Today was opening day for Heimtextil 2011 (or “Heimtex”, as we call it) in Frankfurt, Germany. This is the largest trade fair in the world for home textile products of all kinds. Exhibitors and attendees come from all over the world, and many new products are introduced here.
We spent the entire morning and early afternoon in the window coverings hall. This is where suppliers and manufacturers of window treatments, including blinds, shades, shutters and draperies show materials and finished products. We met with many of our suppliers, looked at their latest innovations, and brainstormed about the new items we are currently developing for late 2011 introductions. Above are our friends from Almedahls, our favorite Swedish textile mill. We also had friendly exchanges with several of our competitors who also attended.
We spent time studying some great products that are currently only available in other parts of the world. I love to watch how products and color palettes evolve in Europe and Asia. Sometimes when we introduce a product from other countries they catch on immediately, but not always.
We have to consider the aesthetic trends, functional preferences, window types and budgets of the customers in our market, and are in the process of validating the recommendations we are making for new products to be added to the 3 Day Blinds line this year.