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Haywin History, Haft Founds Fayette

Former Haywin CEO Gregg Haft has launched a new company that focuses on servicing all aspects of the home textiles industry.

The new company — Fayette — will be a multi-faceted operation dealing in four areas: licensing/strategic brand management, global-sourcing consulting for suppliers and retailers; brokerage for eight Asian mills, and consulting on liquidations and turnaround projects.

“I'm of the belief that the whole idea of a middleman between the factory and the retailer doesn't have a long time left in our industry because of the rate that the business is changing,” Haft said.

Haft's former business — 57-year-old Haywin Textiles Products — is among the recent victims of the trend. The company is in the final process of liquidation, having already sold off its remaining inventory and hard assets.

“After a very thoughtful and meaningful analysis of the company, the industry and the trends, I did not believe that there was a proper fit for Haywin in the future of the home textiles industry,” Haft said.

Fayette shares no business or legal relationship with Haywin, Haft said. The new venture is owned by Haft and is building out its staff, which currently numbers four. It is located at 361 Fifth Ave., the same building that housed Haywin, although Fayette is located on a different floor.

Many portions of the business will be conducted through a joint venture with Renaissance America, a sales agency business run by industry veteran Charlie Schlang, who was at one time Haywin's director of business development.

“We're a multi-functional turnkey organization,” Haft said. “We're doing something that's way out of the box for what I've seen in the marketplace.”

The licensing portion of the business will work to match licensees with licensors. When needed, it will also help guide license holders — whether they are retailers or suppliers — through the global supply-chain process to secure production and distribution for the product. In cases where a license may sign with licensees in a variety of categories, Fayette will manage the brand development.

The global sourcing unit, currently operating with an alliance of eight Asian manufacturers, will service the market in two aspects. It will connect retailers and suppliers with suppliers of bed-in-a-bag, sheets and terry products ranging in quality and price point from dollar stores to department stores, Haft said. It also serves as a facility for retailers looking to do more direct business, he added.

In addition, the unit will provide assistance to overseas manufacturers looking to establish a U.S. presence. Fayette will assist with hiring a sales staff and establishing relationships with factories and retailers, as well as advising factories on the proper types of supply chain infrastructure necessary to do business in the U.S. market.

The business-consulting unit will work with banks and investors on behalf of troubled companies that are entering the liquidation process or seeking turnaround help.

“We are just launching now, but we've been in the marketplace very quietly making presentations for about eight weeks,” Haft said.

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