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Designer Dikomeit calls it quits after four decades

Heath E. Combs, Marvin Lazaro -- Home Textiles Today, April 16, 2001

NEW YORK — After more than four decades of working in the home textiles industry, seeing companies come and go and working for several different companies herself, well-known designer Terry Dikomeit retired on the opening day of spring market.

She retired as the senior designer for Croscill Home, for which she has worked the last 15 years. She cited the health of her husband, a desire to move to a warmer climate and to do something different as the reasons for designing her final patterns.

"I just got up one morning and I realized it was time to move to a warmer place and just relax and do something else with my life," Dikomeit told Home Textiles Today.

Dikomeit and her husband of 45 years, who is also retired, will be moving to central Florida this week, where they have some property and recently had a house built. Despite her retirement she will continue to express her creativity through the studio that is part of the new home.

Dikomeit began her career working as a colorist for United Merchants in the 1950s. Over the years, she steadily moved up the ladder and worked for various companies such as Ex-Cell Home Fashions, Hollander Home Fashions and CHF. She has worked through countless trends and innumerable designs, not to mention good times and bad in the home textiles industry.

"I have had a wonderful career," she said. "God has been very good to me by giving me the creativity and the adrenaline I needed to push my way along and get everything accomplished that I wanted to."

According to Steve McKeever, senior buyer for bedding at JCPenney, "Terry's made a tremendous contribution, not just to JCPenney but to Croscill and to the entire industry. Her list of winners is endless and includes market leaders like Brushstrokes, Riviera, Mustique, Town & Country, Watercolors and many, many more. We wish we had a lot more of them."

McKeever added, "Terry looks at a product and takes it to the nth degree, she doesn't stint on details. She has a keen eye for pattern. Doing this she changed both Croscill and the industry. And equally important, she's extremely cooperative to work with."

Although her career spanned decades and her accomplishments include several dozen successful patterns as well as a Hometex award for lifetime achievement, Dikomeit said she was most proud of the amount of people she had given advice to and helped. She said she was always willing to give advice to young designers who approached her and needed help with their careers, designs or products.

"I'm proud to have been able to help people. I never said 'I can't help you,'" she added.

Dikomeit said the industry and all the people she had met were all very good to her and provided her with a second home. The years flew by and resulted in a highly successful and satisfying career.

"I had a blast," she said. "It was wonderful. I remember so many things that happened. I have a lot of wonderful memories. Happy memories mostly, and some sad. I had a ball."

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