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.

Best blinds for holiday homes

When choosing window coverings for your holiday home, as the property will not be used all the time, you should look to choose window coverings that will last a long time and suit the varied needs of different people.

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To make your decision you can ask yourself these important questions;

  • What style do you want – formal, casual or traditional?
  • What’s your budget?
  • Do you have neighbours or a main road looking into your property and need to increase privacy?
  • Do you prefer a window treatment that will provide insulation?
  • Which directions do the windows face and what kind of sun management is required?
  • Do you need to manage glare in a working area such as the kitchen or study?
  • If it is a window treatment for a bedroom, how light sensitive could the people be who will be sleeping there?

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Some options are;

  • Roller blinds (sheer, translucent and blockout),
  • Roman blinds,
  • Venetian blinds,
  • Sheer curtains,
  • Blockout curtains,
  • Plantation shutters.

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Understand the different looks they create;

  • Blinds and plantation shutters provide a casual feel. Plantation shutters scream Hampton’s style holidays and are highly versatile and easy to maintain.
  • Curtains create a more traditional look, but how much so depends on the heading and the fabric chosen.
  • Curtains with swags and tails are far more formal and traditional compared to more relaxed, sheer-linen curtains.
  • Sheer curtains provide a soft and sophisticated look. They boost privacy during the day, don’t need to be drawn, and can be used to create a formal or sleek and contemporary look.
  • Lined curtains are best for insulation and blocking out light.

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Choosing the right blinds;

  • Roller blinds are often used as a double treatment, such as combining with a sheer and a block-out blind.
  • Sheers can boost privacy and add solar protection in the day, but do not provide privacy at night.
  • Block-out blinds are often used in bedrooms, these block sun and light, and create full privacy.
  • Roman blinds are a more traditional and formal treatment that is often made from a feature fabric. It can be lined to form a block-out or unlined for a translucent look.
  • Venetian blinds’ horizontal slats allow you to manage light levels with ease.

Layered treatments are ideal when trying to boost privacy and black-out light, without sacrificing your holiday home views. Having a sheer curtain over a block-out blind or shutter can also soften the harsh lines of the latter and are suitable for holiday homes because they will serve the varied needs of many different people and also look beautiful at the same time!

Happy Holidays everyone! 

Ways to add value to your home with window coverings

Want to add value to your home? Have you thought about updating your window coverings? We’ve put together some tips for you here;

1) Install Plantation Shutters
– They’re easy to maintain and clean
– They look amazing and appeal to a very wide range of buyers
– They’re built to last
– Plantations increase home appraisal value
– They offer complete light and privacy control

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2) Consider Home Automation
Property buyers’ expectations and requirements are changing, home automation is becoming increasingly popular and luxurious. Home automation is an investment which is immune to market trends whilst increasing your home’s ‘wow factor’. Home automation appeals to multiple buyers; older generations appreciate smart controls for safety, security, ease of use and temperature control, whilst younger buyers are looking for convenience, luxury, technology appeal and customisation in their home controls. Home automation doesn’t deter – it is an attractive and luxurious feature to most people. Potential buyers may inspect dozens of homes of similar sizes in similar locations and having home automation may make yours more memorable. When it’s put on the market it is an extra point that can be listed as Home Automation on your listing’s features. One of the big selling points of an automated home is the potential to make significant savings on energy bills. Having an energy-efficient home is particularly important to the younger generation. Younger buyers are starting to look for eco-friendly features in their properties so having home automation is an attractive feature.

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3) Increase Security
Security is a major consideration for those looking for a new family home. Being able to offer additional security features, such as automated roller shutters, motion-sensitive lighting and external blinds will make your property stand out as a secure option for these buyers.

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4) Customise the Window Treatments
Custom window treatments are made with specific dimensions in mind, they perfectly compliment a room. They are well-made and durable. Customised window treatments can be a focal point in your room and are something that prospective buyers will admire.

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Let’s Talk Shading

Consider your climate for external blinds

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When thinking about shading, your location on the map and your region’s climate must be considered. In temperate climates the magic direction to start with is north. The north side of a home has the most solar energy available and it is the easiest to control. All you need is the right width eave or other horizontal shading to stop the sun in summer and let it inside in winter.

