High Point Furniture Market Spring 2018

 Revolution/STI Design Team seeing all their designs come to life in High Point!

Revolution/STI Design Team seeing all their designs come to life in High Point!

This Spring's 2018 Furniture Market was a great success for Revolution fabrics! All of our customers showcased some beautiful pieces of furniture. It's always exciting to see our fabrics applied and hear the positive reactions that come from our customers' customers!

Some of the new trends we saw at this season's market included:

- Faux fur (plush white, fleece look)

- Bold greens 

- Color stories of orange and red (ranging from bold, pumpkin oranges to deep reds)

- Novelty (pillows, accent chairs and ottomans with cats, dogs, birds and even llamas!)

- Bright colored pillows on a beige or white sofa

- Global 

*Check out the photos below of a small selection of all the amazing Revolution we saw at High Point!

Revolution Partners With Savvy Giving by Design

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Savvy Giving by Design was founded in 2014 by Susan Wintersteen, owner and principal designer of Savvy Interiors located in San Diego, California. The idea for Savvy Giving began when a young girl in Susan’s community was diagnosed with cancer. Since her interior design skills were far more impressive than her cooking skills, Susan offered to do a room makeover. Knowing that this young girl was about to endure months of grueling treatments, Susan thought a new bedroom would be a nice retreat for her and a means to a fresh start. In only a few short days, the community pulled together the funds to makeover the space and Susan worked with multiple subcontractors to complete the install.

The Savvy team works together to create a vision for each room. Depending on the needs of the room, this may involve selecting paint, flooring, furniture, bedding and fabric. Revolution Performance Fabrics learned about Savvy Giving after working with Savvy Interiors through their online fabric store, revolutionfabricsbytheyard.com, which provides cut yardage options to the trade. After hearing about the life changing work they were doing, they had to be involved! “At Revolution Fabrics we have always done our charitable giving locally in North Carolina, but we have been interested in teaming up with a national charity that aligns with our company values. Savvy Giving allows us to help people that need environmentally safe and sustainable textiles. What Susan and her affiliates are doing is truly amazing and we are so honored to be a part it,” says Sean Gibbons, CEO of Revolution Performance Fabrics. Revolution is proud to donate PFC chemical free fabrics to all Savvy Giving projects.

In a little over three years, Savvy Giving has transformed 36 spaces and counting. In 2018, six additional Savvy Giving chapters will be established to help children across the country. Each chapter is independent to their region and all donations stay local. Savvy Giving hopes to add more chapters every year by building a coalition of designers and raising awareness of their organization. To learn more about Savvy Giving or to donate, visit www.savvygivingbydesign.com.

Below: Watch the "Savvy Giving by Design: A Room to Heal" video to learn more!

Below: Last week, Revolution was a part of their very first Savvy Giving project! Sarah received a beautiful bedroom makeover that included a headboard upholstered in Revolution pattern, Romero.

 Sarah with her family and Susan Wintersteen, owner of Savvy Interiors & Savvy Giving

Sarah with her family and Susan Wintersteen, owner of Savvy Interiors & Savvy Giving

 Sarah loves her new bed!

Sarah loves her new bed!

 Revolution pattern, Romero

Revolution pattern, Romero

Scandinavian Country

This collection started with one original idea and piece of art. This artwork appealed to us because of the emerging trend of Scandinavian country. The artwork is also paying homage to the hot trend of use of decorative tile. We pulled out small patterns from the collage to be allovers:

 Scandinavian Artwork

Scandinavian Artwork

- allover flower

- wedding ring pattern

And did some classics to round it out:

- check

- toss paisley

Lifestyle, relaxed casual, farmhouse, country are other buzz words to describe this collection. Today we are naming the patterns... that sounds easy but it can be difficult. It can’t be a name already used.

This collection can work as a bedding group or furniture collection.

 Scandinavian Country inspired design in Revolution Plus!

Scandinavian Country inspired design in Revolution Plus!

2018 Design Bloggers Conference

When Revolution was created in February 2015 by STI (Specialty Textiles, Inc.), it was only available for sale to furniture manufacturers. That all changed in January 2017 when Revolution launched it's online store, revolutionfabricbytheyard.com. Revolution was so well received in the furniture retail market, that customers began asking for furniture only covered in Revolution! Now, anyone who wants a PFC chemical free, easy to clean fabric that is made in the United States, can purchase Revolution whenever they want.

