Patio & Hearth Blog

from Patio and Hearth Products Report

Leave a comment

Majestic Brand Re-Launch at Hearth & Home Technologies Brings Numerous Benefits

As a holding entity for multiple iconic brands, Hearth & Home Technologies (HHT), Lakeville, Minnesota, values its long-held reputation among industry dealers and wholesalers. A re-launch of the company’s Majestic Brand is not so much a fix as it is an opportunity to make improvements.

With a team effort led by V.P. Berger, president of HHT, the benefits thus far have been numerous, and stakeholders are pleased with the progress. Patio & Hearth Products Report (P&HPR) sat down with Berger to talk about the specifics of the brand re-launch and what it means for customers.

Patio & Hearth Products Report (P&HPR): How does the Majestic Brand re-launching benefit hearth retailers in the United States and Canada?



V.P. Berger, president, Hearth & Home Technologies, Lakeville, Minnesota: Our areas of focus to help retailers are on products, sales tools, and the value chain. The largest area of focus is on products. Majestic products are now manufactured in our award winning facilities in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and Lake City, Minnesota, which means that retailers will benefit with proven platforms, lean manufacturing capabilities, and the quality they expect from all HHT brands.

In addition to improving the product line, we have also introduced new marketing and sales tools for each of the products. We also believe that shifting Majestic to exclusively wholesale distribution to service dealers will ultimately benefit everyone. It demonstrates our commitment to the wholesale partners, provides them with opportunities to grow their business, while also providing dealers with the tools and services they need to grow their businesses. Dealers will get timely delivery and great service with a proven and capable wholesale partner and distribution network.


Echelon II

P&HPR: What Majestic products are particularly noteworthy in terms of product features and consumer demand?

Berger: We are close to completing a 100% re-launch of the entire Majestic brand which involves a full line of products that deliver the quality and reliability that our customers expect. There is a strong consumer demand for all gas direct vent, inserts and wood products across modern and traditional fireplaces. The new Majestic lineup spreads across all categories with enhanced feature sets that are going to excite customers.

Starting with the recent Quartz (pictured, top left), it provides excellent flexibility for not only consumers, dealers, and customers, but also builders who are looking for a great traditional fireplace or a modern look. The Echelon II is a new linear gas fireplace available in several single-sided and see-through sizes. It has many options for customization, so it hits the sweet spot for consumers looking for a high-end, nearly custom contemporary fireplace, and we are continuing to see excellent growth in this category. The Marquis II is a beautiful gas fireplace with traditional styling. It meets the demand from consumers who want the ambiance of a masonry fireplace, realistic split logs, and all with the convenience of gas.

We are excited about not just one product category, but also the entire product line as we re-launch the entire product line over the next six months.


Marquis II

P&HPR: How is HHT working with specialty retailers, dealers, and wholesalers to accomplish the re-launch of the brand so far?

Berger: It starts with a comprehensive national distribution strategy, and that is what we have done here. We are ensuring customers that their quality, and on-time delivery that they expect, will remain unchanged and uninterrupted. Within 48 hours of announcing this shift, all customers of the Majestic Brand were contacted, and the distribution strategy was explained for the Majestic Brand to service dealers and consumers and how it will benefit all of us.

We have the utmost confidence in our wholesalers to execute this distribution strategy, and ensure that they get the best quality, delivery, and cost as we do it. We are going to equip our wholesalers with the tools necessary to make sure that they are confident and ready to service the dealers in their markets.

P&HPR: What will be happening during the transition period of Sept 2016 and Jan 2017?

Berger: Over the next few months, we are going to work closely with our dealers and wholesalers to ensure that the dealers are informed correctly on who they can buy from, and make sure that they are effectively and efficiently transitioned to a new wholesale partner. We want to ensure that we are maintaining these relationships with the Majestic brand. These hearth retailers will still see the same quality they have come to expect, and we believe they will actually get better service from our wholesale partners who have been committed to us for years and know the brand so well.

P&HPR: What has been the feedback from hearth dealers about this new branding strategy?

Berger: The feedback has been resoundingly positive. We actually announced the brand strategy change back in October of 2015, and that was a comprehensive re-launch of the Majestic brand going back to its heritage of direct vent, gas, and wood burning fireplaces.

Feedback on our distribution has been good across the board. Our wholesale partners appreciate the commitment that we have made to them to help grow their business, and our dealers appreciate the transparency and understand it based on our core strategy. We have assured them that they will continue to receive quality Majestic products in a timely manner, and I think we are all excited about the future of the Majestic brand as we take this step together.









