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New HDC Flooring to Become FAVEorite for Interior Designers
Bringing its best and most popular designs back for another run, AVA FAVE takes customers’ 10 favorite AVA designs and brings a MADE IN THE USA impact.
*Podcast was created in partnership with AVA
About our guest:
Jeremy Whipple is the vice president of Commercial Business Development at Novalis Innovative Flooring, a global leader in LVT manufacturing.
Rather read the conversation?
Welcome back to I Hear Design, our i+s podcast series. My name is Adrian Schley, today’s host, as well as associate editor for i+s. Today’s episode is brought to you in partnership by our friends at AVA by Novalis, who are here to share some exciting updates with us. Chatting with us about this news is Jeremy Whipple, who is the vice president of commercial development for AVA. Jeremy, thank you so much for joining me today.
Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here and chat a little bit about AVA.
Yeah, let’s dive right into that. I’m really excited to hear about what’s going on for the company and the brand this year. I personally can’t believe 2021 is already halfway through. I know you guys over at AVA have been really excited about your new U.S.-based factory and headquarters in Dalton, Georgia. So, to start off our conversation, tell me about this development. What does it mean for the future of AVA?
Well, it means growth, it means excitement. We were really, really excited. We started this development of our U.S.-based headquarters for North America in 2018-2019. It really was—this started as setting up more of an operations. And then as we saw the demand for our products for Novalis and certainly for AVA, we realized we needed to jump on a fast track to develop a factory here.
Even through the pandemic, we were able to do so by a lot of good-timed planning, we were able to get the factory up and running during the pandemic, where the ability to move people around was pretty limited. And so, by having this factory up, we’re now able to really be set up to meet the commercial demands that are rapidly increasing coming out of the pandemic.
We developed an existing building in Dalton. That was very important to us. Sustainability for both AVA and our parent company Novalis is very, very important. And we did a lot of research of whether we should build, or we should develop an existing building. We found that from a sustainability side, developing a current building and rehabbing it, making it more environmentally friendly is a benefit not only to the people that work in it, but to the environment. And so, we’re excited to see how our building is turning out.
It has been a very good experience for our employees. And from us from a manufacturing side, it’s allowed us to turn this factory into a working factory much faster. So, the benefit for us is we were able to positively impact the environment, and at the same time, provide AVA-branded products to the market faster.
With what the market is kind of experiencing that with kind of the freight issues or logistics issues that people are seeing from coming overseas, we’re able to bring some new collections that are made in the USA, and that saves people time, money, speed as far as finishing their projects when they work with us.
So, from our side, it’s really been a win-win for both ourselves and our customers.
You took the words right out of my mouth. I was just getting ready to say it sounds like a win-win for everyone. I think it’s great that you highlighted how sustainability was taken into consideration, of course, reusing an already existing building.
Like you said, it’s good for the people, the business and of course, the surrounding community environment. So that’s awesome of you guys.
Yeah, I think being able to repurpose the building and turn it into a more environmentally friendly, we’ve improved the energy usage in that building. We’ve updated—just as a standalone, the energy consumption of that building was pretty significant. We’ve been able to decrease that significantly and continue to in the meantime, using that building more and more.
And then being able to just generate jobs in the US for the community. We’ve had several touch points with the community. And so, just seeing that kind of reality take effect and see the results of how the community has accepted us has been a really, really positive kind of enjoyable experience for us.
Yeah, and I’m happy to hear that a pandemic wasn’t too disruptive for business. I know since you guys made this big move to your new headquarters in Dalton, AVA has, of course, continued to be able to release updated and new products.
I know one of your new ones that you guys are excited about as your AVA FAVE—I love saying that—flooring collection. And I believe that launched just a few weeks ago. Tell me about this new line and what makes it unique.
So yeah, I mean, the pandemic has been a challenge, but we have not stopped the AVA train. We’ve launched several new products, the most recent one is FAVE. It is the one coming out of our U.S. factory. Why it’s named FAVE is we took basically some of our most popular designs from our collections that are already in AVA, from like our Simple Collection, our Two Style Collection, our Design Collection, and basically took our most popular designs and said, “Alright, we’re going to bring them into the U.S. manufacturing facility and just kind of make what everyone would call your favorite, or your FAVE Collection.
