Forte Collection is crafted from Ipe and has an eyecatching, light beige and bronze crosshatch weave. The design is Danish mid-century modern with a wicker basket that nestles comfortably in the frame.
Phone: (312) 661-0871 Website: www.jensenleisurefurniture.com Showroom 1574
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Understated and stylish, the Zona Collection is made from all-weather wicker with bases of Grade A teak. Cushioning invites guests to sit and relax; the collection includes a sofa, lounge chair and ottoman. Phone: (703) 361-7000 Website: www.kingsleybate.com Showroom 1581
3 Royal Garden by Sunvilla
The South Beach Collection has a hand-applied wood grain frame finish on a rust-free aluminum frame. Fabric is in a choice of Olefin or Sunbrellas. Twist Knob Assembly is quick without the need for any tools. Seating includes a loveseat, two club chairs and coffee table.
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With an extruded aluminum composition, hand-finished FSC wood accents and upholstery surrounds, the Hewitt Collection has clean lines. The mid-century modern full dining group has Cast Ash deep seating and comes in two large table sizes. Phone: (610) 705-8808 Website: www.alfrescohome.com Showroom 16-120
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Phone: (866) 988-3300 Website: www.royalgarden.com Showroom 16-108
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The homeowner can position the 9-ft. Starlux Collar Tilt Umbrella to fit any outdoor space. The umbrella features modern, built-in rib lights, and a rechargeable battery pack and USB port to charge electronic devices.
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Featuring an unusual and stylish sled base, the Milan Collection adds a modern sensibility to any outdoor space. The soft greige finish adds a textured, earthy style with a welcoming vibe.
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The Aura Round Fire Table has a simple, geometric design. The 50inch round top has ample space for dining. The 24-inch height beckons guests to gather for conversation and lounging, and the stainless-steel burner has 55,000 Btus. Phone: (401) 792-0979 Website: www.seasidecasual.com Booth 7-2018
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The Treviso Collection has a delicate interplay and transition between its lines and materials. The 44 x 86-inch Meridian Fire Table top comes in a choice of nine scratchresistant embellished finishes. Phone: (866) 964-4468 Website: www.gensuncasual.com Showroom: 1667
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| Casual Market Chicago 2019 |
Featuring contemporary, angular frames with slim cushions, the Riviera Modern Lounge Collection is sleek and modern. Perfect for any contemporary outdoor space, the collection mixes well with the Riviera Side Table and Coffee Table. Phone: (773) 615-6622 Website: www.polywoodoutdoor.com Showroom: 15-105
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Designed with Sunbrella yarns, the Floral Impact Pillow is made of jacquard woven with multi-colors and textures. The pillow comes in two colorways and brings fashion to the patio or any outdoor setting where relaxed seating is needed. Phone: (561) 863-3333 Website: www.elainesmith.com Showroom: 1524
3 Canopy Home and Garden
The Aspen five-piece sectional has textured wicker, delicate curves, warm tones and seats a large gathering, or when the homeowner wants to relax on the deck or poolside. Cushions are sand colored and complement the lighter earthy resin wicker. The sectional back is slightly angled for extra comfort. Phone: (404) 855-3910 Website: www.canopy-hg.com Booth: 7-7100
With shapes inspired by indoor pieces and texture that gives a nod to tropical living, the Cayman Collection brings laid-back comfort with classic design to any outdoor retreat. The lounge chair has comfortable deep seating in a durable cushion fabric and a stylish woven frame. Phone: (800) 339-5080 Website: www.winstonfurniture.com Showroom: 1515
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The Genesis Fire Table is made of high-performance concrete with a travertine finish. The table has a thermocouple controlled stainless-steel burner with electronic ignition. Authentic Bali beach rock comes with the table; optional 3-inch aluminum legs are available. Phone: (909) 631-7869 Website: www.pyromaniafire.com Booth: 7-1083
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The Davenport Collection has transitional gray over/ under wicker and cast aluminum design. Fine craftsmanship creates custom finishes and a primary finish called â€œshaleâ€? blends with the soft undertones of hand-woven wicker.
1The Outdoor GreatRoom Co.
