NEWH - Fall 2020 - 56

COVER STORY

Bold Vision
Valley Forge Fabrics' leading family and its roadmap to success
By Alia Akkam
Photos courtesy of Valley Forge Fabrics

A

mid the COVID-19 pandemic, a slew of designers and
purchasing agents were touched to receive KN95
masks in the mail courtesy of Valley Forge Fabrics,
yet they were likely not surprised. This simple, human gesture
encapsulates the family-run company's customer-first ethos.
Launched in 1977 by husband and wife Dan and Judy Dobin,
today Valley Forge
Fabrics is helmed by the
Dobin's children Diana
and Michael (Mikey),
co-presidents and CEOs.
Diana also serves as
the company's chief
sustainability officer. Their
sister Allie, who joined the
team in 2014, is the midAtlantic sales manager.
Dubbed the "discount
Husband and wife team, Dan and
Rolls-Royce dealer" of
Judy Dobin, in 1977.
the hospitality industry,
Valley Forge Fabrics' roots lie in flame-resistant textiles. That's
what Dan, a one-time government worker-turned traveling
salesman, criss-crossed the country to sell to schools and
theaters. But, taking note of the plentiful hotels popping up
on highways during his trips, Dan had a grander vision: The
fabrics he was armed with would also be a shoo-in for this
surge of new guestrooms. When his bosses disagreed, Dan
and Judy, fueled by grit, determination, and undeterred by a
negative cash flow, formed Valley Forge Fabrics on their own.
Dan hit the road selling and networking in a growing industry
while Judy oversaw the operations and finances.
Flame-retardant velvet drapes-a mainstay of theatrical
stages-was the company's initial product. Dan and Judy
made them integral to another glamorous arena. In the
early 1980s, a fire at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas led to
the implementation of hotel fire codes, and Valley Forge
Fabrics was asked to supply 3,000 yards of brown velvet, a
natural match for glitzy Strip settings. With Judy temporarily
ensconced in Vegas and an expanding Caesars Palace calling
next, the confident Dobins plunged into hospitality.
By 1992, with the hospitality landscape booming, Valley
Forge Fabrics outgrew its original New York office and

Pennsylvania shipping facilities and began anew in Florida.
"The move down south with all our families was reminiscent of
the old wagon train days of a hundred years ago," recalls Dan,
noting that with the shift they "went into debt again to acquire
the proper facilities and expanded our production team. We
didn't even notice the ups and downs of the larger economic
cycles of the time. We were too busy helping to create the
industry we know today."
A year later, Diana graduated from Lafayette College and
entered the family business, but with a forward-thinking twist:
She planted herself in Hong Kong for five years, where she
and her husband Steve expanded the brand's global presence.
"At first, we established a thriving sales office for the exploding
hotel market in China and all of Asia. In the late '90s, we
pivoted again to a production and sourcing office," explains
Diana. Then it was Mikey's turn to head East, to Singapore,
where he helped build Valley Forge Fabric's Dubai outpost.
By embracing professional specification standards
(today, an in-house lab verifies performance and durability)
and offering affordably priced custom textiles, Valley Forge
Fabrics has been an innovator since the 1980s. The company
also introduced luxe decorative faux leather and composite
fabric textures, like the soft headboard, for guestrooms, as
well as a short-run custom woven option and yarn-dyed
color matching system. Its most beloved product initiative
of all time is undoubtedly the high-end, low-price, quickdelivery fabrics comprising the Ten Under $Ten collections.
Later, in collaboration with Hi-Tex Corporation, came woven
jacquard Crypton. Prior to 2010, Valley Forge solely sold fabric
by the roll, but today 33 percent of the business' products
span decorative hardware, bedding, and no-fuss window
treatments. A boon to designers and their clients, Valley Forge

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NEWH - Fall 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - Fall 2020

NEWH - Fall 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PRESIDENT’S LETTER
GUEST PERSPECTIVE
WHO’S WHO
CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
HAVE YOU SEEN?
SCHOLARSHIPS
SCHOLARSHIP HEROES
INTERVIEW
SUSTAINABILITY
Q&A: KELLY IRVOLINO
Q&A: MANUELA KENNEDY
Q&A: JONATHAN YOUNG
ON THE COVER
PROJECT: CONRAD NEW YORK MIDTOWN
PROJECT: MESO
PROJECT: NH COLLECTION MILANO PORTA NUOVA
PROJECT: THE CENTENNIAL
PROJECT: THE WILBUR
CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
SAVE THE DATE
NEW MEMBERS
PARTNER PROFILES
AD INDEX
NEWH - Fall 2020 - NEWH - Fall 2020
NEWH - Fall 2020 - Cover2
NEWH - Fall 2020 - TABLE OF CONTENTS
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PRESIDENT’S LETTER
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 5
NEWH - Fall 2020 - GUEST PERSPECTIVE
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 7
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 8
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 9
NEWH - Fall 2020 - WHO’S WHO
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 11
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 12
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 13
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 14
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 15
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 16
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 17
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 18
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 19
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 20
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 21
NEWH - Fall 2020 - CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 23
NEWH - Fall 2020 - HAVE YOU SEEN?
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 25
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 26
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 27
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 28
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 29
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 30
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 31
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 32
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 33
NEWH - Fall 2020 - SCHOLARSHIPS
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 35
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 36
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 37
NEWH - Fall 2020 - SCHOLARSHIP HEROES
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 39
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 40
NEWH - Fall 2020 - INTERVIEW
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 42
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 43
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 44
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 45
NEWH - Fall 2020 - SUSTAINABILITY
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 47
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 48
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 49
NEWH - Fall 2020 - Q&A: KELLY IRVOLINO
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 51
NEWH - Fall 2020 - Q&A: MANUELA KENNEDY
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 53
NEWH - Fall 2020 - Q&A: JONATHAN YOUNG
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 55
NEWH - Fall 2020 - ON THE COVER
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 57
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PROJECT: CONRAD NEW YORK MIDTOWN
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 59
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 60
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 61
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PROJECT: MESO
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 63
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 64
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 65
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PROJECT: NH COLLECTION MILANO PORTA NUOVA
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 67
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 68
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 69
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PROJECT: THE CENTENNIAL
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 71
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 72
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 73
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PROJECT: THE WILBUR
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 75
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 76
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 77
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 78
NEWH - Fall 2020 - CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 80
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 81
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 82
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 83
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 84
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 85
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 86
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 87
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 88
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 89
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 90
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 91
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 92
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 93
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 94
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 95
NEWH - Fall 2020 - SAVE THE DATE
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 97
NEWH - Fall 2020 - NEW MEMBERS
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 99
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 100
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 101
NEWH - Fall 2020 - PARTNER PROFILES
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 103
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 104
NEWH - Fall 2020 - 105
NEWH - Fall 2020 - AD INDEX
NEWH - Fall 2020 - Cover3
NEWH - Fall 2020 - Cover4
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