A fifth-generation family business celebrates renovation in Woodbury
Kravet Inc. has recently opened its brand new Woodbury showroom on Tuesday, May 10. It sits alongside the new corporate headquarters, marking a new and thrilling era for the company. The new renovation was completed with sustainability kept in mind. The building now includes solar panels and energy-efficient lighting. The new showroom is triple the size of their Bethpage location.
The Woodbury showroom includes fabric, wall covering, furniture, trim, decor and more across Kravet, Lee Jofa, Brunschwig & Fils, GP & J Baker, Donghia, CuratedKravet, Kravet Contract. All the company’s distributed brands are featured and include Clarke & Clarke, Cole & Son, Blithfield, Winfield Thybony, Metaphores and more. This new showroom highlights an assortment of luxury furniture, including carpet, wall covering and branded boutiques. Designers can work together with their clients or the Kravet staff in private Designer Studios in the showroom, offering a professional and productive environment.
The new showroom includes a Kravet Workspace, where the fabrics are sorted by color for easier decision-making. Clients can also utilize the showroom’s digital peg board to peruse through the products offered by simply scanning a bar code and viewing similar items that may be related to their search. Digital tear sheets for pricing and record keeping can also be printed for customers.
A new addition to the showroom is The Shade Store, where designers can develop custom window treatments with a 10 percent discount when selecting a Kravet fabric.
Adjacent to the showroom and offices is the renowned Kravet Textile Archive. The archive holds one of the most impressive collections of original documents and artwork from all over the world, some even dating as far back as the 2nd Century. There are more than 32,000 pieces in the archive that are organized by design period, construction and country of origin. It is like holding a piece of history directly in your hands. The Kravet archive is visible to designers through a glass divider, where they can view Kravet product developers at work preserving the various documents.
“My family and our team at Kravet are thrilled to be in our new state-of-the-art headquarters,”Cary Kravet said. “While the square footage is substantially larger than where we were previously, the environment feels much warmer and more inviting. It is analogous to a new, well-designed and decorated home. It just feels right. When our COVID-19 protocols permit, we look forward to inviting all of our designer friends to visit our new home. Until then, please come and feel comfortable in our new showroom.”
According to archivist Lina Forrester, the Kravet archive “…is so expansive that it covers literally the whole globe. We have Japanese kimonos, we have Japanese prints, we have Shibori, which is a shibori Japanese tie dye. We [recently] acquired from a mill in France our newest, biggest collection of tapestries, textiles and art. It was [on] the border of Belgium and France and the mill was huge during the end of the 1800s and early 1900s and they had about 7,000 workers, which is really large for a mill at that time. We also have Tapa, which is like bark cloth and I think it’s one of the most primitive materials made.”
In order to keep everything within the archive well preserved, the room is temperature controlled and humidity controlled. The temperature is constantly checked to ensure that it stays between a certain degree, between 40 and 60 is optimal.
About 10 years ago, Kravet Inc. purchased a company that was a former competitor. The business was in distress according to Scott Kravet.
“They were very French focused, with beautiful museum quality pieces,” Kravet explained. “We’ve probably had it for [around] 10 years. I’ve seen half of it.”
He added, “We’re trying to also repair and categorize a few things. The whole purpose of the archive is to share it either with customers, employees, students and anyone who has any interest in it. People are curious as to what’s here. We’re restoring a lot of these items, and they have new life. It’s terrific. These pieces are quite large and can be reinterpreted to print, weave or as a wall covering.”
Sometimes there are missing pieces of tapestries and Kravet Inc. tries to complete it by discovering the missing parts.
“It’s a big jigsaw puzzle, but it’s nice when I can go to different countries and find different pieces,” Scott Kravet said.
Kravet Inc. was established in 1918 and has since then been the leader in the home furnishings industry. Their fifth-generation family business distributes fabrics, furniture, wall coverings, trimmings, carpets and accessories. In 1902, Samuel Kravet, a tailor from Russia, arrived in the United States and tailored in New York City.
S.Kravet & Sons was founded with Samuel Kravet’s four sons—Morris, Sam, Sol and Hy—selling fabric and trimmings to the interior design trade in 1918. S. Kravet & Sons became known as Kravet Fabrics, Inc. in 1960. The corporate office and warehouse was then built in Woodbury in 1963.
During the 1980’s, the fourth generation of the Kravet family entered the business—Cary, Lisa, Scott and Ellen Kravet. New warehouses were developed in Bethpage, New York and Anderson, SC. Kravet Inc. recently celebrated its centennial in 2018.