The Axel Gas Fire Pit Table has an industrial, modern design with a charcoal powder-coated finish, knock-down construction and easy assembly. The Crystal Fire Burner creates a beautiful bed for the flame and a 20-lb. LP tank fits within the base for easy installation. Phone: (866) 303-4028 Website: www.outdoorrooms.com Booth: 7-3030
Phone: (866) 563-1732 Website: www.peakseasoninc.net Booth: 7-5061
Array, one of the pattern groupings of the Dimension Collection, has a small-scale yet bold geometric motif that illustrates a study on shades. Available in five colorways, the mix of hues creates highs and lows with multi-directional weaving methods. Phone: (336) 227-6211 Website: www.sunbrella.com Booth: 7-7078
5 West of the Wind Outdoor Art
Beauty moves outside with Ambrosia Lifestyle. The UV protected picture is weatherproof and is made to withstand the elements. The art features colorful florals and a whimsical bird and will enliven the Outdoor Room or any wall space. Phone: 800-399-0412 Website: www.outdoorartcanvas.com Booth: 7-1063
88 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
4 Erwin & Sons
The Figi Collection is refined and elegant with large, square backed cushions. Offering soft curves, braided arms and tapered feet, pieces have a rich Truffle finish and Leisureluxe cushions in an array of Sunbrella fabrics. Woven tables have beveled, tempered glass tops. Phone: (770) 579-0414 Website: www.erwinandsons.com Booth: 7-1113, 7-1114
Visit the NorthCape Showroom 16-112 at the ICFA Casual Market and our additional show space located at 7-2062! Tuesday, September 10th - Friday, September 13th 8:30am - 6:00pm Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30am-2:00pm Friday
| Casual Market Chicago 2019 |
Taking inspiration from Californiaâ€™s coast, the Marin Collection mixes natural elements and modern design. Included are dining, deep seating and lounge options with cushion and Flex Comfort seating. Choose from six color options and over 150 stock fabrics. Phone: (800) 776-9533 Website: www.owlee.com Showroom: 1572
2 Berlin Gardens
Garden Classic Table and Comfo-back Chairs. The brazilian walnut has quickly become a trendsetter and is featured in a popular table set with a white bottom for added flair and a natural wood look. Phone: (330) 893-3411 Website: www.berlingardensllc.com Booth: 7-8046, 7-8062
3 Quality Works
Inspired by classic Danish furniture, the Vera Dining Chair is stylish, simple and practical. Designed by Povl Eskildsen, the chair comes in a number of seat options: slatted teak, upholstered in a range of fabrics and woven with a man-made wicker. Phone: 62 31 9920 0901 Website: www.q-works.net Booth: 7-10097
90 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
4 Barlow Tyrie
The Equinox tables and chairs have a no-maintenance, powdercoated finish in two colors: Arctic White and Graphite. Dining tables with painted stainless-steel frames come with high-fired ceramic tops, featuring Frost on Arctic White frames and Dusk on Graphite frames. Phone: (800) 451-7467 Website: www.teak.com Showroom: 1527
Ipé Serving Tray
Ipé Kent Rocker
1 Homecrest Outdoor Living
The Infiniti Sling Collection, designed for ease of use in any space, is generously proportioned, making it adaptable to many environments, space designs and functional requirements. Seating is covered in Sensation fabric, a low maintenance elastomeric sling. Infiniti tables function as end or corner units. Phone: (877) 599-4803 Website: www.homecrest.com Showroom: 1518
2 Brown Jordan
Inviting moments of quiet repose, the Still Collection exudes simplicity and is crafted of strong, yet lightweight aluminum. The smooth, powder-coated finish withstands outdoor elements and is sculpted with softened edges and angles. Designed by Richard Frinier, the collection fits well in a variety of settings. Phone: (800) 743-4252 Website: www.brownjordan.com Showroom: 1510
3 Veranda Classics by Foremost
The Vogue Chat Club Chair is an attractive addition to any outdoor space. The chairâ€™s wide seat and rounded back invite guests to relax on the deck or in an Outdoor Room or poolside. The chair is a fresh take on traditional Adirondack seating and eliminates the need for outdoor chair cushions. Phone: (973) 428-0400 Website: www.verandaclassics.com Showroom: 16-130
In a choice of chestnut or smoke colors, the Verona Daybed Swing is comfortable and perfect for long naps. The seat cushion is the size of a twin mattress. Bolsters and three 24-inch pillows add to the style of the bed. Phone: (866) 752-6320 Website: www.ebelinc.com Showroom: 15-121
The Park West Collection features a low-profile rope finish on an aluminum frame with a hand-brushed pearl color supported by round tapered legs and a sled base. Knitted polyolefin ropes offer UV and weather resistance while the modular design provides flexibility and style. Phone: (866) 919-1881 Website: www.ratana.com Showroom: 1516
92 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
Outdoor sling fabric for commercial and residential spaces. Phifertex is the only outdoor fabric infused with exclusive MicrobanÂŽ Antimicrobial Technology - the leading brand of continuous product protection against mold, mildew, and bacteria growth.
| Casual Market Chicago 2019 |
2 Skyline Design
The Milano Cushion-less Armless Chair gets all the attention on the deck or patio. Durable and attractive, the chair requires minimal maintenance and withstands the elements. With contoured curves, the chair is comfortable and does not require cushions. Phone: (626) 394-4493 Website: www.sunsetwestusa.com Showroom: 15-102
Stylish and graceful, the Ruby Collection has intricately designed seating and dining pieces. The Kubu Mushroom NP open weave frame allows for an airy flow with lightweight appeal. Pieces include a sofa, armchairs and tables, and an attractive dining table and chairs for a complete outdoor escape. Phone: (312) 496-3122 Website: www.skylinedesign.com Showroom: 15-110
3 Lane Venture
A clean, interlocking ogee motif gives Biscayne Bay a contemporary outdoor style. Powder coated with a smooth Arctic White finish, the collection has a wide, extruded aluminum frame for comfort. The seat and back appear to float within the frame for an airy feeling. The collection also is available with a sectional option and two dining sizes. Phone: (312) 644-3702 Website: www.laneventure.com Showroom: 1548
The beauty and elegance of a French garden are found in the Castelle Bordeaux Collection. The appeal of handcrafted aluminum is on display in this formal, open-back design. Phone: (855) 612-9800 Website: www.castelleluxury.com Showroom: 1576
4 94 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
On the horizon awaits our spectacular collection of furnishings and alluring objects for every home and lifestyle.
