For someone who was literally raised in a curtain workroom, working anywhere but the window furnishings industry was never on the cards for this edition’s Rising Star, Alex Lozanovski.
Lozanovski’s family had a large and long standing retail business in Melbourne’s north dating back to the ‘70s and we’re told his mother went into labour in their showroom.
“From 10 days old he would lay in a bassinet in the work room listening to the hum of the sewing machines and with all the machinists’ fussing over him. The workroom was really a great place to grow up, if he wasn’t at school he was there learning the trade and getting up to mischief,” his mother tells WFA.
Alex confirms he was schooled from a young age in all aspects of the product knowledge needed to be able to manufacture any window furnishing, knowledge he now realises is invaluable.
And as he progressed through the ranks he was being exposed to how to actually run the company without realising it. Before he knew it, he was a leader within the business and charging ahead, diversifying with his fresh take on the industry.
“My childhood dream growing up was to always be in the window furnishings industry.
This is what our family does and it is who we are. I feel like this industry is a part of me and I’m now striving to become a part of it.”
Alex believes the industry is great to work in particularly because it offers so many different spaces to explore within it, each requiring different knowledge and skillset.
“But what makes it really an amazing industry is the people. It is such a large industry but so small at the same time where everyone seems to know or know of each other.”
“I’m the second generation in the game like a lot of other players. We find that we are gravitating to each other and there are some already very strong relationships but also there are some long lasting new ones forming.”
Moving out of retail, Alex and his partner Melissa have formed MAC Window Fashions focused exclusively on wholesale curtain manufacturing.
“While we do operate in a traditional curtain workroom capacity, we identified a strong need for a complete curtain solution for the entire industry. We call this MAC Made,” Alex says.
“We developed MAC Made to provide our customers with an extremely high-end product without having to have all the product knowledge that relates to curtains, which can get extremely complicated.”
“This department of the company is growing at a rapid pace and is really solidifying its place within the window furnishings industry. We have also gone the extra mile and developing marketing programs with heavy lead generation to give back and assist our loyal customers.”
“We feel a big sense of pride that we can incorporate all the skills and knowledge we have acquired over the years with my window furnishings background and Melissa with her high-level management background and turn it into something the industry can benefit from.”
Alex says he has spent time working in all facets of the industry including manufacturing, installation and upper management, but sees his strength in business development.
“I really like forming key accounts and forming relationships and building something great with all the people MAC comes in contact with.”
“Melissa has so much experience managing staff on such a high-level. Her skill set is second to none, and this would be her biggest attribute – how she is with people. She has a way of elevating them to bring out the best in them without even them knowing.”
Given the uncertainty in the world at the moment, the strategic direction of MAC Window Fashions is one of flexibility and agility, Alex says.
“As we have seen, things can literally change within hours and to navigate all this, being ready to act fast, is a must.”
“We are working really hard to establish ourselves as a national industry leader within the next five years, and look forward to the enormous challenges in achieving this, while still providing an amazing product and customer experience and holding onto the core values that the company was built on.”