Cleaning up in the linen business
With the holiday season fast approaching, one northern Nevada business is ready with the latest event and décor trends.
Creative Coverings is a high-end linen rental company headquartered in Sparks. The business rents linens to party and event planners, other rental companies and hotel and wedding venues across the county.
To provide their clients with the best selection of linens, the employees must be knowledgeable about the latest trends and colors of the season.
“Because we are coming out of the economic downturn the colors trend in that,” Nancy Stoltz, the director of marketing and design for Creative Coverings, said. “This (holiday) season is all about hope, fantasy and nature. We are seeing a lot of earthy tones mixed with gold.”
The décor trends for the holidays are fabrics that are very opulent, glam and regal. Stoltz is seeing the use of more sequins, velvet, cut-out lace, and fringe.
The more than 20 employees at Creative Coverings stay on top of linen trends by reading the latest fashion magazines, fashion blogs as well as using trend analysis software to predict trends one to two years in advance.
“We get a lot of inspiration from fashion,” Stoltz said. “Fashion trends translate into home decor, which eventually translates into event design.
The staff also stays up-to-date on the latest trends in events.”
According to Stoltz, a lot of people are doing more interactive events that are not necessarily sit-down formal dinners. There is a lot more focus on creative spaces where people can network.
“Big companies are wanting to relate to their brand,” Stoltz said. “Really unique spaces are being used these days, so you are actually utilizing the space as part of your decor. We have seen galas for a local public library actually at the library. “
Technology is also playing a big role in events. Venues are using digital projection mapping to have remote performances from artists or using digital waiters.
“This is decreasing the cost of events,” said Stoltz. “If you are not bringing so much talent to an event, you are not having to spend the money on equipment.”
Creative Coverings President Robin Brockelsby and Vice President Christian Nobis founded the company in 1995. While working on the prop side of the events industry, they noticed a need for a linen rental company in the Reno/Tahoe area. Over time, the company grew and in 2005 they went national.
Today, the business has a showroom in Seattle and regional offices in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
“With the economy getting stronger, parties are getting larger,” said Stoltz. “We are growing as a company so we are increasing inventory levels (in order to) provide more tablecloths for really large events.”
The company manufactures, cleans and stores all of its linens on site at its 20,000-square-foot headquarters located at 87 Coney Island Drive. Creative Coverings works to be on the cutting edge of eco-friendly business practices.
“We have several sustainable business practices that we follow,” said Stoltz. “Linens that are damaged are repurposed into something smaller like napkins, swatches or our newly launched throw pillows.”
Several years ago, the company worked with UPS to create canvas-shipping bags that their clients use to return their linens. The reusable bags cut down on the use of corrugated boxes to save money and reduce waste. They also participate in the UPS Carbon Neutral program, which supports projects that offset the emissions from their shipments.
By implementing these practices, the business has become the only linen company in the nation to be a Certified Emerald Green linen rental and sales company.
While the company has national presence, it strives to maintain a small business feel.
“We pride ourselves on customer service,” Stoltz said. “Our clients like knowing that when they call they are going to get a friendly voice and not a recording. We are able to create personal relationships with our clients over time.”
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.