Leave a comment

Galaxy Outdoor Preps November Debut for Enterprise Island


2016 GX Evo Bar Height Table Program (Finished)

LAS VEGAS – The Enterprise Dining / Cooking / Bar manages to combine several things that are already great on their own: a cooking/grill /griddle space where the chef cooks your food right in front of you, a place to seat 6 of your friends or family (optional bar stools counter or bar height), with built-in storage space as well as a built-in umbrella sleeve, (optional 9 ft. tilt umbrella).


2016 GX Evo Bar Table Program  (Finished)

In the heart of the structure is the EVO With its circular flattop cooking surface. EVO lets users prepare virtually any cuisine from any angle. By cooking foods directly on the cook surface, chefs can sear, sauté, grill, toast and stir-fry.

Galaxy Outdoor officials say that “bringing people together around food is our passion. It’s also what inspired us to design and build the most versatile Island/Grill that lets people share the joy of cooking. The Enterprise having a round sitting bar, and the EVO with its circular flattop cooking surface, allows everyone to interact with the chef.”


Counter Table LP Rendering (Front)

The Evo Affinity 30G Cooktop was built to be the centerpiece of the design kitchen. With precise temperature control across dual gas burners and a highly capable cooking surface, the Affinity 30G is the perfect stage to entertain large or small parties. Owners can round up the neighbors and take the party outside to make breakfast, lunch or dinner, but most of all have fun with friends and family.

The new Enterprise Island comes in 36” high counter as well as 42” bar height. Included in the Package is the EVO Grill and S/S Double Doors. Options include Galaxy’s USA made counter or Bar height bar stools, Sunbrella 9’ tilt Umbrella, and LED counter and under bar lighting. It can be ordered totally finished or unfinished.


Counter Table LP Rendering (Night)

Officials at Galaxy plan to start delivery by the first of November 2016. Dealer displays will have as standard equipmentw; heels, gas/electric, LED lighting, and bar stools and umbrella. For Dealers Only, free shipping is offered for display units with dealer margins of 35% plus.

Leave a comment

Momentum Continues to Build at The Fireplace Door Guy

1For more than a quarter century, The Fireplace Door Guy has been providing high quality fireplace doors, freestanding screens, and gas log sets manufactured in the United States. The California-based company has come a long way from its humble beginnings in a garage workshop, and hard work has paid off.

5Now with widely expanded manufacturing capability, Danny Vice, owner of The Fireplace Door Guy, is able to make his wares with even more speed and efficiency—all while delivering year-round and across the country.

2 “We begin with an in-home consultation for each customer to take measurements and choose a design that suits their home,” says Vice. “Once we have all of the specs, we begin the process of handcrafting their fireplace door out of American-made steel. When the door is completed, it is hand painted in an oil-rubbed bronze, black, or grey color.”

3Most other manufacturers take about four to eight weeks to make one customer’s door, but Vice reports that, “Our turn around time is two to three weeks. Depending on the size of the customer’s fireplace, our doors weigh 80 to 100 pounds of solid steel. Our fireplace doors also come with a lifetime guarantee.”


For dealers hoping to capitalize on a customer base that craves customization, products from The Fireplace Door Guy are all hand built, customized one at a time to each customer’s individually chosen design requests. These customers want something made especially and specifically for them, either to fit a uniquely-shaped fireplace or firebox, or something that complements their style and tastes.

4Rustic and modern fireplace doors are doing well these days, and Vice also recently added a new line of modern mantels to complete the look with the modern fireplace doors. “Each of our fireplace doors are handcrafted to the individual customer,” explains Vice. “Customers are also able to create their unique design. We have even had inspiration come from a favorite rug or curtains. It is important to emphasize quality, and that our fireplace doors come from American-made steel. That sets us apart from other dealers.”

Leave a comment

Caliber Culinary Corner + Featured Caliber Dealer

In this edition of Caliber Culinary Corner, learn how to grill zucchini on any of the Caliber grills, see why Sam loves the Caliber Pro Kamado, tour the Caliber Dealer featured this month (Albano Appliances, NY) and see MODE’s new showroom through the recent NKBA So Cal Chapter event this month.


Caliber Featured Dealer of the Month – Albano Appliances, New York, NY

Albano Appliances is the home of the famed architect, David Rockwell and they have done very well featuring the Rockwell by Caliber Social Grill front and center in their store.  Pictured above in the Albano showroom is owner Fred Albano with business partner and sales manager Michael DiNapoli.