January 26 - 30, 2020 Save the Date at LasVegasMarket.com
| ICFA Awards Program |
2019 APOLLO AWARDS Finalists
inalists for the 2019 Apollo Awards have been named. On the night of Wednesday, September 11, at the Hilton Chicago hotel, the two winners will be named and recognized – not least by their peers. There will be a winner in the Single-Store category, and another in the MultiStore category. There are five Finalists in the Single-Store category, and six Finalists in the Multi-Store category (there was a tie, you see). Only one of the 2019 Finalists has never been here before,
and that’s Watson’s, Cincinnati, Ohio. Now, if Eric Mueller (Watson’s) needs some help or advice, we suggest he contact Kristine Schultz of Patios Plus in Rancho Mirage, California. She and her team have won their category four times (1999, 2007, 2008, and 2012), and have been a Finalist 17 times – the last seven have been ALL IN A ROW! If we divide the country into four areas, we find that one is in the East, two are in the North, three are in the South, and five are in the West.
SINGLE-STORE CATEGORY Outdoor Elegance, La Verne, CA
Winner in 2010; Finalist in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
L to R (front row): Joseph Sanicola, Angela Troxcil, Sharon Sanicola, Christina Zepeda, Lisandro Salazar. L to R (back row): Vincent Gomez, Jesse Avila, Douglas Sanicola, Rob Decker, Melanie Decker.
Village Green Home and Garden, Rockford, IL Winner in 2016; Finalist in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019
L to R (front row): Larry Smith, Jessica Salisbury.
L to R (back row): Dana Vaughn, Todd Ott, Connie West.
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friendly experience 96 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | reading www.hearthandhome.com
JOIN US @ THE ICFA
NEW PRODUCTS | NEW PROGRAMS | NEW BEGINNINGS
TUES 9.10 - FRI 9.13
WINSTON FURNITURE COMPANY SHOWROOM 1515 theMART | Chicago, IL
CASUAL MARKET CHICAGO
This year Winston is proud to introduce 8 collections as well as exciting new programs and incentives to help dealers capture todayâ€™s customers.
| ICFA Awards Program |
Patios Plus, Rancho Mirage, CA
Winner in 1999, 2007, 2008, 2012; Finalist in 1982, 1990, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
L to R: (front row) Brittany Schreiner, Amanda Smith, Wes Woodruff. L to R: (back row) Mark Mellinger, Chris Mack, Kristine Schultz, Alton Garrett, Chad Heaslip.
Paineâ€™s Patio, Pocasset, MA
Winner in 2014; Finalist in 2005, 2006, 2019
L to R: Doug Shearer, Ryli Thrasher, Carina Ritchie, Kathy Allen, Steve Ladd, Lisa Cann, Paul Constantine, Tricia Sturtevant, Nikky Etler, Jason Landers, and Kristin Shearer.
Villa Terrazza, Sonoma, CA Finalist in 2017, 2019
L to R (front row): Michael Robertori, Theresa Deere. L to R (back row): Tyler Truesdale, Jerilynn Coward, Tony Navarra, Laura Georgeo, Todd Myers.
98 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
Introducing the newest member of the family!
Tofino z35 ZERO CLEARANCE GAS FIREPLACE
Shipping now with full list of amazing standard features:
Four firebox panel options Two burner options Top interior lighting Ember bed lighting * Remote control Blower Tofino Series cassette control assembly * logset only
| ICFA Awards Program |
MULTI-STORE CATEGORY Elegant Outdoor Living, Bonita Springs, FL Finalist in 2016, 2017, 2019
L to R: Tom Stegman, Debbie Stegman, Stephanie Stegman, Nate Stegman.
Great Gatherings, Gainesville, VA
Winner in 2014; Finalist in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
L to R: Eric Stalzer, Joe Pucci.
Daylight Home, Lighting & Patio, San Luis Obispo, CA
Finalist in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
L to R: Zoe Goldman, Elaine Holzschuh, Earthann Melander, Erik Stanton.
100 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
ELEGANT OUTDOOR FURNITURE
CH I CAG O S HOWR O O M 1 5 8 1 © Kingsley Bate. Find dealers online. T: 703-361-7000 F: 703-361-7001 www.kingsleybate.com [KB1285]
| ICFA Awards Program | Today’s Patio, Scottsdale, AZ Finalist in 2017, 2018, 2019
L to R: Chad Scheinerman, Craig Scheinerman.
