This the first interview I have posted on my blog, and I am so excited to share information about April Pride Allison’s FABULOUS product line! The moment that I saw her ingenious creation, I knew immediately that she MUST be my first blog interviewee. And now that I have actually conversed with her, I can honestly say that she, herself, is as amazing as her products! If this puts things in perspective, she made time to chat with me to promote her new product line ON THE WAY HOME from the hospital with her 2nd child! WOW! April is absolutely a savvy businesswoman who CLEARLY believes in the merit of her invention… And I could not agree more! Here is our interview:
Kimberly: April, I am so excited about your FABULOUS product! Please describe what it is and how it works for our readers.
April: I have created a line of decorative candle sleeves, or candle covers, that slip over the sockets of chandeliers, lamps, and sconces. These sleeves, combined with a bulb, resemble a real candle. The covers allow for customization of individual light fixtures, which in turn, creates a much more personalized statement than the generic white, ivory, and beige candle covers that we usually see.
Kimberly: Why did you choose the name Kaarskoker?
April: “Kaars” is Dutch for “candle”, and “koker” is Dutch for “sleeve”.
Kimberly: Why did you create this product, and why did you feel there was a market for it?
April: I wanted to design a product that would sustain my interior design business during its slow months. I had made lists of possible products that would fill a need, but I did not actually decide on Kaarskoker until I was renovating my own home in August of 2006. Through that process, I realized that I was constantly searching for new ways to enhance, disguise, and/or cover those ugly little plastic candle sleeves that come with chandeliers.
Kimberly: As a fellow designer, I can completely relate to this challenge! As one of my personal pet peeves, I cannot stand for those atrocious candle covers with the fake candle wax dripping off of them. They definitely do take away from the polished and overall “customized” appearance of a space. I have painted more of those things black than I ever care to mention… BUT NEVER AGAIN!
Kimberly: How, where, and when did you begin manufacturing your product?
April: I found manufacturing for Kaarskoker from 2 different overseas sources. One company manufactures the paper, and another company manufactures the tubes and applies the paper with a special technique. I received my first shipment in 2008.
Kimberly: How do you distribute Kaarskoker?
April: Well, of course, I distribute my products via stores and designers like yourself. However, I also distribute through my online website, reps and shows, and through Shades of Light, which has an online store and website, as well.
Kimberly: Speaking of growth, how do you launch, promote, and sustain a product even in tough economic times?
April: I am now working full-time on this project, so I am not currently taking on any design clients. I have received a great deal of press from British Homes and Gardens, Better Homes and Gardens, and many different blog sites. I will also be featured in Traditional Home in May 2010. In addition, I have developed another product that uses the sleeves. It is a candlestick that is connected from the base to the top by the sleeves. It was originally developed for Nordstrom, and we are now distributing it via the same channels.
Kimberly: I love this new product as much as your first! To be able to to insert a pair of “custom designed” candlesticks into the homes of my clients is such a FABULOUS luxury. My design business is all about details, and your ingenious products allow me to conquer yet another small detail! I also love that these candle covers can be easily switched out for a new color or design without any hassle at all!
Kimberly: Knowing how savvy you are, and how clever this product is, I would be willing to bet that you have other products up your “sleeve”. Do you?
April: Yes, I do! We are considering an electric candle…. and a holiday line!
Kimberly: Well, I am sure whatever you come up with will continue to delight designers and their clients alike! From a designer’s perspective, you truly make us look like heroes! Kaarskoker is a small detail that looks incredible, yet it is completely affordable, which of course, endears us to our clients even more! (A pair of these sleeves is actually under $20). I can hardly wait to see your future creations!
Of course, April’s products are available in the retail portion of my design shop at Knotting Hill Interiors! I am happily using them in sooooo many of the homes of my South Carolina interior design clients, so hurry in to get yours right away! For more information about the product, visit April’s website at: Kaarskoker.
Now, GO HAVE AN “It’s So Fabulous!” DAY!