It was great to see you at Super Expo!

On the 8th to the 10th of June, Fashionline Group proudly attended and exhibited at the Gold Coast Convention Centre for the 2016 Super Expo. The name really says it all, Super Expo was simply super.

We had the chance to network with industry insiders from all walks of the business, and showcase our members as well as meet many new faces!

Because Fashionline are a group of the most successful independent Manufacturers / Retailers of window furnishing products, we wanted to show our expertise and the benefits to customers at Super Expo, and we got to do just that, because official visitor numbers were up some 60% on the 2013 version of the event, which was really great to see!

Organisers certainly learned that this expo has become a huge event, especially given the large number and size of the custom build stands. The management at the GCCEC said they had never hosted an event of such size and quality exhibits, so full credit must go out to all attendees for the outstanding displays. We were certainly proud of our stand (see image).

If you were one of the people we met at Super Expo, we want to take the opportunity now to show you the main benefits of becoming a Fashionline member. Here they are:
  • Group Buying Power – able to negotiate better rates as part of the group
  • Buying discounts – for both purchases as a group and individually
  • Subsidised Marketing Material – Fashionline have brochures and marketing material that can be customised for your requirements at a significantly reduced cost due to group volumes ordered. Plus, your business details are over printed at no additional cost.
  • Exclusive Content and Media Library – Fashionline have an image, video and copy library that can be used in print, TV, and online (including your own website).
  • Advertising subsidies – These are offered by several suppliers and when applied reduce marketing materials costs even further.
  • Group Promotions – Access to consumer promotions run by the group that significantly increase members’ sales.
  • Networking – Access to a premier range of industry contacts with a diverse range of knowledge and experience to draw on.
  • Independence – Each member retains their independence to run their own business as they see fit.
  • Flexibility – Whilst assurance is given to preferred suppliers to purchase the bulk of materials from them, each member is still able to purchase from other suppliers.
  • Wholesaling Opportunity – Some members specialising in manufacturing can wholesale those products to the members at special discount prices.
  • Member Rebate on Purchases – Each member receives a minimum 0.5% rebate on all purchases from approved suppliers.

If you’d like to know more about our membership costs and conditions, get in touch with us here. We would love to hear from you! And, don’t forget, Super Expo will be back, bigger and better than ever in 2019!

The Fashionline team.

Winter Treatments that can reduce your Winter Bills

Beautify your windows, keep your home warm in winter (and cool in summer) and reduce energy use all at once with the right window dressing – what a great thought! Saving energy and caring for our environment: such a great reason to add beautiful window coverings to your home.

The impact can be significant. Something as simple as lined curtains reduces solar heat.  And, when the hot months return don’t just blast the air conditioning. Explore some of these window treatment ideas instead.

Roman Blinds

Proper installation is the key. Mounting Roman blinds as close to the glass as possible and right up against the adjacent wall creates a tight seal that minimizes both heat gain and loss. If you opt for Roman blinds with block out lining can add an extra layer of insulation as well as protecting the fabric from UV rays.

Roller Blinds

Roller Blinds offer varying degrees of light control, block out, translucent and screen fabrics. Mix and match the fabrics in different rooms to suit your home décor and control the amount of light you wish to filter. They can be used very effectively to control heat and glare. Dual roller blinds are a practical option when you want both block out and light filtering at the same window at different times of the day.

Consider opting for motorisations for some windows as it’s not as expensive as you think. Many Roller Blind fabrics also come in matching drapery fabrics – great for mixing and matching different window treatments with a coordinated look.

Curtains

Curtains help insulate your home from both solar heat gains in summer and heat loss in winter. As with other window treatments, a tight seal is needed for maximum performance. A pelmet over the curtain track will further reduce heat loss as well as reducing the halo effect if total block out is required.