Watson’s, Cincinnati, OH
PHOTO COURTESY: ©2019 JOSH BEEMAN PHOTOGRAPHY. WWW.JOSHBEEMANPHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Finalists in 2019
Yard Art Patio and Fireplace, Coppell, TX
Winner in 2004, 2010, 2015; Finalists in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018, 2019
L to R: Garrett Wallace, Geneva Switzer, Butch Wallace.
102 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
Congratulations Apollo Finalists!
| Business Climate |
JULY SALES In early August Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio, and barbecue products, asking them to compare July 2019 sales to July 2018. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 206 usable returns.
RETAILER SALES - U.S. AND CANADA 32% 32% 32%
HEARTH HEARTH HEARTH 35% 35% 35%
28% 28% 28%
PATIO PATIO PATIO
July 2019 vs. July 2018 23% 23% 33% 23% 23% 33% 23% 23% BARBECUE 33%
Retailers No Change
54% 54% Retailers Down
Retailers No Change
Retailers No Change
SPAS SPAS SPAS
18% 18% 27% 27% 27%
In July, 55% of Spa retailers were DOWN, while only 18% were UP; compare that to July 2018 when 44% were UP, and only 11% were DOWN â€“ the bottom fell out.
13-MONTH YEAR-OVER-YEAR RETAIL SALES
HEARTH HEARTH HEARTH
July 2019 vs. July 2018
19% 9% 4% 5% 5% 3% 19% 9% 4% 4% 2% 1% -2% 8% 10% 4% 4% 4% 5% 5% 9% 2% 1% 8% 10% 3% -2% 4% 4% 5% 4/19 5% 5/19 4% 7/18 8/18 9/18 1/18 2/19 3/19 6/19 7/19 3% 10/18 11/18 12/18 2% 1% -2% 8% 10%
7/18 8/18 9/18 10/18 11/18 12/18 1/18 2/19 3/19 4/19 5/19 6/19 7/19
15 20 10 15 5 20 10 0 15 -55 10 0 5 -5 0 -5
7/18 8/18 9/18 10/18 11/18 12/18 1/18 2/19 3/19 4/19 5/19 6/19 7/19
PATIO PATIO PATIO 7%
3% 12% 2% 6% 2% 2% 2% -3% -6% 0% 0% 7% 5% 3% 12% 2% 6% 2% 2% 2% 7% -6% 0% -3% 3% 6% 0% 5% 2% 2% 2% 2% -6% 0% 0% -3% 5%
7/18 8/18 9/18 10/18 11/18 12/18 1/18 2/19 3/19 4/19 5/19 6/19 7/19
1% 0% 1% -2% 1% 0% 0% 0% -4% 2% -2% 2% 3% 1% 0% 1% -2% 1% 0% 0% 0% -4% 2% -2% 2% 7/18 4/19 1% 5/19 6/19 7/19 3% 8/18 9/18 10/18 11/18 12/18 1/18 2/19 3/19 2% 0% 1% -2% 1% 0% 0% 0% -4% -2% 2% 7/18 8/18 9/18 10/18 11/18 12/18 1/18 2/19 3/19 4/19 5/19 6/19 7/19 7/18 8/18 9/18 10/18 11/18 12/18 1/18 2/19 3/19 4/19 5/19 6/19 7/19
BARBECUE BARBECUE BARBECUE
SPAS SPAS SPAS
15 20 10 15 5 20 10 0 15 -55 10 0 5 -5 0
5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5%
7% 7% 7%
21% 9% 9%
12% 5% 1% 4% -7% 12% 5% 4% 9% 9% 4% 1% -7% -11% 5% 4% 4% 1% -7% -11% 9% 9%
7/18 8/18 9/18 10/18 11/18 12/18 1/18 2/19 3/19 4/19 5/19 6/19 7/19
7/18 8/18 9/18 10/18 11/18 12/18 1/18 2/19 3/19 4/19 5/19 6/19 7/19
7/18 8/18 9/18 10/18 11/18 12/18 1/18 2/19 3/19 4/19 5/19 6/19 7/19
In July, sales of both Hearth and Barbecue products were up 2%, while sales of Patio products were EVEN with the prior year, 7/18 8/18 9/18 10/18 11/18 12/18 1/18 2/19 3/19 4/19 5/19 6/19 7/19 7/18 8/18 9/18 10/18 11/18 12/18 1/18 2/19 3/19 4/19 5/19 6/19 7/19 and sales of Spas were DOWN 7%.
104 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
For the following weather charts, the numbers for each state reflect the temperature ranking for the period since records began in 1895.
STATEWIDE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE RANKS July 2019
NORTHEAST Connecticut: (Hearth, BBQ) “Thirty days until Showtime – let the games begin!” Connecticut: (Hearth) “It seems our
season has begun. Don’t understand why it’s starting this early unless world turmoil is scaring people about oil. In any event, we are up almost double from last July and YTD. Bring it on. Only problem is, we are having hard time finding decent and experienced staff to hire. We’re scrambling with current staff to keep up. Ought to be an interesting year.”
