By David Gill
Atlanta-based Home Source International has put its pedal to the metal over the last few months.
Before the March New York Home Fashions Market, the company gained the license for Coca-Cola-branded beach towels, which it debuted during the market. At about the same time, Home Source also announced that it had received $8.25 million in funding from Cole Taylor Business Capital, an asset-based lending division of Cole Taylor Bank.
Proceeds from the funding facility from Cole Taylor Business Capital are being directed toward refinancing Home Source’s existing debt and to provide ongoing working capital. Keith Sorgeloos, Home Source’s president and CEO, said the facility “provides us with the wherewithal to fund our USA manufacturing facility and other strategic objectives moving forward.”
These actions are the latest for a company that, since the beginning of last year, has been moving to grow in both home textiles and in furniture.
Home Source swung a deal to purchase Shiner International, a manufacturer of furniture and lighting, in February 2012. Launched by Joe Manus, who stayed with Home Source after the acquisition as vice president of business development, Shiner produces eco-friendly seating, surface products, beds, sofas, couches and lighting.
Partly to accommodate this new piece of business, Home Source opened a plant in Marianna, Fla. Measuring 300,000 square feet, the facility makes Shiner furniture and lighting, and performs cut-and-sew operations for the textiles line. It was a necessity, the company said, for offering better servicing, improved lead times, faster turnarounds, smaller minimums and more flexible supply-chain logistics and replenishments to its customers in both the retail and hospitality sectors.
Over the past several years, Home Source has also been aggressive on the trade-show front. Last year, it opened a showroom in AmericasMart Atlanta and began showing at the events in the Dallas Market Center.
The Atlanta showroom has proven valuable to Home Source’s business, according to Sorgeloos. “We mainly see the high-end specialty stores in (Atlanta and Dallas), but we do get a decent pull from furniture buyers in Atlanta,” he said. The strategy of featuring its wares at all of these shows also makes sense for Home Source because the business from dot-com retailers and specialty stores lends itself to more localized markets, which cut down on retailers’ travel costs, he stated.
Geographically, the Atlanta shows also pull in retailers from the Caribbean, “where we do some pretty nice business,” Sorgeloos said.
The company has also found a show-space partner in Loloi Rugs. Home Source has been sharing space in Loloi’s showrooms in both High Point, N.C., and Las Vegas. For the High Point Market this past April, the company doubled its space in the Loloi showroom. In addition to these markets, Home Source has been an exhibitor at the New York International Gift Fair (now NY Now) for the past few years.
The Coca-Cola collection is designed with images from Coca-Cola advertisements. The towels feature a reverse yarn-dyed back for “an extra pop of color,” a Home Source statement said. They measure 40-by-70 inches and weigh 450 grams per square meter.
“It is the perfect fit for two key Atlanta-based companies to provide an exciting quality product to the market, thus allowing the many Coca-Cola consumers the opportunity to further enhance their collection of Coca-Cola products,” Sorgeloos said.
Home Source made its first splash in beach towels with its license with Condé Nast, the publishing company, which first reached the market in 2010. This line features beach towels with images of classic magazine covers from Condé Nast-owned magazines, including The New Yorker, Mademoiselle and Gourmet.
During the March market, Home Source expanded this line further with seven new designs. This brings the total number of designs in the line to 23.