When hotel, motel, and resort buyers coordinate interior decor it can require purchasing hundreds of lampshades for rooms, lobbies, dining rooms and common areas as well as event and business facilities. This often involves customizing the lampshades in size, shape, or color to match aesthetics, whether for remodels, grand openings, or replacing any that become damaged or soiled throughout the year.
Now to save up to 50% on custom lampshades, instead of ordering from overseas manufacturers or distributors, a growing number of astute hospitality buyers are finding a better alternative: purchasing direct from a quality domestic resource online. This is cutting out the middleman, beating overseas costs, and speeding delivery by months.
To ensure the order is ready when needed, hospitality buyers are doing their homework and opting to work with an American company large enough to quickly produce hundreds of custom lampshades in time to replace needed stock or meet operational deadlines.
“We needed custom lampshades tailored to our handmade lamps in time for our grand opening, and got them at a significant savings,” says Dennis Connolly, Director of Operations for Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club in Belize. The resort is part of Hilton’s global Curio Collection of distinctive four and five star hotels that offer travelers local discovery and authentic experiences.
Until recently, hospitality buyers have typically ordered from a manufacturer in China and waited up to six months for delivery, which can interfere with operational deadlines. When dealing with overseas suppliers, questionable quality – along with long lead times to correct any mistakes – also makes this approach less desirable.
“We could not wait for a container to arrive from East Asia,” says Connolly. “It would take too long and if there were any mistakes or quality issues, it would be even more problematic.”
While ordering through an aggregator is an option, this entails paying a large middleman markup, which can double the wholesale cost. Even when aggregators hold ample inventory, it does not always meet hotel or motel requirements.
Custom On Demand
When Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club was preparing for its grand opening, everything had to be flawless, even its custom lampshades matched to handmade lamps crafted from a local hardwood.
“We wanted the shades to have a tropical, British colonial look, but with a contemporary feel as well so they had to be custom,” says Connolly.
When Connolly purchased about 150 custom lampshades for the resort’s rooms, he turned to Jack of All Shades, an Alabama based resource for custom hardback lampshades for 30 years that specializes in online sales for the hospitality industry.
The company offers a wide range of hardback lampshade options, which run the gamut in shape (round, square, oval, rectangle, drums, pendant, and half round or square); in size (from small chandelier type to 72” oversized); and in color (with a palette of over 130). It also offers a number of fabrics (linen, silk, burlap, weave, poly cotton, faux leather, leather laced or washable/easy to clean) as well as lampshade fitter types.
“The website is very simple to use,” says Connolly. “You can design your lampshade on the website, get expert help by phone if desired, and order the quantities you need.”
Connolly says the custom lampshades perfectly match the handmade lamps and arrived in time for the resort’s grand opening.
“We were able to achieve the look we wanted with large, barrel-shaped shades along with a natural, sand colored, cotton fabric that not only met our color requirements but also would wear well,” says Connolly.
To provide a contemporary feel as well, the shades also sport a special handmade “rolled edge” that eliminates the need for trim. Instead of traditional 1/2” trim, the fabric forms the finished edge of the shades for a clean look that is becoming a trend in venues aiming for a modern vibe.
In order to ensure that the shades work properly with every lamp, the lampshade company also offers a complete range of fitting types. This includes: spider and washer with harp, the most common type of fitting for table and floor lampshades; uno, usually found on smaller U.S. table lamps; euro, a European style fitting used with smaller table lamps; and clip-on, often used with accent lamps and chandeliers or Edison bulbs.
“In the future, we will probably order custom lampshades for public areas as well as our rooms,” concludes Connolly. “Our interior designer was very happy with how well the shades turned out.”
For more info, call 866-231-JACK (5225); email firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.jackofallshades.com; write to Jack of All Shades at 521 Baltimore Ave., Albertville, Alabama 35950.