4966 79 56
New Jersey: (Hearth) “We have a lot of
non-EPA wood and pellet stoves which are selling at 30% and up discounts. This has greatly helped with the increase from last year to this year.” New York: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ, Spas)
“Shame on the hot tub and swim spa blowout, dog and pony shows currently touring an arena near you. Shame on you. No service after the sale, no local support, you have created a black eye on the hot tub industry. You sell unserviceable junk tubs to unsuspecting homeowners, putting a long lasting bad taste in their mouths. It’s unscrupulous, and the rest of us small Mom-and-Pop businesses have to handle the fall out. Take a look at their websites. No phone numbers, no address, no direct contact information whatsoever. That is not cool, friends.”
98 43 104
New Jersey: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ )
“Looking forward to the fall and winter.”
Much Below Average
116 117 94 114 121 107 123 60 109 123 115 89 115 118 121 61 100 103 120 116 114 113 117 67 61 88 120 68 94 115 114 121 107 81 123 60 109 107 40 123 115 89 29 101 87 115 1 = Coldest 121 50103 61 100 120 114 113125 = Warmest 76 88 120 6846 61 115 118 81 107 40 29 101 1 = Coldest 50 87 National Climatic Data Center/NESDIS/NOAA
81 120 104 120 Below Average
125 = Warmest
Much Above Average
In July, temperatures were Much Above Average from North Carolina to Maine, National Climatic Data Center/NESDIS/NOAA and in Florida and New Mexico. Record Coldest
Much Below Average
Much Above Average
60 70 106 113 22 61 110 112 46 121 106 62 18 80 88 122 60 113 123 44 27 96 121 70 58 49 12379 106 50 98 113 22 61 119 25 110 112 62 119 46 111106 92 88 1 = 121 Coldest 18 80 Warmest 113 123 125 = 122 55 96 121 105 27 58 123 123 98 119 25 62 119 111 92 1 = Coldest
STATEWIDE TEMPERATURE RANKS 40 AVERAGE 44 49 79 May – July 201950
105 39 65 95
29 28 40 26
69 40 39
29 60 26 60
Much Below Average
Much Below Average
New York: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Sales
of both wood and gas are awesome! We are selling off all wood non-2020 stoves and inserts from our showroom floor and replacing them with new 2020 products. Haven’t had to discount any wood units so far. Only a few left. Service is crazy as we are booked out 60 days now, and that is after we raised prices. Looks like a great year!”
125 = Warmest National Climatic Data Center/NESDIS/NOAA
Much 123 Above Average
National Climatic Data Center/NESDIS/NOAA
Much Above Average
26 80 What a difference a year99 makes! Last 103year was the hottest May–July period in 124 44 103 temperatures from Florida years. This year there was Much Above Average 55 to New 95 110 50 103 123 Jersey, but the rest 45 of the country was at Below Average, Near 61 Average, or Above STA 71 62 109 Average temperatures. 56 106 80 42 102 39 54 57 26 44 55 8046 27 99 44 103 92 29 90 28 103 89 Click here for42a55mobile 95 34 110 50 103 123 friendly105 experience 45 61reading www.hearthandhome.com | SEPTEMBER 29 30 71 2019 | 105 62 109 89 22 56 11 14 1 = 106 Driest 107 27 80 102
92 111 55
| Business Climate |
1 = Coldest 125 = Warmest
National Climatic Data Center/NESDIS/NOAA
For the following weather charts, the numbers for each state reflect Record Much Below Near Above Much the temperature ranking forAverage the periodAverage since records began in 1895. Coldest Below Average Average Above Average
Pennsylvania: (Hearth) “We are in a
very good position to begin the fall season. Summer has been busier than the past five years. Looking forward to the fall and hopeful the upswing will continue.”
STATEWIDE PRECIPITATION RANKS July 2019
for two weeks in July, soJune 146%2019 is just a
STATEWIDE PRECIPITATION Pennsylvania: (Hearth) “We are closed
26 44 103 95 55 110 103 123 61 71 INDEX 109CONFIDENCE CONSUMER 56 106 80 102 54 100 39 57 44 55 92 90 28 8990 78.3 80.2 42 105 80.8 80 29 30 89 61.9 70 14 1 = Driest 107 27
large percentage, not a large number! But the plus 22% for the calendar year is a real measure of what is really going on. A great year in the making.”
“Maybe we should start selling sump 82.3 and pipe. The weather has been so pumps uncooperative this season. Last year ended with the most rainfall ever, and this year we are already ahead of this point last year. “Climate change is for real and it’s not getting any better. Overall sales are on track with last year, but down overall Feb ’14 from two years ago. Pellet grills were all the rage last year, and the George Forman grill is now available everywhere and cheap. Have to go, time to fire up the sump pumps.”