Albano Appliances was the first appliance dealer on the East Coast to have a professional chef on staff and is a big part of their continuing education program.  See Chef Jehan in this video talk about cooking rotisserie chicken on the Caliber Pro Kamado Charcoal Grill/Smoker.


Leave a comment

Homecrest 2017 Introductions Set for Display at ICFA Preview Show

Homecrest is excited to showcase its 2017 introductions at the ICFA Preview Show product launch. For 2017 we have expanded the Elements Dining collection into an especially comfortable and transitional Deep Seating collection. We also are excited to unveil two new low maintenance Air collections: Elements Air and Grace Air building upon the success of Airo2. To enhance these new conversation seating collections and with the popularity of our fire tables, Homecrest is launching new offering of rectangular fire pits. The new fire pits can be found in both Mode and Aurora Natural Series. We are also expanded the top offering of our Valero fire tables in the Timber texture. In Cushion, Sling and Woven, we are delighted to introduce Emory, where gorgeous artisanal styling meets the rugged outdoors. We invite you to view our 2017 catalog here.

Elements Deep Seating & Aurora Stonegate Rectangular Fire Pit (shown below)

Like its sister sling collection, Elements Deep Seating features clean lines and a gently rounded arm design, creating a warm and welcoming transitional lounging collection. Featuring Homecrest’s blissfully comfortable DreamCore™ cushions, Elements Deep Seating combines exceptional comfort and outstanding weather-resistance with elegant simplicity to create a space that is harmonious and inviting. Elements deep seating in available in 100’s of gorgeous outdoor fabrics and all frame finishes and includes a sofa, loveseat, chat or club chair and swivel rocker chat chair. Elements Deep Seating coordinates with Elements Air and Elements Sling Dining.

Be sure to check out our new trend setting Aurora Natural Series Rectangular fire pits with our Stonegate tops. Stonegate tops are offered in three color ways and available in 32″ x 52″ and 36″ x 60″. Aurora Natural Series rectangular fire pits are available in 19-inch coffee and 24.5-inch chat table heights with a powerful 60,000 BTU burner, the amazing heat will extend any outdoor season while creating an attractive atmosphere of relaxation and conversation. Aurora fire pits are extremely durable and customizable. Select from a variety of frame finishes and top textures and colors for an individual look. All Homecrest fire tables come standard with top quality reflective fire jewelry available in several color options.


Elements Air & Aurora Timber Rectangular Fire Pit (shown below)

Building upon the platform of the unique Homecrest Airo2 collection, we are delighted to introduce Elements Air by Homecrest. This new seating series features the appearance and comfort of a deep seating lounge chair, in a foam-free, “cushion-less” construction. Luxurious Sensation Sling fabric are used for the ultimate in low-maintenance comfort, while also featuring benefits such as exceptional shape retention and surface memory. Available for both residential and contract applications, our Air collections are exclusive to Homecrest and made in the USA. With over 13 skus this uniquely customizable, high performance collection coordinates with Elements Sling dining and is paired in the image below with Homecrest’s new Aurora Natural Series Rectangular fire pits with our envied Timber tops.

The beauty of the new Timber rectangular tops is undeniable. These gorgeous and durable tops are going to be a must have on every dealers floor. Timber tops are available in Drift and Sequoia in both 32″ x 52″ and 36″ x 60″new sizes for 2017. Aurora Natural Series rectangular fire pits are available in 19-inch coffee and 24.5-inch chat table heights with a powerful 60,000 BTU burner, the amazing heat will extend any outdoor season while creating an attractive atmosphere of relaxation and conversation. Aurora fire pits are extremely durable and customizable. Select from a variety of frame finishes and top textures and color ways for an individual look. All Homecrest fire tables come standard with top quality reflective fire jewelry available in several color options.


Grace Air & Mode Rectangular Fire Pit (shown below)

Building upon the platform of the unique Homecrest Airo2 collection and the popularity of Grace, we are delighted to introduce Grace Air by Homecrest. This new seating series features the appearance and comfort of a deep seating lounge chair, in a foam-free, “cushion-less” construction. Luxurious Sensation Sling fabric are used for the ultimate in low-maintenance comfort, while also featuring benefits such as exceptional shape retention and surface memory. Available for both residential and contract applications, our Air collections are exclusive to Homecrest and made in the USA. With over 13 skus this uniquely customizable, high performance collection coordinates with Grace dining and is paired in the image below with Homecrest’s new Mode Rectangular fire pits.

