• Jennifer Marks

Edie/R&M Set to Add Retailers

The Edie, inc./R&M Industries partnership is preparing to spread its wings.

The alliance between Manhattan-based design and product development house Edie, inc. and Escondido, Calif.-based importer and distributor R&M Industries was forged in 2004. Since then, the company has focused on building a core fashion bedding and dec pillow business with mid/moderate to better/moderate accounts. Now it is ready to accelerate expansion — both with volume retailers and specialized accounts such as home accents chains, furniture chains, regional specialty stores, and internet retailers.

"The foundation is laid, the first floor is building. Now we're looking for the second floor," said founder and designer Edie Roberts.

Roberts spent 15 years as an apparel designer before partnering with a friend to create high-end home fashions design firm Roberts Domond, which housed its manufacturing on 24th Street in New York. The end of the dot-com bubble combined with recession and post-9/11 malaise spelled the end for that business in 2002.

Under the venture with R&M Industries, design and most of the sales operations are based in New York. The company also has sales reps in California, Texas, and the metro New York area, and is scouting for a Southeastern rep.

"A lot of people come to Edie for product development or special products," said Chantale Bayard-Fabri, vp of sales and marketing. The business is currently split roughly 50/50 between fashion bedding and dec pillows; the company plans to build out its offerings in bath and window.

Roberts describes the operation as "a boutique resource" that specializes in unearthing inexpensive but promising fabrics "and jazzing them up."

She added: "We're small, fat, and happy. That's not a bad place to be."

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