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Brumlow Mills to begin importing

Brumlow Mills, historically a domestic manufacturer of tufted bath, accent and area rugs, based here, is branching out into new home textile categories by getting into importing for the first time in its 14-year history.

"Importing is important beyond price points," said Mitchell Brumlow, president. "When you talk about imported product, you talk about affordable, good-quality, stylish merchandise that can't be made in the Western countries because of labor and overhead costs. By importing, we are affording our consumer the ability to buy product that isn't beyond reach, price-wise. Plus, we also want to become a more important vendor to our retail base and offer them differentiated product."

Aiding its expansion are three new hires, all formerly of Spartan International, which shut down in May. Frank Dwyer, Gary Kirsch and Bill Weltzer have all been added to the Brumlow team. (See story below.)

The new categories Brumlow Mills is entering include bath towels, bath accessories and storage products. All these products — as well as some handmade rugs — will be imported from "several" overseas countries throughout Europe and Asia, Brumlow said.

Added Brumlow of the new hires: "These gentleman built that business for Spartan into a multi-million dollar business. We see it as a business opportunity where there's a need and demand for products."

Brumlow Mills intends to target Spartan's same former retail partners as well as its existing customers, Brumlow said.

"We're going for the works," he said, explaining that with a greater breadth of product the company will look to partner with all levels of retailers — from mass to mid-tier to department, catalog and specialty stores.

"We have something for them all," he said.

In other Brumlow Mills news, the company is moving into a larger showroom at the New York City Home Textiles Building, 295 Fifth Ave., in time for the upcoming New York Home Textiles Show in October. The showroom will be stocked with products from Brumlow's new collections.

Staying on the seventh floor, Brumlow Mills' new space is "at least twice the size of our old space," Brumlow said.

According to Brumlow, there is another perk. "People will find us sooner because we're now closer to the elevator than we were before," he said.

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