Pelmets

Pelmets are fantastic insulators! They provide a cap over the top of the curtain or blind that will provide an effective insulation seal preventing heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. Pelmets look great when upholstered in coordinated fabric to the window covering, and can be made any depth.  A discreet slimline pelmet is all that is needed in minimalistic décor.

Honeycomb Blinds

Insulate your home with Honeycomb Blinds – they are great for Winter and Summer. The hexagonal shaped cells trap air inside, keeping your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.  The lightweight design expands for full coverage or compacts away easily with either cord controlled or cordless operation. They contain an auto balance mechanism to ensure the bottom rail is always level.

Honeycomb blinds are compact in design when raised as they practically disappear, and are light weight with fade resistant fabrics. Fabrics are constructed of polyester and have good insulation properties and are easy to clean. Block-out fabrics block 99% of visible light and 99.9% of UV rays.

You can choose from corded or cordless blinds, with Aluminum and steel head and bottom rail with plastic caps on both top and bottom. Select from translucent to block-out fabrics in a variety of colours and designs.

SUPER EXPO IS BACK!

You guessed it…

FASHIONLINE GROUP AUSTRALIA will be exhibiting and attending Australia’s largest trade exhibition for the window furnishings and specialised textile industries on the sunny Gold Coast in June.

As the name suggests, this is really no ordinary trade expo. It’s Super Expo and we’re really getting excited.

Following the very successful inaugural event in 2013, and based on attendance then, organisers are expecting up to 4000 visitors this year, comprising industry fabricators, agents, and specifiers. As a result, the 2016 event is likely to be the largest trade exhibition ever staged in Australia for the window furnishings, awning, marine and outdoor textile conversion!

Fashionline will be one of 100 key industry exhibitors – and we don’t plan to simply blend in – we are, after all, Australia’s largest Independent Blind Manufacturing Group – we’re going to be in our element!

Super Expo will take place in all four main halls of the Gold Coast Convention Centre and visitors can attend from June 8 – 10, 2016.

For us, it’s not just an Expo (not all fun and games, though, there might be some golf!) no, no, it will be time to get down to business! We will be of course exhibiting, as well as attending award presentations and key industry networking events, giving us the opportunity to stay on the pulse and keep up to date with market trends and news. We relish these opportunities to network in face-to-face environments.

Super Expo will allow us to showcase our members, and market our group to independent leaders in their fields, who show business integrity and service. That is after all, what we are all about…

Fashionline are a group of the most successful independent Manufacturers / Retailers of window furnishing products, with over two hundred collective years in the industry. Our team brings together a wealth of experience to the industry with a range of companies from both metropolitan and country areas.

Each member has an exclusive trading area, and, each member enjoys the benefits of group purchasing, saving many thousands of dollars and then giving us the ability to pass savings directly to our valuable customers – who will be able to see this first hand at Super Expo.

For more info you can visit www.superexpo2016.com.au or contact us via secretary@fashionline.com.au for more information on our attendance.

 

Choosing the Perfect Window Covering

When it comes to choosing new window furnishings, style and look are always at the top of the list. But with energy costs on the rise, insulation performance and functionality of your window coverings are also important to consider.

When it comes to choosing the best covering for your window it comes down to asking the following questions so you can select the best one for the job. Do you like to get lots of light in during the day? Do you need a total blockout for sleeping at night? Do you want a product that provides privacy both during the day and at night?

Insulation

Window coverings can assist greatly in keeping your home cool in summer and warm in winter. The top performing choice for insulation are the full-length curtains with an attached blockout lining and a pelmet over the top.

The pelmet traps the airflow coming through the top of the window, and returning the curtains to the wall stops airflow leaking at the sides.

Insulation can be further improved by making the curtains longer than floor length and puddling them on the ground, however having them sit just one centimeter off the ground, which is the most popular choice, will still give you a great result.

Technology

Being able to operate everything from a remote control is a modern convenience when it comes to being able to open and shut your blinds from the comfort of your chair or at the office by pushing a few keys on your computer.

