Member Profile: Launceston Blinds

Launceston Blinds Canvas & Awnings is a Tasmanian owned and operated business which was first established in 2005. New owners Kerry and Dale Arnold took over the business in 2017 and during this time, they have undergone a rebrand and business name change. Formally known as ‘Drummond Blinds & Canvas’, both Kerry and Dale felt the name change was a necessary requirement for the profiling of their business. We spoke to owner Dale Arnold for our latest Fashionline Member Profile.

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Who makes up your team?

Our team consist of six team members, myself (Dale), Jeff and Hans, we focus on exterior window furnishings and Kerry (my wife), Brett and Lisa focus on interior treatments.

What’s special about their service?

We pride ourselves on our ability to problem solve, there is not a problem that we cannot solve. Our team thoroughly understands the needs of our clients and we go to great efforts to ensure that our customers are happy with the final product.

Which products do you specialise in?

We are a specialist in all of our window treatments, but in particular our roller blinds and vertical panel slides have been proven a popular choice with our customers.

Our external blinds are equally as popular, a lot of our customers approach us for help with their outdoor entertaining areas, we often suggest our exterior shutters and a range of awning products.

What geographical areas do they cover?

We are based in Launceston and serve the Launceston area as well as the surrounding areas such as Ross, Scottsdale and Port Sorel.

Is there anything new that you’re working on or bringing in this year you would like to mention?

We recently changed our business name and refreshed our logo, so with that, we have designed and executed a new website that exudes the same look and feel.

Our goal this year is to work on our social media presence, we are planning on doing this with regular up to date and interesting Facebook posting, as well as interacting with our customers. Our overall goal is to bring more awareness to our brand.

What is your ‘point of difference’ in your local industry?

We really pride ourselves on our problem-solving skills. We enjoy interacting with our customers and showing our willingness to achieve the look and feel they are aiming for.

What do you love most about working in the window furnishing industry?

We enjoy interacting with our customers on a daily basis, helping them with their needs and exceeding their expectations.

Fashionline: Celebrating 30 years of service

2020 is special year for Fashionline and is a year that deserves celebration. With so much uncertainty in the world right now, we feel very proud of our achievement.

When the idea for Fashionline first started, it was a very different time for the window treatment industry. John Wood (original founder and previous owner of Wagga Blinds & Awnings) and Ray Watson (Watson Blinds) first met at an industry trade show in the late 80’s and were both running small businesses at the time. With growing frustrations and limited access to products and suppliers, as well as manufacturing costs within the Australian Market, they thought to themselves that others in the industry must also be struggling with the same challenges.

“We didn’t know exactly what we wanted to create, but we knew we wanted to talk to some other business owners that were having the same challenges as we were, and maybe we could start a buying group” says Ray Watson, Watson Blinds.

Soon after the initial thought, they approached other businesses in the industry and when interest peaked, a formal meet and greet was organised in Sydney, which resulted in further interest by all attendees and those met as a result of these connections.

Then named “The Independent Home Improvement Group” began to form but heavily relied on the business owners volunteering their spare time and business resources to help gain traction. Over time, the group gained interest with new members and suppliers which resulted in branching out and renaming the group, Fashionline.

Ray Watson from Watson Blinds receiving an award from a supplier.

Ray Watson from Watson Blinds receiving an award from a supplier.

The next challenge was to negotiate with supplier Rollease Acmeda, known then as Sbriggs. The negotiations resulted in placing an order for a 40ft shipping container filled with vertical blind componentry. Once an order was placed, the next step was to negotiate and form a partnership with textile supplier Bradmill Textiles. Until this partnership was formed, blind makers communicated with canvas wholesalers, it was unheard of dealing with a canvas manufacturer directly, which was something that made Fashionline unique.

Today Fashionline is ran by a board of directors and has grown immensely. We have 27 members (and growing each year) that have access to 23 unique suppliers across Australia. We are very proud of what Fashionline has accomplished over the last 30 years and we look forward to watching the company continue to grow.

Your Fashionline Team.

Can updating window furnishings pay off in the long run?

Whilst everyone was staying at home during COVID-19, home renovations fast became the activity to do to keep entertained, updating your window furnishings can add a substantial amount of value to your home, but did you know you can do this without paying the big bucks?

A simple, yet affective way is to upgrade them to mirror current interior trends. Installing popular furnishings such as a Plantation Shutter or Roller Blinds with a sheer curtain over the top can provide an up to date, modern look to any home.