For east and west windows, a different shading solution is needed as the sun is lower in the sky. Adjustable vertically-placed blinds, screens or louvres work best to control sun for the short time it’s needed, and then open up again to daylight, views and breezes.

In hotter climates – roughly north of Brisbane – shading is important all year round, including on the south side of your home. In colder parts of the country, winter heat gain is the priority so it’s vital to ensure any shading doesn’t impede solar access in winter.

Local site topography also plays a part in deciding the amount of shading needed, for example, a south sloping site may need slightly less shading for a longer period of the year. For more information, see Your Home’s ‘Shading’ fact sheet.

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Fashionline’s Top Tips for External Shading

  1. Remember that there are plenty of choices for effective shading, from cost-effective and easily retrofitted blinds to custom-designed automated systems. External blinds, shutters and screens can also provide security while inner doors and windows are open for ventilation.
  2. Fixed awnings for windows are cost effective and allow you to keep the windows open when it’s raining. However, they allow for less active sun control and flexibility than adjustable versions.
  3. For western and eastern facades where the sun is intense at a low angle for a short time you can try retractable fabric awnings. Other adjustable shading options include blinds, louvres, sliding screens and roller shutters. Louvres, shutters and even pergolas with adjustable angled blades allow sun control while admitting breezes.
  4. If the budget stretches, pergolas with motorised blinds or complete louvre roof systems may fit the bill. Such systems can help create the effect of an outdoor room and allow your home’s internal spaces to feel larger.

For more advice and stockists, you can contact us here :)

The Fashionline Team 

Winter Style Updates 2018

We’ve taken our own advice from our Pinterest post and sourced some popular industry ‘inspo’ trends for you. The following 6 trends are high ranking and are sure to get the creative design juices flowing…

Woven Blinds

Organic, woven fabrics are still all over the ‘inspo channels’. If you have a small space, opt for slim blinds that’ll still let natural light in. These window furnishings will keep a space feeling light and airy.

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Sheer Curtains

Yes, they are still ranking very highly. If you’re lacking on windows, choose sheer panels for maximum light. It’ll help keep the room from feeling too closed off.

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Botanical Blinds

It seems that we still want to feel close to nature. Indeed, even if you’re stuck in the city, you can feel closer to great outdoors with the help of some botanical-printed Roman shades. Keep the vibe going with greens, blues, and fresh or silk florals.

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Sky Blue Window Shutters

That’s right, we’ve stumbled across a lot of beautiful, dusty pastel shutters. Light blue shutters can bring an oceanic or country feel to a kitchen or bathroom.

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Blinds and Curtains

People everywhere now refuse to choose between two window treatment styles. Woven blinds serve the functional purpose of darkening the room, while curtains add a burst of colour.

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Linen Shades

Linen curtains might be unpredictable with a marble-and-granite checkerboard floor and grass-cloth walls, but they help add a coastal, relaxed feel. The pink hue in this picture pops against the natural-coloured walls.

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There we have it! We hope our search for current trends and inspiration has given you some new (or reconfirmed some existing) style ideas to play with!

The Fashionline Team.

Are you utilising Pinterest?

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Some of us might be guilty of underestimating this network, but Pinterest has quietly risen to success as a powerful search engine and one of the internet’s most important shopping platforms. Your buyers could be actively looking for products as influenced by… what they find on Pinterest, so…

It’s a great place to browse the latest trends through the most popular pins, using searches such as this that we conducted on ‘interior design living curtains‘.

Or this search, on ‘window furnishings’.

Here are some fun facts that might encourage you to check in with Pinterest from time to time to browse the latest trends and styles that consumers are shopping:

Pinterest Fun Facts

According to Pinterest… Pinterest has over 200 million monthly active users. That’s an incredible number.

They’re mostly millennials… 

  • Pinterest has over 150 million monthly active users
  • 81% of Pinterest users are female
  • There’s been a 120% growth in male users in the past year
  • The majority (67%) of Pinners are under 40
  • Millennials make up the largest age group on Pinterest (36%), followed by Gen-X (34%)
  • Pinners spend an average of 14.2 minutes per session on the platform
  • 1 in 10 Australians use Pinterest
  • 1 in 4 live in rural areas Pinners live in urban compared to 64% that live in urban areas
  • 80% of users access Pinterest on their mobile app

Women dominate, but usage among males is growing rapidly…

Yes, women tend to dominate the Pinterest landscape, but 40 percent of new signups are men. That’s a 70 percent increase in year-over-year growth.

