Fall product development trip

What is product development?

We hit the ground running this month as we started our fall product development trip to China. If you’re not sure what product development is – stay tuned for a #BehindTheDesign tour. We’ll show you how Carolyn Kinder International (CKI) moves from design to final product.

Product Design

This is the fun part. Product designers find inspiration everywhere – from art, architecture, nature and pretty much everywhere they go. What can start out as a sketch on a napkin in a restaurant, is eventually conceptualized and illustrated in a way that allows a manufacturer to create a prototype sample. Throughout the product development cycle, designers and CKI’s founder, Carolyn Kinder, have input and final approval, making sure the vision of the designer is fully realized. Once the design is finalized, that’s when the product development starts.

Product Development

Product development is a complicated process where designers work with a team of artisans and technicians to bring the product through production.

CKI designers are on site to approve each milestone of a products development cycle. This is what it looks like:

  • CAD or three-dimensional shop drawings Once the designer has identified and illustrated the concept, a scaled CAD or three-dimensional illustration is created. CKI’s dedicated staff of illustrators create detailed, scaled drawings that include all components of the product down to the last nut, bolt and washer. For Lighting products and ceiling fans the process is extremely detailed and includes specification of socket type, bulb wattage and overall fixture wattage and load.
  • Carving and detail Sculptural items and carved components must be hand-carved or turned on a lathe by local artisans and are then approved for scale and shape before they are moved to casting. These components can be cast in iron, aluminum, brass, concrete, or other composite materials. Next comes white body approval. A white body is a plaster cast of a carving. These white bodies are used to create the molds for casting. White bodies must be checked and approved prior to mold making which can be very expensive.
  • Metal work and bending It is so important to oversee the bending of metal arms for fixed wire lighting and other products. A slight difference in the sweep of a chandelier’s arm can greatly improve or detract from its visual appeal and salability.
  • Finish specifications The color, texture and luster of a product is crucial to its success. The finish is usually specified in the original concept creation but can change through the development of a product based on a vendor’s strengths and creativity. Cooperation with a vendor is important to find the best possible aesthetic for each piece.
  • Glass components Most lighting vendors have a large variety of glass components on hand to choose the best fit for the product design, but in many cases, we seek a local glass manufacturer for a more unique, original glass component and finish. A trip to a good glass factory can open a world of creativity and opportunity.
  • Bill of materials and cost analysis Once you have identified all the components of a product each item must be listed and costed to find the overall cost. In most cases, the factory is responsible for these details, but it is important to cooperate with their staff and adjust as needed to create the best product for the best price.
  • Prototype sample approval Once all the pieces have been approved and assembled, the designer must approve and sign off on the sample or make whatever minor adjustments are necessary.
  • Photography The completed approved samples are photographed in high resolution, usually as a part of a vignette and individually. The individual photographs are pathed for use in marketing collateral.

Show it, sell it, ship it

After the development is complete the products are shown to a wholesale client in a product line review that includes 300-600 new products twice a year. We develop around 5,000 products in an 18-month period.

Carolyn Kinder International licenses its unique, original product designs to some of the best wholesalers and original equipment manufacturers in the home furnishing industry. Learn more at www.carolynkinder.com

Carolyn Kinder, the inspiration behind the design

Carolyn Kinder designers share what’s #BehindTheDesign

Carolyn Kinder, the inspiration behind the designCarolyn Kinder designers are ready to share a behind-the-scenes look at their work. They work tirelessly to bring you well-traveled designs. Our team will share what’s #BehindTheDesign with:

  • Stories about our products
  • Where we find our inspiration
  • Observations from the marketplace
  • Pearls of wisdom from Carolyn Kinder herself

We all are moving so fast, it is easy to forget to stop and reflect on what makes a design unforgettable and timeless. Stay tuned for more!

Carolyn Kinder and David Simpson

Kinder International’s new direction

Carolyn Kinder and David Simpson

Carolyn Kinder and David Simpson

At Carolyn Kinder International we are celebrating our recent success stories and our new direction. We are still working hard to bring your great new and original designs that follow the long standing Kinder mantra of “Trend-less, Timeless, Well-traveled and at home anywhere.

Now, however, with the return of David Simpson, Carolyn Kinder International’s new Vice President of Product and Marketing, our new product designs are more edited, refined and clearly speak the language of our founder and lead designer Carolyn Kinder.

Look for great new Kinder looks in the Fall Markets and beyond and follow us on social media.