125 = Wettest
Pennsylvania: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ)
National Climatic Data Center/NESDIS/NOAA
Much Below Average
Much Record 20Above Average Above Average Wettest Year Ago 6 Months Ago Dec ’13
1985 = 100 In July, precipitation in South Dakota was at a Much Above Average level, while Arizona was at a Much Below Average level. The rest of the country was at Below, Near, or Above Average levels.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE The Consumer Confidence Index rebounded in July, following a decrease in June. The Index now stands at 135.7 (1985=100), up from 124.3 in June. The Present Situation Index – based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions – increased from 164.3 to 170.9. The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions – increased from 97.6 last month to 112.2 this month. “After a sharp decline in June, driven by an escalation in trade and tariff tensions, Consumer Confidence rebounded in July to its highest level this year,” said Lynn Franco, senior director of Economic Indicators at The
Conference Board. “Consumers are once again optimistic about current and prospective business and labor market conditions. In addition, their expectations regarding their financial outlook also improved. These high levels of confidence should continue to support robust spending in the nearterm despite slower growth in GDP.”
A reading above 90 indicates the economy is on solid footing; above 100 signals strong growth. The Index is based on a probabilitydesign random sample conducted for The Conference Board by The Nielsen Company.
106 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
Jul Year 6 Mo. May Jun Ago Ago 2019 2019 2019
1985 = 100
Introducing the Magnolia Collection for the 2020 season. lloydflanders.com
Suite 1473 | Chicago
| Business Climate | Pennsylvania: (Patio, Spas) “The $799
MIDWEST Illinois: (Hearth) “We seem to be up a little, but not any earth shaker. Illinois keeps suffering from one new tax after another.”
Walk-ins are way down, but when a customer comes into my showroom, he’s not here to ‘kick the tires.’ He’s here to buy. Internet sales are and will continue to be a huge hindrance, but we will continue to do what we do. It’s time to retire but I ain’t ready – damn it!”
patio sets we used to sell are gone. Now they’re $1,500 plus for a set. The Big Box stores sell for even less. Sure, we have quality, but it comes down to the dollars that a lot of people can afford.” Pennsylvania: (Patio) “The second half
of July was down a lot, perhaps due to the heat.”
Illinois: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Finally
catching up after a terrible spring!”
Arkansas: (BBQ, Spas) “Another
SOUTH Alabama: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ ) “I
opened my shop in 1978 (so I’ve been around awhile). I’m a pie watcher on my QuickBooks, and it seems there used to be somewhat predictable patterns, but not anymore. It’s all over the place. We might have a record good month bumperto-bumper with a record bad month.
typical slow July for retail sales in hearth. Too hot for folks to think about heating installs, but some encouragement in floor traffic – finally.”
Illinois: (Patio) “After a slower June, July
Oklahoma: (Hearth) “Ready for winter.”
Michigan: (Patio, BBQ) “Wetter weather
kicked back in. Woven and teak again led the way. Some clients are just now getting patios finished after such a wet spring.” and cooler temperatures have impeded sales in outdoor living.”
Virginia: (Hearth, BBQ) “Very slow
month. Lots of customers on vacation, etc.”
Missouri: (Hearth, BBQ ) “Sales of
Virginia: (Hearth, BBQ) ”Too hot.”
hearth products are steady. The spring
STOCK WATCH COMPANY – EXCHANGE
Standard & Poor’s 500 (a) HNI Corporation (b) Pool Corporation (c) Restoration Hardware (b) Wayfair (b) NOTES:
S&P HNI POOL RH W
3,025.86 44.71 196.00 162.10 173.72
2,351.10 31.24 136.83 84.11 76.60
2,941.76 35.38 191.00 115.60 146.00
3,025.86 34.07 192.52 130.78 138.06
2.9% -3.7% 0.8% 13.1% -5.4%
11.8% -12.5% 27.8% -0.9% 35.1%
7.3% -19.4% 25.0% -5.0% 19.5%
MARKET CAPITALIZATION ($000,000)
$1,420.00 $7.450.00 $2,540.00 $11,760.00
(a) = Standard & Poor’s 500 is based on the market capitalizations of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. It is considered one of the best representations of the U.S stock market, and a bellwether for the U.S economy. (b) = New York Stock Exchange (c) = NASDAQ
52-WEEK STOCK PRICE CHANGE
MARKET CAPITALIZATIONS (US $000,000)
HNI POOL RH
As of 26-Jul-2019
108 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
business was soft due to excessive rain slowing down the new construction projects. Barbecue sales have been significantly down from 2018. Last year there was a steady flow of buyers. This barbecue season has been very slow with only a few people even looking at grills. The non-stop rain all spring could possibly be an explanation.” Ohio: (Hearth, BBQ) “The only way I
can describe this barbecue season is weird. It was very sporadic. Grills sales would trickle in and then we would sell a flood of high-end, stainless-steel grills. Then a trickle, then a flood again. Just weird. Thankfully hearth has not let up. Direct-vent gas sales are staying steady. We have high hopes for the approaching heating season.” Wisconsin: (Hearth) “Sales are still
steady, strong. Builder market is very strong. Our potential is limited to our ability to find additional competent help in a hyper competitive employment market.”
