After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, Deborah Herman entered the family hotel business, working for her father’s company, Bedspreads of California. After nearly 15 years of helping grow the business as a, Herman decided to chart his own course by founding the Miami-based company. Textile innovations in 1997.
What led you to launch Fabric Innovations?
My dad was in manufacturing, and I wanted to be on the textile side and supply fabrics instead. I started attending textile shows, and within a month of moving to Miami, I founded the company. I wanted to be in a tactile but still manufacturing business because I loved making products. There is expertise in there. My experience in manufacturing has allowed me to find fabrics suitable for making a drape, a pillow or a duvet cover. It helped me move the business forward because I could tell you right away, “Hey, that’s not going to make a good drape.”
What do you see as the biggest opportunities in the industry today?
Part of the problem and part of the joy of the hospitality industry is that we are cyclical. At some point, that sheet wears out, that curtain falls off the wall, the rug gets burned, or the mini-fridge leaks. In this cyclical sector, people will have to renovate. Rebranding is also common now. Once contracts are in place, hotels do what is best for their property. All this will push the product.
What is your best business advice?
Save a percentage of your profits for the lifetime of your business. If you earn $2,000 a month, you still need to save. Savings and liquid capital are important to me. It helped me put a lot of products in inventory. If there is no more product, I have inventory and the faster I can sell a product if someone is looking for something. Second, I would find something you really like. Don’t get into it just to get into it. You must like it. I have a passion for making a product, I like to smell it, touch it, talk about it, educate, see how it is doing. i love the part [of the business] where you take a fabric that’s really beautiful, and you make it work well in a hotel. And that’s how our artistic eye works.
Looking back, what is the thing you are most proud of?
We have a big world, but it’s a small family. For 30 years I have helped someone financially or helped someone find a job. The things we do in our daily lives to help others are the thing that matters most.
look HD’s Video presentation of partners with Fabric Innovations to learn more.
This interview is part of a series highlighting some of the most successful manufacturers in the hospitality industry.