Kinder International: A Peek Behind The Curtain

Kinder International: A Peek Behind The Curtain 

 Original article appeared: April 2, 2016 Linda Longo Inside Lighting-Lighting Technology

Ever wonder how the products in retail stores or at the major home furnishing markets are made?  Recently Linda Longo Editorial Director of enLIGHTenment Magazine, visited the Kinder International showroom in Changan China and was given a look inside a few of our many artisan factories.  Our Changan showroom and development offices is where our products, conceptualized by our global team of award winning designers, come to life under the direction of our Design Director, John Whitman.

enLIGHTenment Magazine - April 2016Linda Longo shares, “I’ve been privileged to tour a half-dozen factories in the U.S. over the years – plus two factories in Europe – so I am familiar with the basics of manufacturing lighting fixtures and accessories. How items are made in China, however, was still a mystery to me. I’ve heard good stories and I’ve heard bad ones, but I never have been able to see for myself until the iconic design team of Kinder International invited me to visit Mainland China where they manufacture their line of lamps and accessories.”

What this trip with Kinder International team showed me was that their factories in China offer high quality in mediums such as ceramics, finishing, and metalwork for decades.  Discovering who those small companies are, and nurturing those relationships, is the key to keeping product quality consistent.”, Linda expressed of her visit to Kinder factories.

Having the executive and design teams with established residences in China allows Kinder to continually cultivate those relationships and continue to provide the highest level of product quality in the industry.

Linda Longo’s next article will provide a closer look at the inner workings of “this globally successful design company and the team members who help keep Kinder International at the top of its game.”

For those of you who may never have the opportunity to visit a lighting or home accents factory in China, Kinder International invites you to schedule a tour today.

Contact Us to Schedule Your Tour Today 

 

QUOIZEL LIGHTING ANNOUNCES LICENSING AGREEMENT WITH CAROLYN KINDER

June 2012, Tulsa, OK – Quoizel Lighting will premiere its first collaborative series with renowned designer, Carolyn Kinder, in its Dallas Showroom at the upcoming January 2013 Market. The series will include lighting and accessories.

With over three decades of experience and with roots in the heartland of America, Carolyn Kinder travels the globe discovering and developing sources that can deliver new looks, rich textures, layered finishes, and unique raw materials, all refined into the Kinder look. Carolyn currently designs coordinated accessories, lighting, wall décor, and molding under licensing agreements with a number of leading companies. Carolyn’s name has become synonymous with classic, timeless design.

Quoizel is one of the nation’s leading designers and distributors of decorative home lighting, and offers a diverse selection of timeless designs including one of the broadest selections of Tiffany style lighting available. Quoizel offers beautiful lighting solutions for all areas of the home, in hundreds of styles crafted from only the finest materials.

Founded in 1930 in New York, Quoizel began as a small business with a limited product line. In 1964 Ira Phillips joined the company. During the next 40 years, he led it through extraordinary growth by expanding the product mix and providing innovative merchandising strategies to retailers.

Phillips acquired full ownership in 1986, and in 1996 he relocated Quoizel’s corporate headquarters to Charleston, SC, where it now operates from a state-of-the-art, 500,000 square-foot facility.

Today, Quoizel remains a privately held, family-owned and operated business offering more than 2,000 items in its full-line catalog. Quoizel has 319 employees between 3 locations in South Carolina, New York and China, along with 2 distribution centers.

INDUSTRY VETERANS TEAM FOR SUCCESS

9/24/02 – – – Clearwater, Florida – – – For over fifty years, Austin has continued to introduce products imbued with a particular sense of style. A strategic decision, five years ago from industry leader Andy Cymrot, President of Austin, called upon a friend and veteran of the home décor industry, Carolyn Kinder for some thought on a new direction. “We are an established company and for many years have always done everything in-house, so for us to go outside was a major change in philosophy,” stated Cymrot.

As evidenced in the growing yearly success of Austin’s Kinder collection, Cymrot was right on target.

“Her vision has pushed us farther than we originally wanted to go, but this has proven to be a great opportunity for all of us. We continue to enjoy our partnership with Carolyn and benefit from her vast experience and developed relationships. This has enabled us to achieve more in design and product development than we would have been able to do on our own,” remarked Cymrot. “The brilliance of Carolyn is not only in her design, but in the finish she is able to achieve.”

“It has been a team effort and the results have been incredible. We have fun working with Andy and his team. Austin has literally re-invented themselves. We are excited about the new collections and feel they turned out startlingly well,” said Kinder.