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Another huge component of Revolution's online store is their trade program. Interior designers who join Revolution's trade program receive trade pricing and receive a complimentary Revolution designer swatch box set. Revolution is great for all designers, because "life happens" in every home, but it is really great for designers whose main clientele is families or like many of us, people who are redecorating on a budget!

Revolution Performance Fabrics attended and was a sponsor at this year's Designer Blog Conference in Los Angeles, California. The conference has taken place for over five years and now has close to 400 attendees! The conference is specifically focused on the interests of interior designers, design bloggers and anyone who is using the web and blogger networks to grow their brand. There are seminars and break out sessions over the course of three days that discuss best practices and innovations in social media, blogging, e-commerce, digital branding, book publishing and more.

As an exhibiting sponsor, Revolution had a booth where interior designers and all conference attendees could come by to learn more about the product and of course, see the fabric for themselves! Cheryl Luckett, owner of Dwell by Cheryl and Design Ambassador for Revolution, attended the conference, as well as Jill Harrill (Marketing Strategist) and Emily Harry (Brand Ambassador). The Revolution team had the chance to meet some great people from the design community and learned a lot too. Revolution looks forward to participating in next year's Design Bloggers Conference!

To learn more about the Design Blogger's Conference, visit https://design-bloggers-conference.com/

 2018 Design Bloggers Conference

2018 Design Bloggers Conference

 The Revolution Performance Fabrics exhibit booth! Designers were able to see, feel and test the cleaning ability of the fabric for themselves! 

The Revolution Performance Fabrics exhibit booth! Designers were able to see, feel and test the cleaning ability of the fabric for themselves! 

 Universal Furniture, a valued Revolution customer, also sponsored at the DBC and used a Revolution sofa in their seating area!

Universal Furniture, a valued Revolution customer, also sponsored at the DBC and used a Revolution sofa in their seating area!

 Revolution design ambassador, Cheryl Luckett, ready to share her experiences and knowledge of Revolution! To learn more about Cheryl, visit https://www.revolutionfabricsbytheyard.com/pages/design-ambassador   

Revolution design ambassador, Cheryl Luckett, ready to share her experiences and knowledge of Revolution! To learn more about Cheryl, visit https://www.revolutionfabricsbytheyard.com/pages/design-ambassador

 

 The Revolution team with the Savvy Giving team! Revolution is a proud new supporter of Savvy Giving.  Savvy Giving by Design™ is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide comfort, support, and healing to families with a child facing a medical crisis by transforming the interior spaces of their homes at no cost to them. Revolution looks forward to providing the fabric for the Savvy Giving children's rooms! To learn more about Savvy Giving, visit:   https://savvygivingbydesign.org/

The Revolution team with the Savvy Giving team! Revolution is a proud new supporter of Savvy Giving. Savvy Giving by Design™ is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide comfort, support, and healing to families with a child facing a medical crisis by transforming the interior spaces of their homes at no cost to them. Revolution looks forward to providing the fabric for the Savvy Giving children's rooms! To learn more about Savvy Giving, visit: https://savvygivingbydesign.org/

Plain and Simple

We weave a lot of plains and textures... I’m not sure how simple it is. It can be more difficult at times to come up with an awesome base cloth. 

First, it starts with the yarn. There are multiple yarn options:

- straight yarns... fine and coarse. The smaller yarns require more picks per inch.

- boucle yarns, fancy yarns... again be small or larger.

- chenille yarns... cut pile yarns in different sizes

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You can use these yarns solid, pick and pick or mixed.

Second, you have to decide what warp you’re going to make it on. Like most mills we have certain set ups to choose from:

- number of ends

- dobby or jacquard loom

- size and color of yarn

Third, you have to design the weave. For the dobby loom, we have 12 harnesses so the weave in the horizontal direction repeats in twelve ends or less. There are no limitations with a jacquard since you control each end.

Lastly, you put it all together into a ticket that has all the specifications on how to weave it.

- which warp

- which weave or pattern

- which filling yarns

- which colors for all

- how many picks

- what finish

I haven’t even talked about price point, testing, width, drape ability, hand look... it goes on.

