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FAB grows with new baby line

Fashion Accessory Bazaar, a small but growing supplier in the pillow and throw business, is branching out yet again, this time into the baby business.

The line is scheduled to launch in the fall with micro-terry and cotton knit constructions priced under $20, said president Steve Russo. The company also is looking for a baby brand to license.

"We feel there are some significant opportunities in that area," he said. "It also extends our reach in the upper mass market."

FAB was founded five years ago by Russo, who was previously president of Accessories Network, a mass market supplier of backpacks, handbags, fashion headwear, hosiery, belts, scarves, cold weather accessories and novelties.

FAB's focal assortments include similar accessories, handbags and stationery, many of them licensed. However, the company also has been building what Russo refers to as a "den accessories" business — dec pillows and throws — and has reached a point where it's ready to raise its profile, Russo said.

"We're not really running to ship volume; we're looking to build relationships," he added. "We're trying to plant seeds with key strategic retailers."

The company's niche is "hand-feel fabrications," and current home licenses include Waverly Garden Room, Todd Oldham and Woolco. FAB also produces goods under its own label, Home Inspiration. FAB's point of differentiation is its own overseas sourcing office, Pacific Sourcing Group, which Russo owns.

Another growing business is junior accessories for the home, including stools and trash cans. To accommodate its new business, the company last fall moved to a new space on West 34th St. here.

"You can't try to be everything to everybody," Russo said. "You have to pick your spots and every year bring in one or two more retailers."

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