They’re well educated

Thirty-four percent of Pinterest users have at least some tertiary education, while another 34 percent have a higher tertiary education. That’s 10 percent more than users who have high school or less.

They’re likely to have an above-average income

Not surprisingly, being well educated also means that Pinterest users have money. Thirty-five percent have an income of over $75,000, a figure that rises to 50 percent when applied exclusively to millennials. The next largest income demographic is $30,000 to $49,000 (at 32 percent of users).

People pin a lot

Every day, 2 million people post pins, resulting in a total of more than 100 billion pins currently living on Pinterest.

They access the platform on the go

As is the trend across all social networks, people increasingly use Pinterest on their phones. With over 500 million app installs, 85 percent of all Pinterest searches happen on mobile.

Users tend to prefer using Pinterest on their mobile devices while shopping, traveling, and at work.

They use it to plan

86 percent of millennials say they use Pinterest to “plan life moments, big and small.”

The study ultimately concluded that the research and planning people do on the platform contributes to their “vision of an ideal self,” a powerful concept for marketers.

They use it to search

Pinterest has always been a discovery focused platform (more than 2 billion searches

happen every month), but the launch of their visual search tool, Lens, in 2015 was a game changer.

On average, 39 percent of female Pinners choose Pinterest over other traditional search engines like Google. That number rises to 48 percent when applied to male users. Visual searches alone increased 140 percent year-over-year in 2018 (totalling 600 million visual searches every month).

The most popular categories to browse are DIY & Craft, Food & Drink, and Home Décor – this of course includes window furnishings! But perhaps most important to note is that 97 percent of searches are unbranded, meaning Pinners are open to hearing from brands they haven’t considered before.

They stick around

Active Pinners spend an average of 34 minutes per visit on the site. That’s longer than sessions on other social platforms like Facebook (33 minutes), Twitter (24 minutes), and Instagram (24 minutes).

People use Pinterest to plan purchases

93 percent of Pinners use Pinterest to plan purchases. They are buyers. The same study found that 96 percent use it to research and gather information, while 87 percent report that Pinterest has helped them decide what to purchase.

And to discover new styles

Sixty-three percent of millennials say that Pinterest helps them discover new styles, brands or products to buy.

Most importantly, they use it to shop

According to the following stats, there’s no doubt that Pinterest is a major driver of on and offline sales:

  • It’s the number one shopping platform among millennials
  • 47% of millennials on Pinterest have purchased something they’ve pinned (9 percent more than millennials on Facebook and 14 percent more than millennials on Twitter)
  • 67% of Pinners report using Pinterest while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, most frequently at mass merchandisers
  • 55% of Pinterest users shop on the site, more than 4 times the rate of other digital platforms
  • 18.5% of Active Pinners make a Pinterest-inspired purchase at least once a month
  • 73% of Active Pinners have bought something because they saw it on Pinterest
  • 61% of Pinners have made a purchase after seeing branded content on Pinterest

So if you haven’t checked out Pinterest, why not have a browse through the latest trends and styles, you can pass the great ideas you find to your customers and help your team with some creative inspiration and their on-point, in-store trend talk, too!

The Fashionline team.

 

 

 

 

Member Profile: Scorpio Screens & Blinds

Scorpio Screens & Blinds was founded in 1980 by Cameron and Glenis Wood, and the company has grown considerably during that time. To this day Cameron and Glenis are still involved in the company along with their sons. So when you do business with Scorpio Screens & Blinds – you do business with a second generation family business.

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We spoke to Sales Manager Rodney Southall for our latest Fashionline Member Profile.

Who makes up your team? 

Scorpio is essentially like a big family business. Cameron & Glenis (Dad & Mum) were the founders of the business, over 30 years ago, and they are still an integral part of the business. Me, Dyson, the General Manager, overseeing the complete operation. My brother Joshua is responsible for our Commercial department. Joshua & his team look after a number of builders that we supply.