Motorised blinds, curtains, shutters, roman blinds and venetians are so popular, and have become more affordable in recent times.

Motorised window coverings are easily connected to your existing home automation system, or can be operated RTS (through radio transmission) if you don’t have home automation.

For those of you who cannot get electrical power run to your window, you don’t have to miss out, there is the option of battery operated systems for roller, venetian and roman blinds.

Environment

Over the past few years there has been a big move to ‘green building’, and this extends to window furnishings.

The blind industry has been particularly proactive releasing many fabrics approved by the Green Council of Australia, suitable mostly for roller, panel glide and roman blinds.

Quality

With both ready made and custom-made options available, you can furnish your windows according to your budget.

If you’re looking for plantation shutters, quality blinds and curtains it is recommended to ask a professional to measure up and offer you some advice.

Style – the finishing touch

Style is all about the finishing touch – with so many exciting fabrics, styles and textures to choose from, there is a lot to think about to make it the perfect finish.

Your curtains, blinds and shutters can really change the look of a room, and tie all of your furnishings together.

A window covering can either be the focal point of the room by choosing a fabric or colour with a huge wow factor, or you can opt for a selection that simply complements the other furnishings in your room.

Either way selecting window coverings is a fun part of decorating and styling your home.

Choosing the right window treatments to fit the frame of your window

PLANTATION SHUTTERS

Plantation shutters can be considered as more of an architectural feature than a window decoration. They are stylish and add a sense of timeless chic. They are designed to allow light and air whilst maintaining privacy and insulation. They are available in PVC for its water-resistant, fire-retardant and anti-termite properties and plantation wood, which is strong and light to suit wider spaces. Due to their strength and ease of use they are great for areas where curtains may not suit such as bathrooms or kids bedrooms or doorways. Shutters can be sliding, bi-folding, hinged or fixed and even shaped to suit a wide range of applications. The blades operate by using either a traditional timber or a concealed stainless steel rod. Shutters can let in a lot of light so are not ideal as a full blockout but rather are great light filters.

Tip:  Heavy-duty shutters are ideal for west-facing rooms or for cooler climates.

CURTAINS

There are numerous exquisite fabrics on offer for curtains and a million different ways to hang them. A great way to add visual interest to your room is to mix and play with length and textures such as sheers, cloths and cottons  – the heaviness and style of heading. Combining the right 2 fabrics can provide insulation and soundproofing. When measuring for curtains it is important to remember that more fabric is required than the window width, generally this is 1.5 to 3 times the window width depending on the volume your looking for. Aside from the look of your draperies, you’ll additionally need to consider the operation. A ‘flick stick’ is a fantastic option for a little window in a study, while motorised curtains would suit large spaning windows in living rooms or offices. For that finishing touch consider adding decorative elements such as finials for the curtain rod ends, ornate cleats to secure rods, pelmets or tie backs.

Tip: Ceiling mounts give you maximum height and a neat finish.

ROMAN BLINDS

This stylish option hangs straight and when raised concertinas up in evenly spaced folds when you pull on the cord. The cord lock allows you to secure the blind at set heights. Stiff fabrics will achieve a crisp smart look where as soft fabrics are ideal for a relaxed feel. When raised the top section of the roman blind stays in place acting as a pelmet. It is ideal to face fit these blinds over the architrave, above the window, in order to block more light and to protect the back of the blind when the window is opened and the blind raised. 

Tip:  Stylish and sophisticated, roman blinds offer great privacy and light blockage but are not suitable for wet rooms.

ROLLER BLINDS

Roller blinds are an economical approach to cover your windows and accomplish a spotless, straightforward look. Fabric choices range from light filtering to full block out which can be combined as a day/night blind. Roller blinds work well in conjunction with window curtains to offer varying levels of opacity, so you have more control over glare, privacy, insulation and outlook. Roller blinds generally roll back to provide better light control though also have the option front front roll. Roller blinds can be operated using either a traditional spring operation or a chain drive mechanism. Alternatively, roller blinds can be motorised and operated via remote control, switch or timer controls, for the ultimate in technology driven modern living.

