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.

Get in the mind of the buyer

Aesthetics and function combine when it comes to furnishing windows. Here are some things to consider that will be, or should be, top of the buyer’s mind…

A touch of Style

The aesthetic impact of window coverings is often the main motivating factor for buyers, as the right choice can completely transform a living space.

Social Media has had a huge impact on buyers -those beautiful inspirational pictures are generally centred on the style and look people want to achieve in their home, whether it’s contemporary, minimalist, country, industrial, beach hamptons, french provincial etc.

Pay attention to the pictures – there’s a reason they are showing you Instagram images. A buyer will want to “copy” the look and may go elsewhere if you try to steer them away from what they are showing you. Make sure you show them that you really ‘get it’ – the specific decorative style and colours they are after.

Control the light

Light control is an important benefit delivered by window coverings, and a facet that shouldn’t be overlooked, as it has a big impact on a home’s liveability. The buyer should know what they want, but you can ask questions relating to the room, what it’s used for, do they need to watch TV and movies in the room? What is the aspect and the warmth/cold that it endures? Make sure they’ve really considered light control and flexibility before purchase.

Ensure Privacy

With the majority of Australians living in urban areas and with neighbours close by, privacy is an important consideration.

If you can see through window coverings during the day, from inside at night, it will be the reverse, and people outside will be able to see straight in. So choosing the right coverings ensures a home remains private for your buyer.

Create Mood

The mood of a house is absolutely a function of the window dressings. Mood is influenced by many factors, including light, privacy and style – which can all be summed up in the right window treatment. Again, taking note of the pictures your buyer shows you is really important, and don’t forget to ask questions – what kind of mood do you see in this room? Peaceful, quiet… or fun, bright and active?

Deliver Thermal Comfort

Windows are essentially ‘holes’ in a home, so keeping the heat out in summer and the warmth in during winter is an important job for a home’s window coverings. They also help to reduce electricity bills.

Well-fitted, custom-made window coverings will deliver the highest level of thermal comfort, so make sure you bring this up when speaking to customers.

Add to Energy Efficiency

With Australians typically spending 41% of their household energy expenditure managing their home’s temperature, the right window coverings can save money, all year round.

Muffle Sound

Many people don’t consider the acoustic benefits of great window coverings.

A room with lots of hard surfaces that echoes, or hearing road noise from inside can be pretty unpleasant. But choosing the right window coverings can help dampen these sounds, so find out how noisy your buyer’s neighbourhood / family is.

Safety for Kids & Pets

Safety might not spring to mind when thinking about window coverings, but tangled cords pose a serious safety risk to children and pets. Most Australian households have either a child or a pet, or both, so safety is an important consideration. All modern window treatments comply with the latest child safety regulations, but make sure you mention this to buyers, find out if they have young children, and take appropriate action to minimise risks with their purchase.

We hope these tips have been helpful!

The Fashionline Team.

Let’s have a chat with a Fashionline Member!

harlequin logoHarlequin Blinds and Security was first established in the early 1990s. It started by manufacturing vertical drapes and security doors in the local Sunshine Coast area. Since then it has grown to become one of the Sunshine Coasts best known manufacturers of Internal and external Home Improvement Products. This was achieved by their aim of always putting the customer first.

Harlequin Blinds and Security is a proud Fashionline Group member. They feel that membership gives Harlequin Blinds and Security’s customers access to the quality, range and prices of a national company with the service, care and reliability of a local company – which we all know is true!

Harlequin manufacture and supply the most comprehensive range of home improvement products. With Blinds, Awnings, and Security Door products, their customers have access to a One Stop home improvement shop, and they have products to suit all budgets.

Owner, Marilyn Black is also an ambassador for Sunny Kids and an avid supporter of Boystown. With three children of her own these charities are close to her heart.

We spoke to Marilyn about market trends and her plans this year… Marilyn Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you find was your biggest mover over the summer season?

The Ziptrak Awning! It’s a great Awning System that customers LOVE, it is easy to use and has many advantages to a person’s outdoor living space!

ziptrack harlequin

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your best tip for our harsh Australian environment? (window furnishing wise)

Know what products are needed for our temperature and climate.  Where and when you need shade, air and light and how maximise your area to do that.

sloping shutters and ziptrack awning Harlequin Blinds

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us a little bit about your team?

We have a small but dedicated team. There are five who have been here from 4 to 17 years, and one has been in the industry for nearly 25 years, with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

What’s the best thing about your service? Is there anything that really sets you apart? 

We are local, and we manufacture a majority of our products on site.  We are readily available and have good knowledge of our products and how we can help a customer to ‘Complete the Vision’ to their home and office!

Any exciting plans for the rest of the year?

We are looking at expanding our premises and continuing our staff training and advancement.

Thanks Marilyn, we’ve enjoyed the chat!

You can get in touch with the team at Harlequin here: 

5/46 Enterprise St Kunda Park QLD

07 5476 9888

www.harlequinblindsandsecurity.com.au

 

Fashionline Member Profile!

Bush’s Blinds are a proud member of Fashionline Group, and have been a family operated business within the industry since 1937!

Over this time the business has expanded to become a leader in window furnishings in North Eastern Victoria.

Glenn and Nancy Bush are the current owners, and have been involved in the business for thirty years now.

Glenn said, “We have a great team, comprising of my daughter Hannah, myself and Nancy, our office manager Josie who handles the accounts. Sales on the road is Mike, Abid puts all the gear together ready for installing and Denis works together with Talay in the fitting team. The whole team provides a professional quality product and service to all clients.”

The staff at Bush’s have extensive experience in all types of window furnishings, including motorization of exterior and interior treatments.

“The biggest percentage improvement in sales so far this summer season would be the Roller Shutter market, as well as Motorised Blinds that work on timers,” Said Glenn.

“The Motorised Blinds are a great option for the warmer months because they can be set with timers or sensors to come down when peak heat intensity is reached, and then retract when the sun has gone away.”

Bush’s blinds believe in creating a culture that maintains commitment to continuous improvement and training, meaning that Bush’s is a progressive business that intends to be operating and expanding for many generations to come.

Bush’s are located in Shepparton, and specialise in Internal & External Blinds, Curtains and Motorisation. To read more visit http://www.bushsblinds.com.au/ or get in touch on (03) 5821 2688.

 

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.

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