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Ramos Joins Bella-Dura

By Home Furnishings Business in Executive Changes on May 31, 2013

MJ Ramos has joined the merchandising and design team of fabric supplier Bella-Dura.

With more than 20 years of expertise in the in the manufacturing and distribution of luxury textiles and trimmings, Ramos brings her experience, eye, and design talent to the position.

"MJ is an exceptionally talented individual with an incredible eye and intuition for design," said Irwin Gasner, Bella-Dura/Wearbest CEO. "Her past collaborations have produced many of the best-selling fabrics and trim in production today. We are honored and thrilled to have her on our team.  We are already planning some amazing things."

Ramos began her career with Sunbury Textiles Mills and later created the Highland Court brand, a luxury division of an international wholesaler.

"I specialize in working with textile manufacturers, trimming mills, wholesale distributors and private companies around the world. My passion is to bring these companies to 'the next level' in their business by creating adding new ranges of decorative products, new collections and color stories," Ramos said. "I am beyond excited to start working with Bella-Dura. Not only is it an amazing fabric, its colors are limitless and vibrant (almost unheard of in the performance category) and its applications are vast. The sky is the limit with Bella-Dura."

Berkshire Hathaway Buys The Roanoke Times

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is adding another Virginia newspaper to its steadily growing list of print media properties.

The Omaha, Neb.-based company said Thursday that its BH Media Group subsidiary will acquire The Roanoke Times from Norfolk-based Landmark Media Enterprises. The sale is effective today.

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March Furniture Orders Down in March

Orders for home furnishings dropped 1 percent in March to $2.08 billion compared with a year ago, according to a monthly report released Thursday by Smith Leonard PLLC, a financial services company based in High Point.

Orders were up 4.8 percent from $1.99 billion in February.

By comparison, retail furniture sales in April were up 3.9 percent from a year ago at $8.18 billion, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

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Bob Mills Furniture to Open New Store, Warehouse

Bob Mills Furniture has decided to open both a retail showroom and a warehouse in the former RoomStore Furniture building at 5400 Franklin Ave. that the Oklahoma City-based company acquired late last year, a spokesman confirmed in a phone interview.

In December, COO Bryan Dyson said Bob Mills Furniture continued to weigh its options.

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Surya Moves, Expands Las Vegas Showroom

By Home Furnishings Business in Rugs on May 30, 2013

Rug and decorative accessories supplier Surya has expanded its showroom at the Las Vegas Market by 400 percent.

The new showroom will be moved from the current showroom in building B into a 30,447-square-foot space in Building C. The space is C400.

"International Market Centers is delighted to support this significant expansion and line extension in Las Vegas," said Bob Maricich, CEO of IMC. "A long-time partner in both Las Vegas and Highpoint, Surya has built a dynamic and influential brand in the home décor industry, and their prominent position on C4 serves to anchor the launch of this new floor of leading home décor suppliers. We look forward to partnering with Surya to expand and strengthen their reach in the Western United States now and in the future."

Satya Tiwari, president of Surya, said the company is excited to be an important part of the market center's vision for creating the fourth floor of the C Building into a home decor shopping destination.

"Through this move, we will be able to create an exciting venue to share Surya's full range of offerings with our West Coast customers," Tiwari said. "The additional space also affords us the opportunity to utilize certain areas of the space to showcase innovative new concepts to merchandise and display a diverse range of home decor products. We know that time is often limited for Market visitors and this transition to Building C's 4th floor brings us in close proximity with several of our customers' other key suppliers - saving them valuable time. Our ultimate goal is to offer a comprehensive shopping experience for our customers; providing both a complete home accessory resource and concepts for impactful retail merchandising and display."

Surya will offer a number of special events, meals and cocktails throughout the market giving showroom visitors a place to "explore the latest design trends and product introductions but also a place to relax, recharge and connect with others in the industry," Tiwari said.

The Las Vegas Market runs July 29-Aug. 2.

AHFA Awards 6 Scholarships

By Home Furnishings Business in Community/Charitable Support on May 30, 2013

The Suppliers Division of the American Home Furnishings Alliance has awarded six $2,000 scholarships to students who are children of AHFA member company employees.

The scholarships are presented annually by AHFA's Suppliers Division, which supports the program with an annual golf tournament. The Suppliers Division has more than 150 members, all producers of products and services targeted for the residential furniture manufacturing industry. Division members launched the scholarship program 11 years ago and built the fund so that six awards could be presented each year. 

The 2013 recipients are: Austin D. Daniels, son of Kevin R. Daniels, who is employed by Flexsteel Inds.; Jeffrey L. Jones, III, son of Deborah A. Jones, who is employed by England Inc.; Kelsey J. Workman, daughter of Glenn T. Workman, who is employed by Bassett Furniture; Megan E. Underwood, daughter of Harry L. Underwood, who is employed by Stanley Furniture Co.; Nicole B. Smith, daughter of Jennifer L. Smith, who is employed by Bassett Furniture Warehouse; and Kaitlyn P. Crews, daughter of David E. Bryan, who is employed by Ashley Furniture Co.   

All students age 21 or younger who are enrolled in or planning to enroll in a four-year college or university, a junior or community college or a vocational or technical school are eligible to apply if they have a parent who works for an AHFA member company. The one-year scholarships are based on financial need and merit of the student.

The Suppliers Division Scholarship Golf Tournament is held each June in North Carolina. This year's event is June 25 at Lake Hickory Country Club in Hickory, N.C. Tournament registration is $500 per foursome or $150 per player. June 14 is the deadline for registering to play. Hole sponsorships remain available.

E-mail Andy Counts for information on sponsorships or to register to play.           

ICFA Announces Apollo Award Finalists

By Home Furnishings Business in Casual Furniture on May 30, 2013

The International Casual Furnishings Association has named the finalists for the 2013 Apollo Awards. The program recognizes retail excellence in the sales and marketing of outdoor furnishings.

Finalists must demonstrate outstanding accomplishments and a commitment to customer service. The ICFA membership will vote via an online ballot for a winner in each of two categories later this summer.

Finalists will be honored and the winners announced at the ICFA Awards Gala Sept. 19, during the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market in Chicago.   


Finalists in the 2013 competition include:


Single Store Category

Kolo Collection, Atlanta

Outdoor Elegance, La Verne, Calif.

Seasons Four, Lexington, Mass.

Sunnyland Furniture, Dallas

Village Green, Rockford, Ill.


Multi-Store Category

ABSCO Fireplace & Patio, Birmingham, Ala.

Patios Plus, Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Outside in Style, Austin, Texas

Stauffers of Kissel Hill, Lititz, Pa.

Yard Art Patio & Fireplace, Irving, Texas

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