Bush's Blingds

Image credit: Bush’s Blinds

When researching different styles, you will quickly see that floor to ceiling and wall to wall curtains radiates an elegant, modern and sophisticated look that is quickly becoming very popular. Installing this style of window treatment can change a person’s perspective of your room size by giving off the illusion that the room is much larger than it actually is.

Scorpio Screens PTY Ltd

Image credit: Scorpio Screen & Blinds Pty Ltd

If you didn’t already know, Plantation Shutters are an extremely popular window accessory, which is favoured by most consumers as they are not only modern but also act as a great insulator. During the winter months, these shutters help keep the warm air inside whilst blocking the cold air outside, and in summer these shutters work the same way, but in reverse. Installing a window treatment that also acts as an insulator, over time, can help reduce the cost of running heating and cooling appliances, because of this, they quickly become a valuable furnishing to your home.

Stan Bond screens

Image credit: Stan Bond Screen & Shade Solutions

Updating window furnishings doesn’t necessarily mean upgrading interior blinds or curtains, outdoor security screens are just as much a part of the window furnishing family. Installing these types of screens can help create a sense of protection, which can be a necessity or they can help provide an added layer of protection for both the elderly or young families.

Your Fashionline Team.

Plantation Shutters: A stylish and smart investment

Are you looking to update your home decor and need beautiful window furnishings to match?

Then Plantation Shutters are the furnishing for you. Why not take advantage of your extra time at home and create an ideal space that’s not only modern but allows you to let in natural light while ensuring privacy.

Plantation Shutters consists of a wide range of internal and external shutters and can come in a wide range of sizes. Each beautiful, practical and economical and are built with the strength to last a lifetime.

These are a great addition to any home, coming in a wide range of finishing and materials such as; Wood, Vinyl, PVC or Aluminium, as well as this, there are several benefits of installing shutters, we have listed our top benefits below:

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Image credit: Creative Blinds for Interior & Exterior

Light control and insulation

Shutter louvres allow you to adjust the amount of sunlight entering your home – helping you to control the temperature and ventilation inside.

Customisable

Shutters can be custom made to suit all shapes and sizes of windows and doorways. They are also available in a range of finishing’s, so you’ll be sure to find something to complement your home.

Increase the value of your home

Plantation shutters have an attractive aesthetic that suits almost any decor and have been proven to be a timeless investment. They can also increase your homes ‘curb appeal’.

 Easy to care for and durable

 Plantation shutters have also proven to be easy to care for window furnishings. Made of long-lasting materials and often just need a wipe down with a damp cloth.

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Image credit: Alltone Shutters

Whether you’re looking for a stylish way to improve your home, give it a different look or just want to change things up a bit. There is a large range of shutters available to you, speak to an experienced team member for an affordable, effective solution for you and your home.

Your Fashionline Team.

 

Fashionline Members still servicing their local communities

Finding that you have a bit more time for those renovations you’ve been meaning to get too? Or are you feeling inspired to update those bleak curtains in your home office? As Australia’s Largest Independent Blind Manufacturing Group, we would like to assure our present, past and future customers that you can still access our range of blinds, shutters and awnings. With our extensive group of Fashionline members still offering Free Measure & Quotes across Australia.

Our members have adapted their businesses to adhere to the Australian Department of Health and the World Health Organisations standards and recommendations while operating to minimise the spread of the virus. Measures that our Fashionline members are taking include:

  • Team members who feel unwell are required to stay home
  • Strict hand cleaning and washing techniques
  • Sanitisation of products and equipment used on installations
  • Providing PPE for staff
  • Ensuring minimal contact with clients on-site
  • Actively practising social distancing

We ask for the health and safety of our members’ staff that if you are feeling unwell or in isolation that you notify your installer before your appointment.

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Although some showrooms may be closed you can still reach your local dealer by email, phone or by submitting an online enquiry. Some members are also continuing their services in new ways, including:

Virtual Appointments, receive a quote, design advice and measurement guidance all virtually! We have hosted a workshop for our members on how to effectively deliver virtual appointments, find out if your local dealer is offering this service.

DIY Installations, providing the product with instructions and basic materials such as screws.

So don’t put off your home renovation projects any longer and take advantage of this time to create your dream space. You can find your local Fashionline member and the ways that they are individually addressing this situation while servicing their communities, here.

Your Fashionline Team.

Beat the heat by installing these window furnishings

An air-conditioned house during summer sounds like every person’s dream, but not everyone can afford to have luxuries such as air-conditioning! That’s when window furnishings come into play, choosing the right window coverings can help keep your house cool and reduce the intensity of those summer rays.

