NEWH - Spring 2014 - 53

Right, from top: A houndstooth custom woven bed throw; a
textured blackout, part of the Dark Deco Collection.

she felt the rush of her first sale. "I love our industry, and at the
end of the day, I love making stuff" she says. "I love that I can
feel what I made. I can touch my drapery and imagine it inside
a hotel room on a window where people will look out and see
Times Square. It's a touch-feel thing. It's instantaneous."
Fabric Innovations specializes in the global procurement
of fabrics, including bedding and drapery, for hospitality
environments, and Herman's enthusiasm and passion has driven
the company to become one of the industry's most ubiquitous
forces today. Through branded programs with companies such
as Starwood and Delta, the $23-million supplier boasts seven
top-of-the-bed programs, and is expected to announce a few
more major brand programs in 2014. "We're kind of lean and
mean. We stock a lot of yarn systems and we run a lot of branded
products," says Herman. "This gives us a really strong base with
our vendors, and as we grow, they run shorter lead times."
Relationships set Fabric Innovations apart. "We have a
short line between full-time employees and the factories. We
do a lot of site visits," she says, noting team trips to Brazil,

Mexico, China, and Turkey. "I would never give an order to a
mill that I did not go to myself." The direct connection with her
global suppliers results in better quality assurance and more
transparency in the supply chain.
Besides supplier relationships, Herman and her team pride
themselves on customer service. "We really believe in helping
the client. We like to solve problems," she says, noting a new
product the company developed to address duvet lumping
that her limited-service clients were experiencing: a duvet
insert that maintains its integrity, size, and appearance for up
to 50 washings. One new branded client (yet-to-be-named)
approached Herman wanting their product to look sweet, softer.
The solution? Round the corners of the duvet. "It's a simple
solution, but it comes from the fabrication side. We're able to
offer that type of expertise because we're very hands on. I don't
think anybody else grew up in a bedding factory."
Herman predicts that Fabric Innovations and the industry
at large are about to see the busiest three to five years of their
careers. She is preparing for that surge by focusing on training,
succession planning, and managed growth: grooming her
leadership team, brother-sister duo Margarita and Gonzalo Leon,
and adding full-time regional sales managers in Seattle and
Dallas.
She's also got an eye on the next generation. "Having spoken
at Cornell, and meeting some of these students, I can tell you
they're an awesome generation, and they're kicking ass," she
says. Late last year, Fabric Innovations announced the Fabric
Innovations Legacy Scholarship, which over the next three years
will award a $10,000 scholarship each year to a deserving student
pursuing careers in hospitality. The award is given through
NEWH, Inc.'s scholarship program, and is just one example of
Herman's commitment to helping young entrepreneurs. "They're
genuine and they care. They want to get it right," says Herman.
"And they want to get their balance right. I like that. They won't
burn out."
And neither will she: "I love that it's always different, always
something exciting, always something new," says Herman. "I've
learned so many things. I understand so many cultures. My
employees are never bored, I can tell you that!" ❙❘❚
Spring 2014

53



NEWH - Spring 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - Spring 2014

NEWH - Spring 2014
Table of Contents
News
Who's Who
Sustainability
Scholarships
Q&A: Kevin Hancock
Q&A: Philip Byrne
Q&A: Karen Gutowski
Product Know How
Have You Seen?
On the Scene
Project
Save the Date
New Members
Ad Index
Partner Profiles
Chapter Highlights
NEWH - Spring 2014 - NEWH - Spring 2014
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Cover2
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Table of Contents
NEWH - Spring 2014 - News
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 5
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Who's Who
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 7
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 8
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 9
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 10
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 11
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 12
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 13
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Sustainability
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 15
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 16
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 17
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Scholarships
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 19
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 20
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 21
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Q&A: Kevin Hancock
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 23
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 24
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 25
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Q&A: Philip Byrne
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 27
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Q&A: Karen Gutowski
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 29
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 30
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 31
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Product Know How
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 33
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 34
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 35
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Have You Seen?
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 37
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 38
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 39
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 40
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 41
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 42
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 43
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 44
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 45
NEWH - Spring 2014 - On the Scene
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 47
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 48
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 49
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 50
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 51
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 52
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 53
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 54
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 55
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Project
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 57
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 58
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 59
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Save the Date
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 61
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 62
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 63
NEWH - Spring 2014 - New Members
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 65
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Ad Index
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 67
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Partner Profiles
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 69
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Chapter Highlights
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 71
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 72
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 73
NEWH - Spring 2014 - 74
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Cover3
NEWH - Spring 2014 - Cover4
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