And, with all this I’m still over simplifying... so, as I said in the beginning not so plain and simple!

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It Takes Two

 Photo: Brentwood Textiles on Precedent Furniture

Photo: Brentwood Textiles on Precedent Furniture

We love our partners! We got news yesterday that one of our partners was having better than expected success with one of our fabrics... they needed more FAST!

It is always exciting to see how our customers can take our fabric and turn it into a beautiful piece of furniture.

We are heading to Pre-Market next week in High Point, North Carolina to get a sneak peek at what our partners are working on.

We truly love what we do and our partners!

 Photo: MAYO FURNITURE

Photo: MAYO FURNITURE

 Photo: MAYO FURNITURE

Photo: MAYO FURNITURE

A Glimpse Into Training at STI

As we all know, employee training is an important part of running a safe and successful business. But, what does the training process look like at a textile mill? Most people don’t know that STI offers training for EVERY job on the mill floor. This is a great advantage because future employees can apply for a job knowing they are set up for success!

 Trina Henderson, HR Training Coordinator

Trina Henderson, HR Training Coordinator

Here at STI, HR Training Coordinator, Trina Henderson, proves hands-on-training is the winning ticket.

On Tuesdays, Trina checks on her trainees and their trainers. She attends seminars and classes that improve workplace communication and is currently learning more about forklift training. She wants to be confident that she understands the job she is asking the new employee to accomplish. Training to Trina is not just a job, but a passion. She cares about her trainee and wants them to be happy and safe while on the job. In the interview below, Trina gives more insight on what STI training entails.

Q: What motivated you to start working as a Training Coordinator at STI?

A: I have worked in manufacturing for twenty years which included training other employees. I have witnessed employees being shown things one time, asked to sign off saying they had been trained and expected to be able to do it. I feel like everyone learns differently and in different ways. One person may be able to do a job after seeing it done one time when another person may need to see it three times. I am passionate about making sure a person knows how to do a job and feels good about performing it before being put on a job alone.

Q: What types of job training does STI offer?

A: STI offers on the job training for each job. All training is done on 1st shift. I worked with the Department Heads and trainers to create training lists for each job. The Department Heads let me know when trainees are ready to be signed off.

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I work with Charles Christenbury, Director of Corporate Training from Cleveland Community College, Sandra Jenkins (HR Recruiter), Pat Queen (VP of Human Resources), Rick Hahn (VP of Manufacturing), John Kay (President) and the department heads from STI on the N.C. Customized Training Project. This project was laid out and approved in August 2017 and will last until 2020. This project provides classes for STI employees. I am currently working on setting up Staubli training for loom fixers and improving our forklift training. Also, I will attend OSHA classes in April and May.

Some of the classes STI offers:

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-American Dornier Class for loom fixers

-CPR/First Aid Class

-Cultural Diversity Class

-HR Law Class

-Supervisor Leadership Class

-Work place Spanish class for supervisors

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Q: What is your favorite department to train in?

A: Weaving. I love to look at the different patterns because I have experience in weaving.

Q: How long does the training of an employee take?

A: 3 days to 2 months

Q: Before working at STI, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

A: I worked in manufacturing for 20 years. I worked on the manufacturing floor doing different jobs including weaving, training people to weave, and as a supervisor.

Inspiring the Next Generation

The International Textile Alliance (ITA) is a non-profit business association that provides resources and opportunities to its members by promoting education, awareness, advocacy and technology within the textile industry. A key mission for ITA is to help grow and develop future leaders for the industry by creating opportunities for textile students from around the world.

The ITA Educational Foundation helps students find internships and provides them with resources that will help them advance their knowledge and career. Katherine Shoaf, Design Director at STI, is the Educational Foundation Committee Chair and helped to organize this year's tour. 

Every year, ITA hosts a three-day tour that gives the students an inside look at the textile industry from concept to consumer through visits to textile mills, design studios, upholstery manufacturers and printing facilities.

The students visited STI on the first day of their tour to get a firsthand look at a domestic textile mill! The students took a tour of all three plants and met with the design team to learn about their process. This was a great opportunity for STI to meet some future young professionals in the industry and encourage them to pursue a career in textiles!

