DDI making its mark on home furnishing industry
One Russellville-based company has been making its mark in the home furnishing industry for the past 32 years.
Distinctive Designs, Inc. employees 58 local workers and was founded by current president and CEO Emma Hoffmann as a product line division of her family's company, which manufactured memorial florals using plastic flowers.
Hoffmann helped pioneer the development of high-quality silk flowers and foliage designed specifically for the home furnishing industry.
Tom Hoffman, Emma's husband and DDI's vice president of sales and marketing, said the company fulfilled a market need.
"By the 1970s, China had moved away from plastic flowers and into fabric flowers. Manufacturers were making artificial flowers that were suitable for use in people's homes," he said.
"In 1971 we moved into fabric flowers, and Emma was a pioneer in structuring those designs. The silk flower industry had progressed quite a bit in its technology, materials and pressings, and in 1976 she started a product line called DD by Flowercraft that started using silk flowers."
DDI, the second company to move into the Russellville Industrial Park, started out in a 98,000-square foot building. After an expansion in 2000, the 118,000-square foot facility is now home to sprawling production space, specially-decorated offices, product showrooms and a retail/wholesale outlet.
The company, an original member of the Accessories Resource Team Hall of Fame and a five-time recipient of the ART Award, offers eight distinctive product categories including florals, botanicals, trademark registered Waterlook, greenery, floor plants, trees, imported floral components and related accessories.
"We have several different customer bases," Tom Hoffman said. "Those include home furnishings retailers, gallery programs, interior designers of all stripes, contract design firms, e-commerce, mail order catalogs and botanical home design, which includes florists, landscapers and interior landscapers."
DDI is one of the only permanent botanicals manufacturers to custom-design its own product components and compatible accessories overseas.
The company also transformed the art of handmade floral designs into high-volume process production, also known as batch-production. This allows DDI to produce over 150,000 finished floral units per year and maintain a production lead-time of only two weeks to a month.
For more information about DDI, visit www.distinctivedesigns.com.