Supreme Foam turns focus to outdoor cushions
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, July 1, 2009
When brothers Brian and Trela Hendrix, owners of Supreme Foam Inc., first attended the Chicago Casual Market in 2007,they were amazed to see many of the cushions being displayed were ill-fitting, uncomfortable, and in some case, not suitable for outdoor use.
From left, Trela Hendrix. T.R. Hendrix, Jeannie Bethel and Brian Hendrix.
As well-respected cushion suppliers to the indoor upholstery industry for more than 20 years, the brothers at Supreme Foam were accustomed to manufacturing cushions to extremely exacting standards. They knew they could bring much knowledge and expertise to the casual cushion market.
Supreme first became involved in the outdoor cushion market in 2006, when the company was asked to provide outdoor cushions to several existing customers. Before jumping into the market, they carefully studied the materials currently being used. They saw tremendous room for improvement, and this led them to develop several products that would perform better than others on the market.
In 2007, they felt they were ready to enter the outdoor market in significant way, and they created the Supreme Outdoor division. They began calling on a number of outdoor manufacturers, and have found the market to be very receptive.
“Once we showed that we could improve our customer’s cushion design, ship a better quality cushion with better materials, and do it competitively, it has been easy to open doors in the casual industry,” said Trela Hendrix, vice president of manufacturing.
“Our customers have told us that they knew they needed to step-up their focus on cushions, because this often drives the sale of frames,” said Brian Hendrix, VP of sales. “We address this need, and it is our goal to never let our customers lose a sale because of comfort or quality.”
To that end, the company operates its 85,000-sq.-ft. factory near High Point, N.C., where it is ideally located to add highly skilled workers to meet the demands of seasonal business. For some of its customers, Supreme ships only cushion inserts, while others require a turn-key finished cushion, including the cut and sew of the covers. Even in the height of the season, lead times are typically no more than two weeks. In addition, the company is accustomed to working with small runs of numerous SKUs, and can drop-ship directly to consumers if necessary.
Completing the Supreme Outdoor team is Jeannie Bethel, who serves as national sales manager for the Supreme Outdoor division. She brings more than 18 years experience in the casual specialty industry.
“Before we joined forces, I was actually one of Supreme’s first outdoor customers, and I experienced their quality and professionalism first-hand,” Bethel said. “Coming from the manufacturing side, I understand that our customers want to concentrate on selling furniture, not dealing with cushion issues. It is my priority to make partnering with Supreme a seamless and easy process.”
Founded in 1988 by TR Hendrix, Supreme Foam is a family business offering more than 85 years of combined experience. The company enjoys many long-term partnerships with prestigious and renowned furniture brands for both indoor and outdoor, and it constantly strives to provide customer service that exceeds expectations. The company also is installing state-of-the-art fabric inventory and work-flow computerized systems to allow customers immediate access to the status of all in-stock fabrics and jobs in progress.
For more information, contact Brian Hendrix at 336-434-4076, ext. 24 or via e-mail at email@example.com
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