Ahead of Cruise Ship Interiors Expo, taking place at the Miami Beach Convention Center June 18-20, we spoke with Jordan Beckner, President of Sales at FiberBuilt Umbrellas & Cushions.
The leading manufacturer of fibreglass ribbed umbrellas, FiberBuilt uses innovative construction to ensure strength, resilience, and above all, durability. With the often-harsh weather conditions aboard ships, outdoor furniture must be made of the highest quality materials to certify long-lasting use.
Read on to discover more about FiberBuilt’s unique business, (and Carnival’s supplier of choice!), and hear Jordan Beckner’s take on the hottest design trends of 2018!
Hi Jordan, thanks for speaking with CSIE team today! Can you tell us about your current role and key responsibilities at FiberBuilt?
As the President of sales, my responsibilities focus on all aspects of sales and marketing for the company. This includes developing new markets and growing our customer base.
What inspired you to join the company?
I was the very first paid employee of Fiberbuilt Umbrellas back in 2000. Our CEO, Paul Knapp, contacted me and asked me to help him market the unique idea he had for outdoor pool and patio umbrellas. By incorporating the inherent strength of flexibility fibreglass we were able to build an umbrella with ribs that bend rather than break. That kind of durability is exactly what the hospitality market needed then and continues to needs now.
By incorporating the inherent strength of flexibility fiberglass we were able to build an umbrella with ribs that bend rather than break. That kind of durability is exactly what the hospitality market needed then and continues to needs now.
Are there any projects you’re particularly proud of. Can you tell us about them?
There are several major hotel and restaurant chains that we’re proud to have partnered with over the years. But landing the Carnival Cruise line account (pictured) is among the customers I am most proud of. They came to us with a problem – their existing umbrellas weren’t holding up and they needed something stronger and more durable. We worked together to design an umbrella that can remain open while cruising. The ribs flex, the canopies provide superior wind management and the range of finishes and fabrics meets the needs of the ships’ colour schemes. Five years later we are their preferred vendor for outdoor shade products.
What do you need to consider when it comes to designing for the cruise market?
New products are designed with attention to several factors – the needs of the marketplace, styles that are durable, fashionable and budget-conscious, and sizes and shapes that provide shade and add beauty to the property’s décor.
Are there any key opportunities or challenges your company faces at present?
For businesses that stay nimble and maintain ongoing dialogues and relationships with their customers, opportunities will always outweigh the challenges. Without a doubt, the cruise industry is a very important market that we will continue to invest our time and energy in the coming 2019 season and beyond.
Without a doubt the cruise industry is a very important market that we will continue to invest our time and energy in the coming 2019 season and beyond.
Can you tell us about top cruise interior design trends of 2018?
Bright colours, durable fabric, and products that withstand the constant wear and tear of people having fun.
Who are you hoping to meet at Cruise Ship Interiors Expo 2019?
Anyone who purchases outdoor shade products for the industry.