Circa 1801/Doblin merge

Gary Evans, Carole Sloan, February 4, 2002

Doblin and Circa 1801 have been merged to form a newly combined entity — Circa 1801/Doblin, the high-end unit of the giant home furnishings textiles producer Joan Fabrics Corp.

Elkin McCallum, chairman of Joan Fabrics, commented, "When I bought Circa 1801 eight months ago it was always my plan to bring these two entities under the leadership of John Lenox and Margaret Coffin." He added, "One of the most creative design teams is Margaret and John, and I'm glad to have them back."

Lenox and Coffin were formerly with Doblin and left to be part of the startup team of Circa 1801 in 1997. Under the new arrangement, Lenox will be president and Coffin will be executive vp of the combined entity, based in Connelly Springs, NC. Doblin is one of the units of Joan Fabrics Corp., the others being Mastercraft, Home Fabrics, Joan Fabrics and Main Street.

The partnership arrangement with Lenox and Coffin is via a marketing company that designs, markets and sells the products. McCallum owns the manufacturing facilities.

As part of the combination, there are changes in the executive and sales alignment at Doblin. Kathy Carr will no longer represent Doblin in the Northeast and will focus on the home fabrics division. "She will help in putting teeth into the New York market and will help Wesley Mancini, who designs the line, to work more aggressively with the jobber community there," McCallum said.

Nick Chmil, Doblin's High Point, NC, rep, will relocate to the firm's New York office and will represent the combined entity in the Northeast. Brian Chmil, also based in High Point, and Bob Balitow, based at Circa 1801's headquarters, will represent the entity in the Southeast. Chicago-based Richard Zack and his team, continue to represent all Joan divisions, which now includes the combined Circa 1801/Doblin units. Norman Zoroff continues to represent Mastercraft, Home and Joan Velvets on the West Coast, with Joe Brooks, who was Doblin's rep on the West Coast, adding the Circa 1801 business.

Bruce Allen, executive vp, design and merchandising for Doblin, moves to Mastercraft, where he will work in special design projects, including the Advantage collection. He reports to Ray King, Mastercraft's executive vp, sales and marketing.

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