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Snapshot: Kids’ commodities

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In 2003 Pottery Barn Kids approached Susan Shields of Airtex Design Group to produce a unique signature children’s chair. The product became the Anywhere Chair, a timeless product, which became the signature of the Pottery Barn Kids brand. “We were able to design, source and sell this product at $99 (opening price point, retail),” Airtex’s Mike Miller says. “It has remained that way for 12 years.”

The success of the Anywhere Chair led to another project with Pottery Barn Kids in 2007—the redesign of its roman shades. The company asked Airtex Design to design a roman shade that is totally cordless, due to the Consumer Protection Agency pushing back on the sale of existing corded shades, which were discovered to be a strangulation risk for children. “We came up with an idea, sent it to our factory in China, and they came up with the mechanism to make it work, which they patented,” Shields says. “Today we are the only ones producing these roman shades for Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware Baby and Child. We have other retailers asking us to provide the product to them, and we’re working with other retailers to roll it out more. It’s a big program—you have to really invest as a retailer to make it work.”

Recently Airtex Design Group won outstanding vendor for years of service from Williams-Sonoma Inc. (Pottery Barn).

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