Alkin returns to home textiles with new business
Retail Editor 3 -- Home Textiles Today, April 15, 2011
Irvine, Calif. - 100% Pure co-founder Jonathan Alkin, who sold the business and left the industry a few years ago, re-appeared last month during the New York Home Fashions Market with a flexible new business concept that provides U.S.-based cut & sew services along with design consulting.
Although Alkin and then-business partner Trevor Rabkin sold 100% Pure to GTT International in 2007, Alkin hung on to the West Coast cut & sew facility.
"Never got rid of it. Reduced it tremendously, obviously," said Alkin, whose new business is iJon LLC. However, "China price not being ‘China price' anymore," Alkin said, he has seen an opportunity to leverage the facility, which just took in its first order from a high-end organic bedding company.
"I'm not trying to compete with China or India - period. That's an impossibility," said Alkin.
For moderate to better goods, the facility offers fast sample turn-arounds for bedding, windows and pillows on the proposition that U.S. suppliers can work with iJon's facility to nail down design specs before sending samples off to factories abroad for orders. The company can also warehouse fabrics.
"We're not going to have labor inflation over here," he said. "On better-end goods, I don't think the labor costs are as significant."
As Alkin made the rounds during New York's market last month, he said he also received inquiries about offering design consulting.
"I was very pleased that people were saying, ‘Great idea - and why aren't you wearing the design hat?'"
As to his return after a hiatus, he said: "It was very refreshing coming back in."
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