Industry Updates - 2
Strata Futon Furniture Introduces New Carriage Line
Strata Furniture is introducing its new Carriage Line of futon frames at the World Market Center in Pavilion Space P6601-66. This new line will be unique to the futon industry in that they will be true wall huggers; in other words, they will not have to be moved away from the wall to be converted from sofa to bed and back. The Carriage Line will feature interchangeable bodies with five different arm styles and two exciting finishes as well as our easy, patented front-loading mechanism. Brian Donohoo, President of Strata Futon Furniture, said, “This line is in keeping with Strata Futon Furniture’s tradition of providing unique designs and quality craftsmanship. The goal of the new Carriage Line is to bring the characteristics from our high-end, finished-back collection to a new line of mid-price point wall hugger frames.”
White Lotus Turns 25
On Earth Day 2005, White Lotus Home of New Brunswick, N.J., began its 25th year in business. Since 1981, White Lotus has been handcrafting natural-fiber mattresses, pillows and accessories. “Our products are found in massage schools, homes and offices across the country, futon furniture stores, the internet, and Whole Foods’ new flagship store in Austin, Texas,” said owner Theodore Casparian.
“What sets White Lotus apart is that for 25 years, each and every mattress has been made entirely by hand,” Casparian said. He claims, “I can put a futon crafter in a room with a natural fabric mattress case, a bale of cotton, a needle, some thread, and just her two hands, and she will come out with a 100 percent handmade mattress that is more comfortable, more supportive, will not poison the earth or the sleeper and costs less than $300.”
White Lotus also sells home furnishings crafted by other companies and ensures that they, too, embody the standards of quality, ecological awareness and efficiency that are demanded by the environmentally conscious.
White Lotus offers many beautiful cover fabrics. Covers are sewn to order in
the New Brunswick workshop, or the White Lotus artisans can take a customer’s own
fabric and easily make the couch match their existing decor.
New August Lotz Team to Debut at WMC
August Lotz will show at the Futon Expo in Las Vegas this July in space P 6609-82. Among the popular and market-proven products, there will be some new faces, a new owner, new management and an exciting new product line: The Metropolitan Collection, which features fashionable, contemporary futon furniture and accessories. There are promises of additional new products in the near future.
The company’s parent, Source Cut Industries of Osseo, Wisconsin, is a dimension part and contract futon furniture manufacturer. “We have one of the best QC and customer service programs in the futon industry,” said Fayne Peck, marketing specialist. “Careful, thoughtful product design and customer satisfaction are priorities at the new August Lotz, and with our background of managing a large and successful wood products business, the new team has the insight and experience to produce and distribute both futon frames and mattresses,” he said.
Among the fresh new faces will be futon industry veteran Pete Dodge, who has been drafted as design consultant.
Viking Industries Showcases the Birch Bark Log Futon Frame
The Birch Log Futon Frame is a great alternative to the log futon frames currently on the market. This real, natural log futon frame comes with the white and black bark still on the logs and is manufactured in the standard sizes: Queen; Full; Loveseat; and Chair. To compliment the futon frames, Viking has paired them with coffee tables and end tables with birch legs. Viking has also mimicked the pine Starburst bed with the birch log style . Quantities of the Birch futon frame and bed are limited.
Besides the birch furniture, Viking is also introducing their new line of game room furniture. Viking has been able to develop futon furniture for every room of the cabin or home. Visit Viking Industries in Las Vegas at World Market Center Pavilions P6601-118.
Set designer gives futon a starring role
Futons are not only convenient for people who want an easy conversion between sitting and sleeping surface. They’re also convenient for set designers who want that same transition.
Ruth Neeman, a set designer in Boston, Mass., chose a tri-fold futon for the center stage in “Three Days of Rain,” a Pulitzer Prize-finalist play about adult children’s understanding of their parents.
Neeman and the play’s director liked the flexibility of the futon. “The futon worked well for a sofa and a double bed with a few seconds’ blackout transition [between scenes],” Neeman said. She also liked the unadorned modernity of the futon design. “The play takes place in the same studio apartment in NYC in 1995 and in the early sixties. The heroes are young architects, so the decor needed to be inexpensive but designer-oriented,” she said. “I wanted the very simple, no-arms model that would be believable as an early example [of a futon sofa].”
Ruth Neeman has been designing sets for 15 years. You can see more of her work at www.setbyruthneeman.com.
New NCBI President
Alan Posner, vice president of sales and marketing for Jones Fiber Products in Memphis, was elected president of the National Cotton Batting Institute at the organization’s annual membership meeting in Raleigh, N.C.
Posner succeeds Tony Wolf, president of Wolf Corporation, Ft. Wayne, Ind., who served two terms as NCBI president and will serve as an ex-officio member of the board for the 2005-06 year.
Richard Ayers of Jones Companies, Ltd., Humboldt, Tenn., was elected vice president, and Jim Blasius, InCide Technologies, Inc., Phoenix, Ariz., was re-elected treasurer.
Jay Stolfi, president of Rose Mill Company, East Hartford, Conn., was elected to a three-year term on the NCBI Board succeeding Ayers. Other board members for the 2005-06 year are Charles Bing, SynCot Fibers, Inc., Cramerton, N.C.; Bruce Brazelle, Leigh Fibers, Inc., Spartanburg, S.C.; Doug Dyer, Searles Valley Minerals, Overland Park, Kan.; Robert J. Naboicheck, Gold Bond Mattress Co., Hartford, Conn.; and Greg Windsperger, Airtex Industries, Inc., Cokato, Minn.
Posner began his 30-year career in the cotton batting industry as vice president of operations for Earle of Arkansas, a position he held from 1976-95. He was general manager of Crain Industries in 1996-97 and plant manager for Foamex in 1998-99 before joining Jones Fiber in 1999.