The August 15 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 11th Annual “Players,” people to watch in housewares during the next 12 months.
Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, the Players represent a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.
The HomeWorld Players are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.
Patrick Schneider, International Innovation Company, President and CEO
PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: Recently, Bernd Schneider transferred ownership of Netherlands-based marketer International Innovation Company to his son Patrick Schneider, IIC’s president and CEO. Bernd Schneider has been the face of IIC for more than 30 years, having launched Vacu Vin’s vacuum wine saver in 1986. Now, with Patrick Schneider at the helm, it will be up to him to continue the family legacy of developing and marketing housewares brands. Schneider has led the company since 2008 and most recently oversaw the formation of Dutch Creative Brands, a consolidation of the Vacu Vin and Tomorrow’s Kitchen brands. Schneider’s goal with the new group is to position IIC as a design-driven resource for a variety of housewares that touch multiple categories.
WHAT TO WATCH: Having spearheaded the founding of Dutch Creative Brands, Schneider is focused on growing the brand concept presence in the U.S. market. To oversee this initiative, IIC appointed Stephanie Christiansen as vp/North America sales, underlining its determination to grow. According to Schneider, there are often cultural differences between Europe and the U.S., which makes it challenging for the company to communicate its branding message and identity.
Going forward, Schneider has worked to shape Dutch Creative Brands’ platform as a design innovator, an idea factory that also creates housewares for third parties and private labels. With U.S. sales and marketing in place, Schneider aims to continue to grow the Vacu Vin and Tomorrow’s Kitchen brands, and develop more brands in the future.
PERSPECTIVE: “The U.S. market is very important to our future plans and will be our primary focus,” said Schneider. “We want to extend our portfolio with other brands that fit, with brands that stand out and help to make us more interesting to retailers. We plan to bring in pre-existing brands and create new ones. We also will be exploring new categories, but our first steps are to focus on housewares that are in line with our distribution channels.”
2017 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):
- Jeff Gennette, Macy’s
- Ulrik Garde Due, Fiskars
- Patrick Schneider, International Innovation Company
- Ernie Herrman, TJX Companies
- Bill Foley, Libbey
- Doug Kellam, ZeroWater
- Steve Greenspon, Honey-Can-Do International
- Anne Willis, Whitford Corporation
- Michael Polk, Newell Brands
- Karen and Brad Hughes, Artichoke
- Don Saller, Jokari
- Carmen Nestares, Amazon
- Neal Asbury, The Legacy Companies
- Jay Jordan, Ameriwood
- Dave Richmond, Tre Milano/InStyler
- Robert Gamgort, Keurig Green Mountain
- Jennifer Dalquist, Nordic Ware
- Steve Matyas, Staples
- Marc Sculler, Twin-Star International
- Bob Kellermann and Henry Lodge, Lodge Manufacturing