 ITA Industry Tour Group! There were 22 students from schools across the country, such as: NC State, East Carolina University, Western Carolina, Savannah College of Art & Design, University of Georgia and Philadelphia University. Also pictured is Katherine  Shoaf  from STI, and Catherine Morsell and Carrie Purgason from ITA.

ITA Industry Tour Group! There were 22 students from schools across the country, such as: NC State, East Carolina University, Western Carolina, Savannah College of Art & Design, University of Georgia and Philadelphia University. Also pictured is Katherine Shoaf from STI, and Catherine Morsell and Carrie Purgason from ITA.

  Chris Dodds  and  Jacob Englert  explaining how the warping process works.

Chris Dodds and Jacob Englert explaining how the warping process works.

 Designer  Glen Read  sharing his experience on merchandising, how to put together a correlate package and where he finds inspiration!

Designer Glen Read sharing his experience on merchandising, how to put together a correlate package and where he finds inspiration!

 Brentwood Textiles designer,  Kathy Dotterer , sharing her experience and thoughts on textile design!

Brentwood Textiles designer, Kathy Dotterer, sharing her experience and thoughts on textile design!

  Jessica Dalton  leading her group through a tour of our new Plant 3!

Jessica Dalton leading her group through a tour of our new Plant 3!

 A group of students seeing firsthand how a loom works!

A group of students seeing firsthand how a loom works!

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Below: The students also visited Bennettsville Printing on their educational tour. Check out the photos below from Bennettsville!

Carolina Works!

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STI was recently contacted by local photographer, Tim Coffey, about participating in a photography project that celebrates North Carolina manufacturers. The project, called Carolina Works, features photos of the "people behind the product", because without them, there wouldn't be a product! 

Carolina Works is not limited to textile or furniture makers; the project features companies that make car parts, bottled water, decorative laminates, salad dressing and pickles... just to name a few!

Manufacturing is a rich part of the Tarheel state's history and we are proud to be a part of it. Check out the photos below of our awesome STI employees that participated in the Carolina Works project.

To learn more about Carolina Works and to view the full gallery of featured North Carolina manufacturers, visit their page: www.northcarolinaworks.blogspot.com or click here.

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STI Wins Industry of the Year!

The Cleveland County Chamber Awards Banquet recognizes and celebrates the achievements of businesses and individuals within the county. This year, STI was honored to receive the 'Industry of the Year' award! 

The Industry of the Year award is presented to the industry that has the greatest positive impact on the community. In order to be considered, you must submit an application that thoroughly explains and provides examples of how your company: positively impacts the community, is involved in the community, performs as a business within their industry and has a high standard of conduct. Sandra Jenkins (HR Generalist), Pat Queen (Vice Pres. of HR) and Jill Harrill (Mktg. Strategist) worked together to submit an application that showed how awesome STI is!

Check out photos below of STI celebrating at the Chamber Awards Banquet on January 25, 2018. 

  Above:  STI employees at the Cleveland County Chamber Awards Banquet! (left to right)  Sandra Jenkins, Pat Queen, John Kay, Matt Maples, Anderson Gibbons, Chris Dodds, Jacob Englert

Above: STI employees at the Cleveland County Chamber Awards Banquet! (left to right) Sandra Jenkins, Pat Queen, John Kay, Matt Maples, Anderson Gibbons, Chris Dodds, Jacob Englert

  Above:   John Kay , President of STI, accepts the Industry of the Year award from Tim Blackwell, owner of Personnel Services. 

Above: John Kay, President of STI, accepts the Industry of the Year award from Tim Blackwell, owner of Personnel Services. 

  Above:  STI wins Industry of the Year!

Above: STI wins Industry of the Year!

Above: (left to right) Chris Dodds and his wife search for diamonds!; Some of the STI team having fun at the table; the theme of this year's banquet was "fire and ice" as seen in the decorations!

STI Celebrates Major Expansion

  Mark Hovis , COO, cutting the ribbon!

Mark Hovis, COO, cutting the ribbon!

This past Tuesday, STI celebrated a milestone... a milestone not only for the company, but for the home furnishings industry. For years, the industry news outlets had to tell stories of manufacturing plants shutting their doors and people losing their jobs; but now, the story has changed. 