Tip:  Many windows require two treatments to deal with the elements. Mix you roller blinds with curtains.

Technology in the Blind Industry

Despite the span of your blinds and awnings business, upgrading to the latest technology generally is the last thing you think about when trying to expand business, create more productive workflow and improve profit without contributing additional time.

IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE

Ask any business associate you know who owns any business in another industry and they will let you know they couldn’t work their business without the technology they have acquired in the last 10-20 years. From accounting software, to customer relationship management systems, technology helps their business to develop and be more productive each year.

Are you as a Blinds industry business falling behind? Can you do everything faster with the trusty old pen and paper than on a PC? Most business owners can prepare quotes very quickly with high sales conversions, but it’s not about sales, it’s about maintaining the business more efficiently as a whole.

  1. Organise, automate and synchronise business processes
  2. Keep track of customer job details and business information
  3. Keep track of quotes
  4. Finalising quotes and processing final orders
  5. Sending orders directly to suppliers
  6. Tracking incoming materials
  7. Tracking progress of finished products.
  8. Preparing final installation and billing paperwork

ECONOMIC VALUE

CALCULATE THE COST OF NOT INVESTING IN TECHNOLOGY

Figuring out the expense of implementing technology must start with ascertaining the expense of not investing in technology. As a business owner you must ask yourself how to best utilize the time you spend in your business.  Assess the time staff spend in handling printed material.

Where do you really create profit?

Taking care of the printed material won’t profit yet it is important to keep precise records and process exact quotes.

  1. How many hours do you spend on quoting in a week?
  2. How many hours is spent on amending quotes and writing up final estimates for the customer?
  3. How many hours is spent on ordering products, writing up work orders and installation orders plus job tracking?

INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY

BE MORE PRODUCTIVE

Utilising computer technology and software will help you to cut your printed material procedures by hours, hours that can be spent closing sales and completing jobs. Hypothetically if printed material procedures were cut down by 1 hour per day, that is 5-6 hours per week which gives an additional 24 hours for every month to work on business growth.

WHY

BLIND SOFTWARE

The blind and awning industry is not built on simple window treatments.  Utilising reliable Blind Software will cut down error rates in quoting and deliver in seconds a completed quote that can be emailed to the customer. Blind software can help sales staff with complex window treatments and with the added benefit of not wasting time manually re-estimating customer quotes,  processing vendor and workroom orders, installer procedures and billing paperwork.

The Dos and Dont’s of Hanging Curtains

A great way to give any room an instant lift is to use curtains – to add impact with colour, patterns and textures. Beautiful and textured curtains can add the finishing touch to a room or space. The list of possible options are endless. Whether they’re custom made or purchased off the rack, the trick lies in the hanging.

Below are some of our do’s and don’ts for picture-perfect drapes:
DO reach high. Windows will appear taller if the rod or track is fixed closer to the ceiling. The general rule is that they should be 10­15cm above the window frame. Consider using a qualified Installer as they have have all the tools and skills to do this for you at
a minimal cost.

DON’T stop the fabric at the window sill. Once again windows will appear taller if the fabric falls to the floor. A couple of centimeters above the floor will give the illusion of a full curtain but make cleaning easier. It’s generally not recommended that they collect on the floor.

DO consider the external light. Which rooms will have curtains installed? If it’s the bedroom, do you like to sleep in total darkness or do you like sunlight in? Make sure your curtains cover each side of the window and consider blockout linings or match and combine with a roller blind.

DON’T be exclusive. Curtains don’t necessarily need to replace the existing blinds as in some rooms different window treatments can complement each other.

DO be generous with your fabric. If you are going to be closing the curtains they will need to be 2 to 2.5 times the width of your window. Curtains fabrics such as sheer may need more to hang effectively.

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