DJC Design Studio Closes

DJC Design Studio, the designer and producer of award winning fashion throws, will close at the end of the year.

President Diane Jackson Cole and vp Karen Carpenter will retire from the business which Jackson founded in 1992. Major changes in the industry, especially off-shore sourcing, and an inability to protect original design work globally, contributed to the decision to shut the business, Cole said. The closing is not attributable to a negative financial situation. “There is no debt,” she emphasized.

The company will continue to fill existing orders from major accounts that are already on the books through the fall season at the 15,000-sq.-ft. facility here.

The company held an auction of machinery here last week “that was not very successful,” Cole said. She seeks to contribute the rest of the equipment to textile design schools for student work.

“We sought a strategic alliance with another entity “with the unique ability to grow it into a premier branded line.” The dramatic changes in the industry did not allow time to find the right partnership, she said. The peak years for fashion throws were in the 1990s, she related.

During the company's lifetime, it was cited by Heimtextil's Trend program, Pitti Casa's Trend Invitational Exhibit, and Maison & Objet. It won a Best New Product award from the New York Home Textiles Show. An early proponent of exporting, DJC received the SBA's Exporter of the Year award.

Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Horchow, Garnet Hill, Ralph Lauren, Ethan Allen, and Waterford were among the major accounts.

Cole, who has founded and run three successful companies in the textile industry over 33 years, will concentrate of refreshing her painting skills. “I was a fine arts person before textiles and I want to paint again, take courses and refresh my talents. I've been a workaholic over the years. This will be a big change, but I loved my career.”

Cole will maintain her home here and in Kennebunk, Maine. Carpenter will move to Georgia where she previously lived.

Cole expressed “gratitude to her loyal employees, professional sales reps and some innovative suppliers” who helped her develop novelty yarns and fabrics, and “Karen Carpenter for her loyalty, dedication and hard work over the last 18 years.”

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