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Maite Designs Expands

Diversifies, Adds Distributors, Plans Branding

Home textiles manufacturer Maite Designs is branching out, opening its first wholesale showroom in the United States and negotiating a joint venture with an embroidery operation in Vietnam.

The company also just opened a new 300,000 square foot facility at its headquarters, which is an hour by air from both Beijing and Shanghai, said board member William Hurley.

"Liu Xiaox, the owner and ceo, is taking a very broad-range view to the business," said Hurley, who is based at the company's U.S. office in Roswell, Ga. "We see China obviously as our base of operations, but from there we will go other places to augment our manufacturing."

Deepali Velayuthan, general manager for Maite Designs North Americas Division, noted that Vietnam produces unique types of embroideries, many influenced by its years under French colonial rule.

Velayuthan, who handles sales, marketing and product development, said the company is also in the process of establishing a distribution network and searching for regional sales reps.

In Japan and Europe, Maite's business is largely private label in the mid to upper level, said Hurley. "Liu Xiaox decided to take a different tack in the U.S.," he added. "While we're certainly open to doing private label, we want to establish a brand" at the boutique level. "It's a choice of which market we can get the most traction with. It's less of a budget issue than a time issue."

The company employs 5,000, producing products including fashion bedding, bath, table linens and curtains, said Hurley. "We've taken out all the intermediary steps in the supply chain," he said. "We're not looking to take the price point of the market down; we're looking to add to the quality at the existing price point."

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