Cellular blinds, also known as Honeycomb blinds

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(Image credit: maisondereve.tk)

Cellular Blinds are the most popular and effective shades when it comes to keeping the heat out. Cellular blinds have hexagonal cells which form a honeycomb looking structure (hence, where they got their name from), this unique structure helps trap the outside heat in these cells, keeping you comfortable inside.

As a bonus, these types of blinds work wonders during the Winter months, just like Summer, they trap the cold air inside of the cells, making them a well-rounded blind for the entire year.

Roller Blinds

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(Image credit: Instagram.com/mottura_spa)

There are many benefits from installing roller blinds, they are perfect for both small and large windows as they come in a variety of sizes. As well as this, roller blinds can be made in a wide selection of fabrics, from sheer to block out. To beat the summer heat, we suggest picking an insulating fabric which will help keep the heat out. Roller blinds are a popular choice in Australian households due to the way they are operated, however, if desired, these blinds can be fully motorised, as well as options to control the blinds directly from your phone, tablet or home automation making it easy to block out the western rays before you get home from work.

Curtains

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(Image credit: chrislovesjulia.com)

Blackout curtains and thermal curtains are a cheap solution to blocking out the intense summer heat. They are made with a multi-layer backing that is made from tightly woven fabric resulting in 99.9% of the light being blocked out.

By keeping the light out, blackout curtains can help reduce the room’s temperature during summer, because these curtains have multiple layers, they can also act as an insulator during winter and keep the heat in. As a bonus, these curtains have been proven to help drown out outside noise, perfect for that lazy Sunday morning.

Don’t be fooled though, just because they are called blackout curtains doesn’t mean they are only available in black, they are in fact available in a selection of different colours. For that added touch of luxury, these curtains can also be motorised.

 

Your Fashionline Team.

What window furnishings are best for large sliding doors?

For the last few years, sliding doors in homes are getting bigger and taller and more popular. By having large sliding doors, it welcomes in lots of natural light as well as giving your home an indoor-outdoor vibe. But what kind of window treatment would work best in an area like this?

Have you heard of Vertisheers yet?

Yep, it’s exactly as it sounds…  a vertical blind and a sheer curtain. Vertisheer blinds are quickly becoming a luxury window treatment and it is easy to see why.

(image credit: lunchboxarcgitect.com)

When the blind is open the sheer fabric offers privacy whilst still letting in lots of natural light just like a sheer curtain, however, when the blind is closed, the vertical vanes provide maximum privacy like a traditional vertical blind. This innovative design has captured the stylish and warmth of a sheer curtain and the practicality of a block-out blind which has resulted in a product that is fast becoming a ‘must-have’ in the window treatment world.

The lightweight fabric is easy to clean and can be purchased in an array of colours to suit everyone’s décor. For those that do not have large sliding doors, these blinds are available for all window and door sizes. For that added touch of luxury and convenience, these blinds can even be motorised.

(Image credit: threebirdsrenovations.com)

(Image credit: threebirdsrenovations.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 
As the large sliding door trend continues to grow in Australia, window treatments for this area will continue to be in high demand, be prepared to answer questions about this product from your customers.

(Image credit: bushsblinds.com.au)

(Image credit: bushsblinds.com.au)

 

 

 

 

Your Fashionline Team.

Fashionline at the forefront of Industry training

Our Fashionline members are specialists in their fields and have many years’ experience, both individually and combined. Like all industries, the Window Furnishing Industry and buyer market is consistently changing and so, Fashionline holds regular training opportunities for its members.

We recently held a fantastic and informative workshop for independent business owners to work together, practice their sales skills, share experiences, and knowledge.

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There was a great turnout of members, and the average experience in the room was over 10 years in the blinds industry! So not only was the training itself highly valuable and at the forefront of Industry training, but the value of like-minded businesses getting together and sharing knowledge was also of great value.

What are the Fashionline Group objectives?

Fashionline Group is dedicated to remaining independent and has the following objectives:

  • To obtain the best prices from local suppliers
  • To obtain maximum benefits by Group Marketing & Advertising Programs
  • To interchange technical skills and knowledge with our network of members and suppliers
  • To regularly exchange marketing information and consumer trends
  • To obtain exclusive products for the Group
  • To maximise each group member’s turnover and profit.

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The Group meets three times a year – two ordinary meetings and an AGM. Each member or representative is obliged to attend all meetings. Meetings are held on a rotational basis between states and are of 2 days duration (general meetings) and 3 days duration for the AGM.

