Proud as a Peacock, supplier turns 30
By Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, 10/6/2003 12:00:00 AM
What started as a small decorative pillow company with one account has since developed into a multimillion dollar supplier of fine bedding and bath linens category, as Peacock Alley celebrated 30 years in business Oct. 1.
"I never envisioned 30 years ago what we would be doing today," said Mary Ella Gabler, founder and ceo.
"I am so grateful for all of our wonderful customers and dedicated employees. We spend one-third of our lives in the bedroom, so it makes sense that this should be a place of peace and comfort, as well as a multipurpose space for living, working and sleeping."
In 1973, Gabler began her business by selling her boudoir pillows to her single account, Neiman Marcus, and that relationship developed to where she was doing custom work for Stanley Marcus in the early 1980s.
Peacock Alley evolved into producing top of the bed and became known for that category up until the late '80s. At that point, Gabler knew that "sheets really drive the top of the bed business," and so she dove into that area.
Now the company offers 28 lines of fine bedding linens, as well as fragrance, robes, baby products, dog beds and furniture for the bedroom. Bath has also been strengthened with the purchase of King Cotton, a high-quality bath supplier, a year and a half ago, and which now includes eight towel lines, and which is now 40 percent ahead over a year ago.
Bedding now accounts for about 80 percent of its business, with bath at about 15 percent and the balance in its fragrance line. It also has two retail stores, here and in Fort Worth, and 31 in-store boutiques, as well as being featured in more than 1,200 specialty stores and catalogs worldwide.
For this market, the company introduced Positano, a toile reminiscent of an Italian villa and in earthen shades of flax, sandstone and on a slate blue textured ground. Its baby collection added the Picnic pattern, a classic buffalo check accented with white ric-rac and ticking stripes.
The company also moved its corporate offices last year, bringing together all of its design, manufacturing, administrative and warehouse/shipping departments into an 82,000 square foot facility.
"I love this business," Gabler said. "We all have a passion for it at the company – which is probably what keeps it going. It's fun being in the upper end of the business as well. Customers really want quality and service and we strive to do that for them."
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