Due to the success and rapid growth of Revolution Performance Fabrics, STI began a 150,000 square foot plant expansion in January 2017. A year later, that expansion is complete and will take STI's production from 500,000 yards a week to 750,000 yards a week. 40 new looms will soon be running inside the plant, with 100 new employees operating them. STI's lead time for fabric orders will now be 4 - 6 weeks; a far cry from the 12 - 14 weeks it takes to receive Chinese goods.

How did STI persevere through the 2008 economic crisis and become the success it is today? Sean Gibbons, CEO, provides a simple yet strong answer, "it's because of our people." Those people proudly stood inside STI's new plant on Tuesday, while Sean Gibbons and John Kay, President, addressed the large crowd of friends, family, vendors, customers and news media.

Bill Watson (President of Cleveland County Chamber), Scott Neisler (Mayor of Kings Mountain) and Eddie Holbrook (Cleveland County Commissioner), also spoke at the event about the great economic impact STI has on their residing county and the state of North Carolina. 

If 2017 is an inclination of what 2018 has in store for STI, there are some great things ahead! 

*See below photos and videos from STI's Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

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Above: Sean Gibbons, CEO, speaks to the crowd about his family's history with King's Plush and the growth of STI. 

Above: John Kay, President, recognizes the people and organizations that helped STI achieve success over the many years it has been in operation. 

Above: A tour of the new plant! Created by Anderson Gibbons

Follow the Revolution

In 2004, the world was introduced to a platform that would forever change how we receive global news, communicate with friends, promote business, shop products and generally spend our "free time"  ... it was called thefacebook.com then, but now its simply 'Facebook.'

The list is seemingly limitless on how social media has and will continue to change the world. Since Facebook's creation at Harvard University in 2004, other social media platforms have spawned; some have flopped, some have found the same success as Facebook. Arguably, the most successful has been the photo sharing app, Instagram.

Instagram hit the social media world by storm in 2010. Instagram's biggest draw was that it allowed anyone with a camera to become their own "photographer"... users could apply a filter to their pictures and make it look artistic and fun in a few simple steps. Since it's creation in 2010, the app has grown into a multi-faceted platform that allows you to message, follow, like, send stories, etc. As is with any other technology platform, your success is driven by your ability to evolve and offer users "the next best thing". 

Revolution Performance Fabrics has a Facebook business page and an Instagram page. As our brand awareness has grown from overall marketing and advertising, our social media following has significantly increased. Currently, we have close to 700 followers on Facebook and over 2,000 followers on Instagram.

Our favorite and most engaging Facebook posts are typically videos and photos of completed Revolution projects that our customers have been kind enough to share with us. Since Instagram is primarily meant for sharing photos, we often post or re-post photos of Revolution fabrics or completed projects. The best is when our customers post Revolution on their page and we can re-post it! 

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @REVOLUTIONPERFORMANCEFABRICS!

Since there are 2.07 billion active users on Facebook and/or Instagram daily, it is safe to assume that if you are reading this blog you have an account on at least one of the two platforms. Here are some interesting facts about the social media sites you likely use every single day:

Facebook:

  • There are 1.15 billion mobile daily active users, an increase of 23 percent year-over-year
  • Age 25 to 34, at 29.7% of users, is the most common age demographic
  • Five new profiles are created every second
  • Facebook users are 76% female (out of 100% of all females) and 66% male (out of 100% of all males)
  • There are 83 million fake profiles
  • Photo uploads total 300 million per day
  • Average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes
  • Every 60 seconds on Facebook: 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded
  • 42% of marketers report that Facebook is critical or important to their business

Instagram:

  • Instagram has over 500 million active monthly users
  • Instagram users have shared over 40 billion photos to date and share an average of 95 million photos and videos per day
  • 80% of Instagram users come from outside of the U.S.
  • Instagram is used by 31% of American women and 24% of men
  • Instagram users “like” 4.2 billion posts per day
  • Instagram is used by 48.8%of brands—a number that is expected to rise to 70.7% by 2017
  • Top brands post 4.9 times per week on Instagram, an increase of more than 50% over 2015
  • 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post
 @RevolutionPerformanceFabrics best nine photos of 2017

@RevolutionPerformanceFabrics best nine photos of 2017

Below: Some of our favorite 2017 Instagram photos!

Below: Some of our favorite Facebook posts of 2017!