If you would like more information on becoming a member and joining in on the shared knowledge and learnings of such a wonderful group, contact us at secretary@fashionline.com.au

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Trends alert!

If you are planning to update your window treatments, then here’s our list of top 5 trends to see out the year!

Smart Blinds

With having smart tech in the home getting more and more popular, it should come as no surprise that smart blinds are huge this year! Smart blinds allow you to control your blinds from any location using your smart phone. This is a great upgrade for those who work often. No longer will those western sun rays heat up your home, from the click of a button on the app, you can lower your blinds to keep the heat out… or in winter, keep the heat in. How’s that for futuristic living!

Black shutters

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Shutters are always a popular choice, but we’re predicting that black bi-fold shutters will be seen increasingly in more homes. A bi-fold style allows you to fold the shutters to one side or the other, to expose the entire window and act as a room divider, while the stylish black colour helps to modernise any space.

Linen Curtains

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Sheer linen curtains are increasing in popularity due to the heat – regulating properties of the fabric and their beauty. Linen is also hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial, so if anyone in your home is prone to allergies, linen curtains are ideal. Linen is also a strong material, you won’t have to worry about your curtains wearing down over time.

Panel Track Blinds

Move over vertical blinds, a newer and sleeker version has taken your place. When fully opened, the individual panels tightly stack together to give you as much sunlight as possible. When they are closed, you can enjoy all the rich textures and fabrics that they come in. Panel track blinds are the ideal solution for covering patio doors, sliding glass doors and oversized windows. Available in numerous fabrics or even woven wood materials, sliding panel blinds are easy to coordinate with any décor style as well as other window coverings in the room.

Natural Wood Blinds

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Organic is IN and what could be more organic than wood?

Wooden blinds give your room a classic look that will last and be in style for years to come. Wooden blinds are available in many stains and colour options. People also love the high-end look of wooden blinds.

What’s your favourite?

Your Fashionline team.

Why should I use motorised blinds and are they worth it?

Motorised blinds are usually seen as luxurious, fashionable and a high-end home decor item which can be a statement piece and strong selling point for homes on the market, or holiday rentals. They are a great way to ensure unity amongst blinds throughout the entire home, they keep your window coverings looking neat with no cords hanging and catching, and all blinds can be operated together or individually.

There are many advantages to consider when deciding if they are indeed “worth it”

Child Safety

All blinds sold must comply with strict regulations, when already installed in the home, some people do not comply nor are aware of these regulations and do not take into consideration what the consequences of having an unsecured cord can be. Having a window covering that does not have pull cords or strings attached makes motorised blinds the perfect choice for those with small children or animals. Through the touch of a button, the height of the blind can be adjusted making them a much safer option.

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Photo Credit: Somfy – https://www.somfy.com.au/

Great for windows that aren’t easily accessible

Motorisation is perfect for windows that are not easily accessible. High ceiling is one of the latest trends, and what comes with high ceilings are tall or high windows that are hard to reach. Motorised window furnishings are a great option for high, tall or large windows as this helps prevent damage to the blinds that might be too heavy for manual operation.

Remote Control Operation

Once installed these blinds can be operated by using a remote as well as home automation apps and technology on your smart phone or tablet. This is a great alternative to a manual blind for those with disability/mobility issues and are a great option for those previously that have struggled to use manual blinds.

Security 

Motorising your shutters, and windows provides much more security! Did you know that over 70 percent of forced entries into the home target the windows? It’s a shocking statistic. Windows are literally the gaps in the armour of your home. All of that changes with motorised shutters and roller blinds. Quicker to close automatically, they defend the access points to your home.

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Photo Credit: Somfy – https://www.somfy.com.au/

What about the cost?

Motorised blinds are more costly than a manual operated blind, this cost varies from the size of the blind, the fabric and whether you have decided to go battery operated or hard-wired.

The Future is here

Smart technology isn’t just for your air-conditioner, television, lighting and security, it is now available for your blinds and curtains.

One of your everyday tasks is opening and closing your blinds, they are used to create privacy, control light, as well as preventing your home from the heat and cold. Remote control blinds have been on the market for a while, but now blinds can be controlled by your smart phone/tablet by downloading a specific app. This technology is so advanced that you can control the blinds from from anywhere in your home, or the world with an internet connection! This makes it a lot easier when you are not able to get home to block out those western sun rays, or to make it look like someone is home when you’re away.

Not all motorised blinds can be operated from an app so make sure you do your research and remember that if a smart phone app isn’t your preferred method of controlling your blinds, these blinds can still be controlled by a remote control.

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