Eric Lazarus Joins Aperture Contract, Charles Samelson’s New Roller Shade Division
May 22, 2017
New York, New York—Eric Lazarus, 30 years plus hospitality industry veteran has been named Vice President of Aperture Contract, the newest addition to the Charles Samelson, Inc. family of brands, focused on providing a unique collection of decorative roller shades for the commercial marketplace. Lazarus joined Aperture Contract in January after closing a 10-year-old hospitality bedding plant, Lazarus Mfg. which had morphed into a roller shade business in 2016. Mark Teppel, President of Samelson Chatelane recruited Lazarus for the new position and his timing couldn’t have been better.
Eric LazarusLazarus brought Alma Peguero into the new business as operations manager. The two had worked together for 23 years. Peguero will work out of the Samelson office in New York while Lazarus will handle things from Plantation, Florida. “We needed another player on our team,” Teppel explains. He indicates that Lazarus will focus on roller shades but hell gradually get involved in other things within Samelson. “Lazarus’s background is in finished product. The New Aperture Contract line f 300 sku’s was introduced at Hospitality Design Show in Las Vegas in May but the samples were not available to the Samelson sales force until June. Teppel expects to realize a $5 million business but Lazarus thinks it will be much larger due to the success of others already in it Like Valley Forge. “When Westin introduced the Heavenly Bed 19 years ago, many experts predicted that nobody would use it. Boy, were they wrong. The al white bed killed the print industry. Now I’m seeing the same thing happen to the drapery business,” Lazarus says. “I had $400,000 worth of drapery equipment in y last operation and then I saw the introduction of roller shades at Holiday Inn Express in 2016. That’s when I decided to get into the roller shade business. The drapery business continues to decline. I just did a job for a new hotel brand and it’s all roller shades. Roller shades with side panels give a clean look to the hotel room while the drapery covers the window. Roller shades make the room look bigger and is a cleaner product than draperies,” he says. Aperture Contract will be fabricated in the USA in Florida. The components are sourced in the USA and overseas. “Samelson is diversifying with the move into roller shades,” Lazarus says. It’s a smart move. “With draperies on their way out it seems, that means that all those drapery fabrics are also going to decline. Charles Samelson founded Charles Samelson, Inc. (CSI) n 1974, and began the successful journey of designing and engineering decorative fire-rretardant (FR) fabrics for the contract and residential marketplace. Consistent growth led to the founding of the Chatelane division to focus on the residential jobber trade, while Samelson’s Hospitality business continued to steadily expand. Eventually, the Samelson and Chatelaine divisions combined with a single focus - Hospitality. Today, Samelson-Chatelane maintains one of the largest collection of print and woven fire retardant fabrics in the industry. In 2001, CSI acquired Coral, a purveyor of performance fabrics designed for Healthcare, Institutional, Government, Educational and Corporate environments. This acquisition broadened the reach of CSI in the commercial textiles marketplace. Deeply rooted in Hospitality, it’s no surprise the team at CSI was quick to recognize the demand for roller shades as a new window treatment category, and to respond with competitively priced, stylish options that would seamlessly incorporate this critical design element to the interior scheme. The result is the launch of Aperture Contract. “With CSI expertise in market know-how and strength of distribu- tion, CSI realized they needed to reach out to the roller shade indus- try to quickly come “up to speed” with specially developed product offerings for their new brand. To that end, CSI hired experts, who combined have over 50 years’ expe- rience, to source and design roller shade options for their customer base,” according to Mark Teppel. “With the strength of CSI’s reputable service and know-how behind it, Aperture Contract celebrates entry to the market, and takes its place alongside sister brands Samelson-Chatelane and Coral to form a triumvirate of interior design offerings and expertise for Hospitality, Healthcare, Institutional, Educational, Government and Corporate environments,” Teppel concludes.