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Summer Classics stays ahead with fabric choices

Summer Classics attributes its continuing success in the outdoor furniture industry in large part to its ability to stay on the cutting edge of fabrics.

"With respect to our fabrics, we follow the fashion industry as opposed to looking at what other outdoor furniture companies are doing," said Hillary Mickleboro a designer for Summer Classics. "I think that's how we've managed to stay ahead of others and be successful with our fabrics."

Summer Classics introduced more than 150 fabrics along with its seven new lines for 2011. Close, "hands-on work" with fabric mills ensures that the line contains fabrics that allow the customer, "to play around with their outdoor fabrics, while still maintaining the desired 'flow' from the inside of their home to their outdoor spaces," Mickleboro said.

"Our fabrics stand apart in the marketplace because of their sophistication, variety and exclusivity to the Summer Classics customer," said Angela Paumen, general manager of Summer Classics' cushion factory. "We have introduced a new gray and gold fabric story that is fresh and exciting and very prevalent in the fashion industry, but we also merged into new shades of blue and green and completed a yellow color story that gives our fabric line even more depth."

Summer Classics Owner and President Bew White takes a very involved approach when selecting new fabrics and also helps keep the customer current by adding to his previous fabric stories. White takes into account the opinions of not only the designers, but the sales staff and those in charge of making sure the customer receives a quality product that well-represents the Summer Classics reputation for quality and selection.

"This year, we actually took the process a step further," White said. "We worked closely with Glen Raven and Bella-Dura to design our own fabrics for 2011."

White said he finds inspiration in a variety of places. "This process actually began when I saw a fabric with a weave that I wanted to emulate. Then I worked closely with my designers from the fabric industry to attempt to recreate that look," he said. The process led to the development of more than 40 fabrics that were added to the already vast collection of fabrics that are exclusive to Summer Classics.

"All of the fabrics for our new Equestrian line were designed internally, and are exclusive to Summer Classics," White said.

This combination of staying on-trend, while continuing to offer return customers new choices, no doubt contributes to Summer Classics' success in the marketplace.

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