Women in Wealth Awards 2016

www.wealthandfinance-intl.com 5 Fabric Innovations is a design-driven fabric company providing bedding, drapery, and upholstery fabrics to the hospitality industry. Since 1997, they have been recognized as a leading supplier of linens, bedding, and customer fabrics to some of the industry’s most prestigious hotels. We spoke to Deborah Herman, Owner, about the challenges of being a female in this industry and the service offered by Fabric Innovations. Boasting more than 200 skilled staff members, Fabric Innovations’ site in South Hill, Virginia, is their primary manufacturing center, and houses state-of-the-art equipment to allow their team to produce top-of- the-bed and window coverings for hotel and resorts around the world. They simplify the overall ordering process for their clients by offering fabrication and installation services which complement their production process. Alongside this, Fabric Innovations is certified as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). This certification is considered the gold standard, and is nationally accepted by thousands of major corporations, as well as government entities, seeking to do business with a women-owned business. Deborah explains how there are very few textile businesses owned by women currently, and how this has caused her to be met with some prejudice over the years. “It is something that I used to meet with, but which I am hoping to begin to see dissipate. I feel that education and my interest in the business has helped me to overcome the obstacles that being a female in this industry may have caused for me. The textile market is huge, and I aim to be a global leader; I was one of the first living persons, and female, to be awarded the Design Style Icon Award in 2015. This huge honour has helped me to position my business and company to be a leader. “At Fabric Innovations we pride ourselves on quality, and have a seven-stage process of inspection, which takes place at each production facility across the globe to ensure that every seam leaving our manufacturing facilities is flawless. I have worked in the hospitality and textiles industry for 36 years now, have owned by own business since I was 25 and have 3 generations of Hotel Bedding Manufacturing experience in my family. My Father and Grandfather made bedspreads, and from a young age I was very interested in the textile side of the business. That initial interest has grown into Fabric Innovations today, and is the reason that I am so passionate about quality in our productions.” Deborah believes it is very important to support other women looking to break into this industry, and advises them to partner with their financial institution in order to reach the top of this sector. “I think that banks like working with women, and the old belief that they do not has been fading for the past decade. To reach the top of this industry, tenacity, financial stability and business acclamation are all very important. People who are looking to be successful in this space should start small, and not try to expand their businesses too quickly; that is a definite recipe for failure. Since our inception we have doubled in size, and we attribute our success to building slowly over time, great employees and big name contracts like W Hotels, Virgin Hotels and Starwood. I also believe that education is very important, and I am involved with programs like AHLA Scholarship Funds and Executive Women in Hospitality to give back to the wider community.” Deborah believes that setting goals is incredibly important as she looks to the future for Fabric Innovations. “We plan to continue to be a global leader in textile manufacturing and distributing, and hope to build our own office building in the future. I look forward to working with new brands, developing new upholstery, box spring covers and throw blankets you would use for beds and furniture, like chairs.” WW160020 Company: Fabric Innovations Name: Deborah Herman Email: [email protected] Web Address: www.fabricinnovations.com Address: 3111 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, Florida 33134 Telephone: 305.860.5757

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