Scorpio have a Sales team, both on the road & indoors, as well as a large administrative staff.

When it comes to manufacturing, our experienced factory staff build our Security & Screen product, along with our comprehensive window furnishings department.

Once everything has been sold and made it’s up to the installation department to get the job finished off. We have an experienced team of installers, many who have been with us for a very long time.

In essence we are a family of approximately 70 people.

What’s special about your service? 

What we do, we do well. Scorpio’s roots are in Security & Screens, and if we don’t know how to do it, it probably can’t be done. We started day one in screens, and over time we have now moved in to Stainless Steel Security. When we saw the need we moved into window furnishings. We manufacture most products on site. One of our greatest assets is that we have been established on the Gold Coast for over 30 years, with the same owners. That’s quite an achievement on the coast. The other advantage to the client is that we offer a full range of services to both the private homeowner through to the largest of home builders.

Which products do you specialise in? 

By far our greatest specialty would be our ULTRA Stainless Steel security screens & doors. To compliment this we also offer 7mm diamond grille products.

Our window furnishings product range is quite comprehensive. We manufacture Roller Blinds, Panel Glides, Vertical blinds, Roman Blinds. We are pleased to be able to offer many exciting fabric ranges.

What do you forecast will be the new growing trends over the coming year? 

Amongst the growth areas the new products for us are AUTOMATION, SHUTTERS & CURTAINS. We are experiencing huge growth in the area of blind automation. With the development of higher quality, reliable & inexpensive motors, along with the new command module systems, anyone can afford to operate their blinds at their fingertips.  When I say new, Shutters have been growing for the last 3 years, but they have finally got to a point where they are the “norm” rather than the exception. Curtains are our other growth product. We offer a full range of Sheers & Blockouts. Also clients will often use blockout roller with sheer curtains. The finish is quite amazing.

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

There’s always something new. Scorpio have learnt that getting it right the first time means a lot. Therefore we don’t jump into things lightly. We do have some developing stories… But not enough to tell you about yet. Watch this space.

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

The fact is that Australians love the outdoors and they like to be part of it. We Aussies are also famous for grasping onto new ideas. I love the fact that Blind Automation has become so simple and affordable to everyone. I love that we have a huge range of products that suit the Gold Coast conditions, and it gives me lots of satisfaction seeing installations successfully completed. To bring a client’s home to life, with Scorpio blinds, is a reward in itself.

Is there anything else that you want us mention in the member profile? 

We see many benefits of being part of the Fashionline group. Not the least being the opportunity to share ideas and trends with each other. I like the ability to freely talk to the industry without concern or fear of giving away confidences. I most enjoy that I am able to share with other about some of the things that we have found to make our business successful. On the other hand it’s good to be able to make people aware of pitfalls too. I think there is great merit in the Fashionline group as an asset to move the industry forward.

You can visit Scorpio’s website for more information here.

 

Fashionline Group Australia is a Group Buying organisation…

Made up of approved suppliers engaged in the manufacture, distribution and sales of window furnishings, security products and home improvement products, Fashionline Group uses a buying process that allows several businesses to come together for the purpose of buying at discounted rates.

Fashionline Group Buying

The idea behind this type of buying is to combine the buying power of all the Fashionline Group Members, and use that volume buying to extend low rates to every member of the group, regardless of that member’s actual usage.

In business, smaller retailers have often used this approach to secure discounted pricing on goods for resale in their stores, allowing them to successfully compete with larger retailers that operate on a national or international basis.

Everyone involved in the group buying effort benefits from the arrangement, which is great. Members of Fashionline Group receive discounts that are based on the total business volume of the collective, rather than just their own volume usage.

Typically, this results in savings that help to reduce operational expenses, even for smaller companies that participate in the group buying, which in turn increases the amount of net profit that the smaller business generates!

At the same time, each member of the Fashionline Group has the ability to offer their customers a wider range of goods and services than would be possible if negotiating pricing with vendors on their own. This is a Win, win!

If you’d like to know more about our Fashionline group membership costs and conditions, get in touch with us here. We would love to hear from you to discuss how group buying could benefit you!

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