Complementing the sophisticated Mode table collection, we are pleased to introduce Mode fire pits. With all of the luxury features that come standard with all Homecrest fire tables, Mode features a floating Onyx aluminum rectangular top. Available in 19-inch coffee and 24.5-inch chat table heights with a powerful 60,000 BTU burner, the amazing heat will extend your outdoor season while Mode’s contemporary design creates an atmosphere of relaxation and conversation. Customize your Mode fire pit by selecting any Homecrest frame finish for your base and side panels (Duo-Tone available), and mirror design elements of your outdoor space by selecting from a wide variety of reflective fire jewelry.


Emory Cushion & Breeze Metal Tables (shown below)

Beautiful, strong, comfortable, and unbelievably functional, we are proud to introduce the Emory Cushion collection. Emory offers a wide variety of seating options, in both low and high seat back heights, in stationary, gliding and swivel rocking motion pieces. Featuring Homecrest Luxe cushions, Emory offers tremendous comfort and value in well-proportioned pieces that offer seating options for any space.  Emory cushion is available in hundreds of gorgeous and durable outdoor fabrics and all Homecrest frame finishes. Emory Cushion coordinates with Emory Sling and pairs well with all Homecrest tables and fire tables. It is shown here with the new Breeze metal table offering in a chat height.

The new Breeze metal tables for 2017 are a round slat option at a value price point. Made in the USA, these attractive and functional tables feature all-aluminum construction in a variety of heights and sizes, and are well-suited to both dining and deep seating applications.


Emory Sling (shown below)

Gorgeous artisanal styling meets rugged outdoor construction in the Emory Sling collection. This aluminum collection features old-world scrolled solid aluminum arms, and is not only visually engaging, but is remarkably comfortable. Available in both dining and balcony heights; Emory Sling Dining brings beauty and relaxation to the table. Emory Sling in available in Sling, Padded Sling, Woven and all frame finishes. Emory Sling includes a high back dining chair, high back swivel rocker, swivel rocker balcony stool and adjustable chaise. Emory Sling coordinates with Emory Cushion.


Round Timber Valero Fire Tables & Dining Tables

New for 2017, Homecrest is pleased to add the Timber texture to the Valero fire table offering. This allows for seamless design across the Homecrest offering. Valero Timber tops will be available in 42-inch and 54-inch rounds in 19-inch coffee, 24.5-inch chat, dining and balcony heights.


Leave a comment

Hearth & Home Technologies’ Annual Rewards Trip

BJ Hogge Ziplining

BJ Hogge ziplining.

Hearth & Home Technologies (HHT) celebrated another great year with its annual rewards trip. This spring, the 67 top-selling customers—selected based on sales growth and performance—and their guests traveled to Riviera Maya, Mexico, for a week of fun from April 25-29.

In addition to enjoying the all-inclusive Hard Rock Resort, customers were able to participate in activities such as riding ATVs through the jungle, exploring underground cave systems, ziplining above the treetops or sailing on a catamaran. The event wrapped up with a traditional Mayan fire dance and fireworks.

HHT Rewards 2016 2Left to right: Mathew Lansdon (NW Natural Appliance Center, Oregon), Marion Lansdon, Kit Pinzer-Hins (Fireside Hearth & Home Retail, Minnesota), Jud Hins, travel staff Coley Wright, Roger Oxford (HHT), Rio Secreto tour guide Javier

“Everyone is working very hard all year. Doing the small things to separate us from the competition. When your company rewards you like this, it gives you the mojo to fight even harder. What a terrific perk! Thank you. It was amazing,” said Tim Thomas, a first-time winning Builder Sales Rep from Fireside Hearth & Home in Manassas.

HHT Rewards 2016 3

Left to right: Drew Herendeen (Hearth & Home Design Center, Indiana), Eric Peterson (Capo Fireside, California), Bob Ballard (HHT), V.P. Berger (HHT), Matt Mattis (HHT), Wayne Stritsman (Best Fire Hearth & Patio, New York).

HHT will continue its rewards program in 2016, and recently announced Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, as its 2017 destination.

Leave a comment

Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, Sunbury Textile Mills Ask Students ‘What’s Next?’ in Philadelphia University Textile Design Competition

sunbrella_logoPHILADELPHIA – For the second time in three years, Glen Raven Custom Fabrics and Sunbury Textile Mills have joined forces in the search for the next generation of talent in textile design. Hosting a competition with the Textile Design program at Philadelphia University, the two companies asked students to imagine the future of Sunbrella® fabrics, answering the question, ‘What’s next?’