Carolyn Kinder International, CKI, under the direction of veteran designer, Carolyn Kinder, is a multifaceted company focused on licensing collections of innovative products across a growing family of companies, each already a leader in their own market sector. CKI continues to bring added value and services to its client base through exclusive designs, product development and ancillary media exposure.

Austin & Kinder Score a Double Play

HIGH POINT, NC – – – Austin adds to their Carolyn Kinder line two widely diverse accessory collections, as well as additions to already successful groups. The Kenya Collection portrays its African influences with highly detailed weaves and warm natural finishes, while the curvaceous Deco Nuevo Collection reveals a nostalgic look at the Art Deco Era.

“Developing beautiful products and great product resources go hand in hand. These are the things that we do best”, says Kinder, “and we are committed to each step of the development process.”

See the Kinder Collection at The Austin Showroom IHFC H445.

Carolyn Kinder will be in High Point throughout the Market. Please call the number listed above for more information or to arrange interviews.

Carolyn Kinder Conquers Case Goods with CasaBique

HIGH POINT, NC – – – The Kinder Collection, a name commonly associated with award winning accessories and wall décor is fast becoming the new buzz word in the Case Goods industry as well. With the introduction of her fourth furniture collection in as many markets, Kinder hopes to once again break market sales records for CasaBique.

CasaBique will introduce The Plantation Collection, a bedroom group that reflects a relaxed blend of European and Asian cultures in a rich and timeless mixture of cane, woven natural fiber and warm metallic accents.

Several Occasional Furniture pieces and contemporary accessory groups, worked in luxurious materials, will also debut.

“Developing beautiful products and great product resources go hand in hand. These are the things that we do best”, says Kinder, “and we are committed to each step of the development process.”

See the Kinder Collection at the CasaBique Showroom 122 North Hamilton Street, High Point.

Carolyn Kinder will be in High Point throughout the Market. Please call the number listed above for more information or to arrange interviews.

Kinder and Uttermost Explore the Far East

HIGH POINT, NC – – – Widely acclaimed artist and designer Carolyn Kinder adds yet another facet to the wide array of Wall Décor developed for The Uttermost Company. At October Market, Uttermost will debut many new items developed in China and The Philippines by Kinder.

“These new Asian resources can deliver very high volume without sacrificing the quality workmanship Uttermost customers have come to expect,” says Kinder, “And the intricate carvings and rich hand finishes produced in these factories are known to be the best worldwide. We also gained the opportunity to work with a variety of exotic materials specific to these geographic regions, which are not commonly used in this industry.”

“Developing beautiful products and great product resources go hand in hand. These are the things that we do best”, says Kinder, “and we are committed to each step of the development process.”

See these stunning new editions at The Uttermost Company Showroom, IHFC C448. You’ll be glad you did.

Carolyn Kinder will be in High Point throughout the Market. Please call the number listed above for more information or to arrange interviews.

Kinder Builds Momentum

HIGH POINT, NC – – – Carolyn Kinder, the eleventh inductee to the ART Academy of Achievement refuses to rest on her many past successes. In fact, she refuses to rest. At October Market, The Kinder Collection will introduce several new collections of furniture, accessories and wall décor with the top manufacturers in the Home Furnishings Industry. Each new Collection, although varied in theme and material, bears the unmistakable touch of The Kinder Collection.

CasaBique will introduce The Plantation Collection, a bedroom group that reflects a relaxed blend of European and Asian cultures in a rich and timeless mixture of cane, woven natural fiber and warm metallic accents.

The Uttermost Company will enhance their flourishing line of Kinder Collection wall décor with several editions developed by Kinder in China and The Philippines. These new items will range in style from Classic to Contemporary, but their exotic natural materials and finishes will make them a rich addition to any environment.

Austin Sculpture adds to their Carolyn Kinder line two widely diverse accessory collections as well as additions to already successful groups. The Kenya Collection depicts its African influences with highly detailed weaves and warm natural finishes, while the curvaceous Deco Nuevo Collection reveals a nostalgic look at the Art Deco Era.

More of Carolyn Kinder’s work can be seen throughout High Point, such as published prints by Wild Apple Graphics and Accessory Collections from Montaage.

“Developing beautiful products and great product resources go hand in hand. These are the things that we do best”, says Kinder, “and we are committed to each step of the development process.”

See the Kinder Collection at The Uttermost Company showroom IHFC C448; The CasaBique Showroom 122 North Hamilton Street; The Austin Showroom IHFC H445; The Montaage Showroom IHFC H324.

Carolyn Kinder will be in High Point throughout the Market. Please call the number listed above for more information or to arrange interviews.