• Cecile Corral

Longtime execs launch towel biz

A group of industry veterans — colleagues and friends for more than 27 years — recently got together to create the new embellished towel company dubbed Towels, Towels, Towels.

Michael Babish, formerly of Pillowtex, Greg Johnson, formerly of Fieldcrest, and Steve Shapiro, formerly of Dundee, will launch the company's first line of embellished bath ensembles at the upcoming New York Home Textiles Market. Towels, Towels, Towels will show from a suite at the Flatotel, located at 135 W. 52nd St. between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. The company is looking to eventually secure permanent showroom space.

Towels, Towels, Towels is backed financially by GE Capitol, which extended a $900,000 line of credit to help the partners launch the venture three months ago.

Babish, vp of sales for all retail accounts for the new company, said the plan is to offer the mass retailers a line of goods and not to compete with longtime embellished towel supplier Avanti Linens.

"In a category which is being dominated by one player, Avanti Linens, we obviously feel there's room for opportunity," Babish said. Johnson is the president and Shapiro is ceo of Towels, Towels, Towels.

"We will try not to compete with Avanti … We plan on targeting our energies toward the mass retailers," said Babish.

Price points are set at $12.99 to $19.99 for a bath towel. All of the towels are imported from Vietnam.

The initial launch of product will be composed of approximately 30 patterns, each of which is available in two colorways — white and ecru. Design themes include fish, shells, flowers and contemporary geometric styles.

The company owns and operates a 22,000-square-foot distribution facility outside Los Angeles.

"[The three of us] have experience in the towel business and with importing towel blanks and resourcing from other countries," Babish said.

Once the embellished towel program gets off the ground, Babish said, the company expects to add beach towels and unembellished jacquard bath towels to is assortment.

Cecile CorralCecile Corral | Senior Product Editor, Home Textiles Today

Cecile B. Corral has been a product editor with Home Textiles Today since late 2000. She covers the area and accent rug, kitchen textiles, table linens, beach towels, decorative bath and decorative pillow categories, as well as some retail subjects.

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