“What’s great about this partnership with Sunbury and the university is that we are exposed to a group of students that have completely different perspectives,” said Tracy Greene, style/design manager at Glen Raven Custom Fabrics. “It’s interesting to see a new take on our materials, where students are allowed to weave and finish textiles creating art rather than designing for a specific commercial market. We are here to help educate the students, but really they are educating and inspiring us.”

The competition, which launched in 2014, quickly proved to be a way for Glen Raven to interact with prospective employees. Emily Weiss, whose design featured a blue/green color palette ideal for a beach home, took second place in the inaugural textile design and went on to intern with Glen Raven Custom Fabrics. She has since been hired on to the design team.

Samantha_Fletcher-1“It’s such a cool experience being on the other side of the table this time around,” Weiss said. “I know from my experience how much work goes into this project, and it has most certainly paid off for me. I’m so glad to be part of the Sunbrella design team, and couldn’t have imagined back then where I’d be now. My best advice to students would be to step out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there.”

In this year’s competition, graduate student Samantha Fletcher was awarded first place in a unanimous decision for her innovative, limit-pushing approach which featured melted PVC yarn.

“My process is to play with the materials, push the limits of the yarn and change it in a really unique way,” said Fletcher, whose design reminiscent of lace was based on the concept of collective memories. “It’s gratifying to win first place in this competition because this is the type of work I love doing.”

Judges from the industry included Andy Kahnke, director of trade and retail sales for DEDON, Inc.; Liora Manne, designer and owner of Lamontage/Liora Manne; Tracy Greene, style/design manager at Glen Raven; Kathy Remsa, senior designer at Sunbury; and Patricia Hoffman, manager for corporate and ecommerce web initiatives for Thibaut.

“Samantha’s design was an inventive response to the inherent properties of Sunbrella yarn,” Hoffman said. “Visually it is rich and interesting, and her story about collective memories made me relook at the fabric and see it in a whole new light. Her design inspires me to ask ‘How can I push beyond what has already been done?’ as I create fabric for real world applications.”

Second place was awarded to graduate student Valerie Gibbins for her design influenced by street art. Third-place winner Jessica Newman, a junior, was noted for her design based on bone cell patterns. Honorable mentions were presented to Becky Flax, Nyasha Chivaura and Yi-Chun Liu, all using materials in new ways, predicting the future of Sunbrella fabrics.

“It’s really joyous to be recognized, especially by judges from within the industry,” said Gibbins, who is studying industrial design but has delayed her master’s thesis to study textile design. “I have been sewing my whole life, but I’ve really immersed myself in textile design this past year. I hope to combine my interest in industrial design with my passion for textiles, and winning second place in this competition validates my efforts.”

Jessica Newman hopes her third-place win keeps her on track to one day pursue her dream of product development for sportswear.

“I’m really surprised and honored to have won third place,” Newman said. “I did a lot of experimenting with PVC yarns to get to my final product. I’m fascinated by how technology can change the products we use every day, so this was a really fun project to work on.”

The students’ designs were judged on a number of criteria: color, pattern, appropriate scale, creative materials, appropriate hand, technical execution, appropriate end use, originality and innovation.

“I like designs that push people; designs that you’re not sure if they are ugly or pretty,” Kahnke said. “When I have a strong reaction to something, it often means it spoke to me, and I appreciate the unexpected. What I enjoyed most about judging this competition was seeing the level of detail and precision, and how the students interpreted the challenge in vastly different ways.”

The winners were announced at Philadelphia University on May 10 and their entries placed on display. “I loved how the students explored the material,” Manne said. “The creativity displayed is inspiring. I was especially attracted to the various treatments of the yarns that created new textures, translucency and complex details. Their imaginations ran wild with this project and I really enjoyed speaking with the students about their designs.”

Kathy Remsa, who served as a judge on behalf of partner Sunbury, holds the university close to her heart, as she was a master’s student there 15 years ago.

“My time at Philadelphia University was so valuable,” Remsa said. “As an alumnus, I want to give back and help educate the next generation of textile designers. It’s a great opportunity for us and Glen Raven to connect with the students and provide valuable advice for their careers.”

Continuing in its tradition of recruiting competition entrants, Glen Raven will bring on honorable mention winner Nyasha Chivaura as a design intern this summer.

“Emily and Nyasha are fantastic success stories exemplifying how we connect our students with industry leaders,” said Marcia Weiss, director of the Fashion and Textiles Futures Center at Philadelphia University, no relation to Emily Weiss. “By bringing in judges from within the industry, we further widen the circle of connections our students can make. We couldn’t be more pleased with this partnership and are so proud of the talent we are producing.”