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Hearth & Home February 2016

Who Reads Hearth & Home? Karen Elder, for one!

Louisville, Kentucky

Occupation: SCHOTT NA, Marketing Manager and Global Product Manager, Glass Ceramic for BBQ.

Special Interests/Hobbies: “I love the outdoors, going to see live music, and fine Kentucky bourbon.” 

Problems facing the hearth industry: “There is a lot of interest in non-polluting and otherwise earth-friendly products. I think the intentions are good, but perhaps there needs to be more education for both the government and consumers on how to (1) approach regulation in a way that will make the most positive impact and (2) incentivize consumers to choose solid fuel-burning appliances. Sometimes good intentions with regulations can stifle resources that could otherwise focus on true innovation in the industry.”

Forecast for Hearth Product Sales in 2016: “We have an overall positive feeling for the continued, moderate growth that we (and the industry) experienced in 2015. That said, with the current volatility of global economies, we must remain vigilant for signs of a possible slowdown to the recovery in the United States. Ask me again in three months!”

Years Reading Hearth & Home: “I began reading Hearth & Home 10 years ago when I started with SCHOTT.” 

Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “The magazine was placed in my hands on my first day at SCHOTT and I was told that THIS is what I needed in order to start learning about the industry. It is still my go-to source for anything that is happening in the industry, from the day-to-day to long-term trends.” 

Article Ideas: “We are seeing an increase of interest in using our ROBAX Magic black glass-ceramic in more and more gas fireplaces. This trend of a sleek, reflective surface inside a fireplace could be interesting.”

More Stories in this Issue


What began as a hearth shop in the late ’70s slowly evolved through the years to become a purveyor of upscale patio furniture, barbecues, spas and saunas.

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Perfect Timing

By Richard Wright

Empire Distributing’s diversification into outdoor products came at just the right time.

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Outdoor Elegance

By Bill Sendelback

Rather late to the party, outdoor fireplaces showed strong growth in 2015; now’s the time for retailers to jump in.

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A Fire Pit is Really an Affordable Lifestyle in a Box

By Bill Sendelback

Fire pits are the hottest product in the rapidly growing Outdoor Room market. No industry data supports that claim, but with scores of manufacturers offering fire pits, and most reporting very strong sales, it’s safe to assume that is the case.

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Forever Brown

By Tom Lassiter

It’s beginning to look a lot like … brown will remain the dominant color for resin wicker for a while longer.

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2015 December Business Climate

In early January, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, barbecue and patio products, asking them to compare December 2015 sales to December 2014. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 208 useable returns.

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