And the response from the design community already has been just tremendous. Obviously, these are already their most popular designs that they like, and then bringing them into the U.S. manufacturing facility, and then providing all those other benefits, like I said, we’re utilizing a much closer facility to where these jobs are going to be.
So, you have less energy consumption to get the material to the site. You’re saving the flooring contractors, the general contractors, the end users, the time. A lot of times, if you’re bringing it in from overseas, you would have a 12-, 14-, 20-week window that you would have to be from a planning side. And then typically, they would actually have to then also plan for storage on site, bringing all this material in.
So, we save these important decision makers a lot of time as far as their cash flow. But then also the time as far as just storage and handling on the job site where we can do more on-time deliveries. And it really has been a benefit to every kind of different decision maker involved in a commercial project.
And so, from our side, it enhanced what we could offer from a project. AVA has always been known, I think from our partners, to be a really strategic brand as far as handling larger projects. So, our big retail, hospitality end users have noticed the impact that they can offer.
And then designers as well, they have that comfort level of specifying a product that is going to be really easy to get. It’s going to be able to get to the job site, it’s going to be able to get installed quick. And they’re going to have that comfort level that when they select a product of ours, it’s going to get to them, it’s going to get down and get well received after the fact.
And that kind of builds that brand loyalty that we’ve been seeing with AVA, because they know when they have a really important project, AVA kind of comes through for them.
And then you add FAVE to it, and they get their favorite designs as well. So, it’s kind of the best of both worlds.
Yeah, and who doesn’t love getting their product in their hands sooner, more efficient, all those things that you listed off? I know you said you’ve mentioned retail, hospitality. So, as far as FAVE goes, especially these being a collection of favorites that AVA has already had, where do you kind of see this collection working best in commercial interiors?
Yeah, certainly I can share that with you. So, FAVE, I didn’t mention, is an SPC. So, it is a waterproof, it’s a click floor. So, those attributes of FAVE, being U.S. made really hit home for the multifamily sector, the hospitality sector. We’ve seen hard surface—especially waterproof SPC, WPC products—being very, very important for the hospitality clients, retail as well.
We make our FAVE Collection truly commercial focused. So, they can handle some really heavy commercial traffic as well. So, I don’t know if there’s a segment that would say that it couldn’t work for, but I would say the multifamily, hospitality and retail would certainly be kind of the key ones that we’re seeing a tremendous amount of interest in.
And I think a lot of hospitality, hotels included, are really making switches from carpet to resilient flooring. And it’s just been interesting to see that transition and growth as well.
Yeah, we certainly are right in the middle of it. I think the big thing for the hospitality market has been can they find resilient floors that can replace carpet but still provide that comfort, that design aesthetic that they’re looking for and also the sound control. And so, we spend a significant amount of time developing our products to provide really strong sound control properties. And I think the hospitality projects we’ve done, especially in-room projects, we give them a really great option for that.
But at the same time, we’re finding the demand for our type of products also to be really tremendous in the amenity spaces—the bar and restaurant areas, the reception areas, the conference rooms—we’re seeing a strong trend in hard surface, especially SPC type products. So, we’re seeing a tremendous interest for FAVE in those areas. Just getting outside of a typical hotel or room just in the amenity or general areas as well.
Yeah, FAVE is just a favorite everywhere.
That’s kind of that’s kind of the plan. That’s why we named it that way.
Sounds like it’s working out.
Well, Jeremy, at i+s, we’re excited to see FAVE be used in, of course, future commercial interior projects. We’re definitely going to keep our eyes on AVA for future releases. But I just want to thank you for sharing these exciting updates with you guys with the new headquarters, new products. So, thank you for sharing all about your new collection.
Well, thank you for your time today. We invite anyone that’s interested in seeing more about our collections or FAVE in particular, to visit our website, visit our social media. We’re listed under AVA. And certainly, we’re excited for the fall season when some of the trade shows come back, and we can be face-to-face and see some smiling faces and show some favorite products.
Yeah, see these products in person versus just hearing about them, right?
It would be exciting. Yes.
Yeah. Well, we hope to see you there in the fall. As for those listening, thank you for tuning in. Like Jeremy said you can learn more about AVA and its products at AVAflor.com. And that is “floor” with one “o”, so you don’t get confused. Otherwise, thank you for joining in. You can always hear more topics on our I Hear Design podcast page.