Wisconsin: (Patio) “Sales dropped off
sharply toward the end of July.”
WEST California: (Hearth, BBQ, Spas) “Weather
down a bit this year, in part because there was major vandalism to our vehicles. We had to repair and adjust; we lost quite a few days of work. August has quite a bit of work lined up. We are training new promising employees. Our YTD sales are greater than last year. Thankful for the business!”
was so hot that it kept the customers away. We were dealing with employee vacations so our installations were off this month. We have doubled up for the month of August, so we should catch up pretty quickly. We are busy and scheduling into late September. Should be able to make up our July downturn. Adding two new employees this season, hopefully, fingers crossed!”
Wisconsin: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ )
California: (Hearth) “The rebuilding
Wisconsin: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “I can’t
Colorado: (BBQ ) “Traeger and Big
Wisconsin: (Hearth, BBQ) “July is
“Traffic was steady, but sales are down. Rain slowed some building, but guessing after last winter no one wants to be thinking about heating. No change in advertising. Go figure?” believe it could possibly have gotten better than last July. But here we go. These are historic times in our industry. Without a doubt, the more expensive the product is, the easier it is to sell. Customers are maintaining price with quality and want the best.”
process since the October 2017 firestorm has affected our bottom line tremendously. All fire survivors receive a 10% plus an additional 10% discount on all purchases. Our chance to give back!” Green Eggs are selling like hotcakes!”
Oregon: (Hearth) “July finished out a
brutal summer for us. Things have picked up a lot of momentum and are starting to roll now!”
www.hearthandhome.com | SEPTEMBER 2019 | 109
| Business Climate | Oregon: (Hearth, BBQ ) “Hearth
products display is now reaching its first anniversary.” Washington: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ,
Spas) “We’ve doubled last July sales.”
Washington: (Hearth, BBQ, Spas)
“Slow start to the first half of the year. It appears to be picking up.” CANADA British Columbia: (Hearth, BBQ )
“Wood stoves and high-efficiency wood fireplaces continue to sell steadily.” British Columbia: (Hearth) “Lots of
‘tire-kicking’ but most are requesting a quote for late July or August.”
Ontario: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Bad
weather, too much rain.”
Ontario: (Hearth, Patio, BBQ) “Had
the best July in years, but behold only up 15% YTD. Not enough to make up for this dismal decade – too many dealers, too many deals.” Ontario: (Hearth, BBQ) “Flat month,
but I’m happy as the constant rain in March through June didn’t hurt our sales.” (Hearth, Patio, BBQ ) “Residential new construction is booming. Finally nice weather. Slow Big Green Egg sales and Lowes/Rona are selling Kamado Joe’s cheap.” Ontario:
(Hearth, BBQ ) “The barbecue and pellet businesses are being bastardized by the manufacturers. Most everyone is selling a cheaper line to the Big Box stores in order to keep the factory going. That in turn is cheapening the brand name, e.g., Napoleon, Louisiana, and Weber, among others. “Internet sales are also taking a big chunk. Then people complain online about poor products, service, etc. I even get people coming into our shop for parts for the units they bought at Big Box stores. This is why we are no longer giving up floor space for barbecues. We are also in the HVAC business; if not for that we would have closed our doors years ago.” O nt a rio:
Integrated burner and steel gas log compounds the effects of the CROSSFIRE® Brass Burner, creating a beautiful flame pattern. Hand-crafted. Easy to install. Natural Gas or Liquid Propane. Manufactured by ®
Keep up-to-date on the latest news, trends, data, and events with the leading industry source!
SUBSCRIBE ONLINE For Print and Digital Editions! SUBSCRIBE ONLINE www.hearthandhome.com www.hearthandhome.com ForEditorial Printcoverage and Digital of all threeEditions! industries is provided in every issue.
110 | SEPTEMBER 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
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Ad Index Advertiser
Apricity Barlow Tyrie Big Green Egg Blaze Outdoor Products CabanaCoast Castelle Luxury DuraVent Empire Stove Escalera Gensun Casual Heat & Glo Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association International Casual Furnishings Association IMC High Point IMC Las Vegas Jensen Leisure Furniture Kingsley Bate Lloyd Flanders Louisiana Grills Lovinflame Napoleon NorthCape Outdoor GreatRoom Company, The OW Lee Pacific Energy Peak Season Phifer Plaza Fireplaces Portica by SunVilla Ratana Sand Hill Wholesale & Mfg Seaside Casual Stûv America Spartherm Sunbrella/Glen Raven Sunset West Telescope Casual Furniture Tempotest USA Travis Industries Treasure Garden Valor/Miles Industries Warming Trends Winston Furniture 112 | AUGUST 2019 | www.hearthandhome.com
Page 23, 87 72,73 32, 33 39 109 12, 13 69 65 110 52, 53 60, 61 C3 103 111 95 91 101 107 44, 45 25 8, 9 89 71 C2, 3 99 10, 11 93 29 51 58, 59 6 41 14, 15 81 42, 43 57 C4 67 82, 83 74, 75 31 110 97
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This ad index is an additional service provided by Hearth & Home to its advertisers. Hearth & Home assumes no liability for any incorrect information.
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www.apricityoutdoor.com www.teak.com www.biggreenegg.com www.blazegrills.com www.cabanacoast.com www.castelleluxury.com www.duravent.com www.empirestove.com www.escalera.com www.gensuncasual.com www.heatnglo.com www.hpbexpo.com www.icfanet.org www.imchighpointmarket.com www.lasvegasmarket.com www.jensenleisurefurniture.com www.kingsleybate.com www.lloydflanders.com www.louisiana-grills.com www.lovinflame.com www.napoleonfireplaces.com www.northcape.com www.crystalfireplus.com www.owlee.com www.pacificenergy.net www.peakseasoninc.net www.phifer.com www.plazafireplace.com www.porticaoutdoor.com www.ratana.com www.sandhillwholesale.com www.seasidecasual.com www.stuvamerica.com www.spartherm-america.com www.sunbrella.com www.sunsetwestusa.com www.telescopecasual.com www.tempotestusa.com www.travisproducts.com www.treasuregarden.com www.valorfireplaces.com www.warming-trends.com www.winstonfurniture.com
Wes Stewart, for one! Managing Partner of Sunset West, Vista California Special Interests/Hobbies: “Travelling and boating with my family.” Problems/Issues Facing the Patio Industry: “The largest issue we face as an industry continues to be the commoditization of the category. The various channels and offerings, combined with the general public’s insufficient knowledge concerning the use, or lack thereof, of quality materials, leads to an acceptance of various price points. At the lower price points, customer expectations can become misaligned with the actual performance of the product. As an industry, all we can do is educate the customers who walk into our showrooms and visit our websites.” Key Trends in the Patio Industry Today: “Certainly cleaner lines are dominating what we are seeing, but regardless of color, style, or materials used, I am seeing people furnish their outdoor spaces like they do their interior spaces – mixing and matching different textures and materials, and bringing them together to create an environment that is aesthetically pleasing both visually and tactily.” Advice to Retailers on Increasing Business: “I have a hard time giving advice as every retailer and selling environment is different from others. Much like manufacturers, we all have our own challenges, and to offer one piece of advice that blankets the industry would be fairly presumptuous of me. “What I can say is that the most successful retailers I have had the fortune to be around are passionate about what they do and it clearly comes through in their presentation on their floors and attitudes of their staff. They take care of their customers, are fair to their vendors, and are always trying to improve their offerings and the way that they are presented to the customer. These successful retailers are engaged.” Forecast for Your Overall Business in 2019: “As a percentage of overall home furnishings that are sold, I think that casual furniture sales will continue to climb. As a company, Sunset West has been fortunate enough to continue to grow year-over-year for the 15 years that we have been in business. I look forward to working hard and keeping that trend going.” Years Reading Hearth & Home: “16 years.” Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “I enjoy the coverage of all the interrelated topics and categories within and around casual furniture. I feel that Hearth & Home offers a complete perspective on the industry. To date, my favorite article was the profile of Richard and Catherine Frinier in February’s issue.”
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| Parting Shot |
FIREFALL AT 9,600 FT.
nitially, a three-tiered fire feature seems a bit of overkill, until you learn that the house is in Breckenridge, Colorado, where an average of 175 inches of snow falls each year. The builder, Arnie Surdyk of Double Diamond Property, wanted as much flame and heat on the deck as possible. So he installed three burners, each 36 inches long, that rest on a 10-inch piece of flagstone and
lava rock. Each burner produces 40,000 Btus that deliver a high-flame presence; it is controlled by a remote ignitor. The house is in Elk Point at Highlands Glen, 9,600 ft. above sea level; it has 6,077 sq. ft. of residential space, and a garage that’s 1,200 sq. ft. (enough room for three cars). The architect is Michael Gallagher. To view the entire house, visit www.michaelgallagher.com.
Click here for a mobile friendly experience SEPTEMBER 2019 | reading www.hearthandhome.com
Double Diamond Property & Construction Services; 699 Summit Boulevard, Frisco, CO 80443; Phone: (970) 418-8029; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.doublediamondproperty.com. Michael F. Gallagher; 150 W Adams Avenue, Breckenridge, CO 80424; Phone: (970) 453-6872; email@example.com; www.michaelgallagher.com
PHOTO: ©2019 DARREN EDWARDS PHOTOGRAPHS. WWW.DARRENEDWARDS.COM. ARCHITECT: MICHAEL F. GALLAGHER. BUILDER/DESIGNER: ARNIE SURDYK.
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The voice of the Hearth, Barbecue, and Patio industries. Hearth & Home is a trade journal serving the hearth, barbecue and patio furnishings...
Published on Sep 3, 2019
The voice of the Hearth, Barbecue, and Patio industries. Hearth & Home is a trade journal serving the hearth, barbecue and patio furnishings...