Over two decades ago, Avi Cohen scoured Southern California's department and specialty stores for home furnishings. After finding nothing to suit his tastes, he created a plan to start a home furnishings company of his own. Cohen's father put him in touch with an Israeli fabric mill executive and Veratex was born.
In 1992, Cohen opened a small sewing and manufacturing facility in Los Angeles and began importing piece goods. After three months, the modest 400 square foot facility expanded to 1,200 square feet. by the end of the second year, capacity was at nearly 12,000 feet and growing. Cohen explains the rapid progress of the company by the deep commitment and confidence he had in the company from the rough beginning. “At first our growth was very slow, but we kept reinvesting all of our money into the business, using better fabrics and higher quality fabrications,” he says. “We started to gain placement in the small independent specialty stores and some larger specialty stores on the West Coast and in Canada. in 1994, we introduced our first woven jacquard bedding… it became a number one seller. That was when business really took off.
Indeed business did take off. Dale Talbert, Vice President of Veratex, boasts “We have grown to a point where we can service the larger national chains.
The monumental growth of Veratex enabled the company to expand its retail customer base as well as its manufacturing base. Larger, state-of-the-art facilities also mean better service and delivery capabilities. “We deliver as well as any bedding company in the industry,” Talbert asserts. “The new, larger facilities have allowed us to increase our business with our existing customers, as well as go after new, larger customers, because we can invest in the inventory go service the customers.
Cohen remarks, "We are pursuing our own unique vision. We believe the only way we will continue to grow is to stay to our convictions.” the Veratex look and quality is unique. Intricate woven designs, opulent embellishments, stylish color tones, and sumptuously soft textures are the ingredients found in any Veratex bedroom ensemble. Cohen strives to create “elegant and classic looks” by focusing on the tastes of his consumers.
Veratex is known in the industry for incorporating assortments of fabric and trim. “We use multiple coordinating jacquard fabrics in every ensemble, as well as decorative cording and our signature tassels.” Talbert describes.
Veratex quality comes from sourcing fabrics both domestically and overseas. “We source from all over the world to find the highest quality fabrics and trims so that our product is special.” Cohen asserts. Veratex was also the first bedding company to offer 240 thread count sateen sheets with every ensemble.
The heart of Veratex's business is a continually evolving variety of new designs and fabrications. Veratex has upgraded its regular sateen sheets to 250 thread count and is developing an extensive range of new designs including chic contemporary patterns, elegant embroidery styles, and comfortable casual fashions. In the true spirit of the company, Veratex is continuing to develop more luxurious fabrications. “We are introducing our Anniversary collection of 350 thread count jacquard sateen sheets and accessories in seven solid colors,” Talbert points out.
Well established as a leading supplier of lavish bedroom ensembles, Veratex is immersing itself in the intricacies of decorative bath fashions. Veratex introduced its first bath ensembles a year ago, and the initial response has been very positive. "Bath is the next logical extension for our business," remarks Talbert. "Because there are relatively few players in the industry offering better bath products, our retail customers suggested we get into the business. So far, we've been very pleased with their response to the line we see bath as a real growth opportunity for the company."Director of bath and licensing, points out that the bath collections are designed to harmonize with Veratex's bedding patterns, not necessarily match them directly, “We're creating classic looks that can either be sold as freestanding bath ensembles, or mix and match with our bedding patterns."
Veratex is sourcing its bath products in a variety of different countries, in order to present a complete range of merchandise. "We are offering bath accessories in metal, ceramic, glass and high quality resin to complement our shower curtains, We also manufacture our own embellished towels to coordinate." Cohen says, "Consumers like it when the products are all pulled together they look at a suit on a mannequin and also buy the shirt and tie. we are taking a similar approach. we are coordinating our bed and bath products, and making it easier for consumers to create a decorative look for their home."
Veratex strives to maintain the satisfaction of its variety of consumers. in order to "look out for the little guys,” Veratex developed a new computerized ordering system on its website, www.veratex.com. "The first people to give us orders were the small specialty stores, the 'mom-and-pops'" recalls Veratex president Avi Cohen. "They were loyal to us and helped us build our business. Now, we are repaying their loyalty by making it easier for them to do business." Retailers can access an online ordering system with their name and a password, which they receive through Veratex's customer service.
The system allows them to place an order, view the status of an order and receive advance ship notices. The site also incorporates an online credit application and email confirmation of all orders. The online ordering system is connected directly to Veratex's production network, so that retailers can view where an order is in the production cycle. Customers can view current items and prices on the website and once orders are placed, it is automatically put into the production scheduling system. This process gives small retailers many of the same advantages that larger retailers have with EDI, as Cohen calls the new electronic system.
Cohen points out, "We believe the independent specialty stores are an important part of the market, and they have been instrumental in our success. By making this available to them, it levels the playing field somewhat and makes them more competitive. As their business grows, our business with them grows.
Veratex executives enjoyed the past 15 years of unprecedented growth and expansion but they aren't stopping to rest now. Veratex is positioning itself for future growth, building on a firm foundation of product innovation, exceptional quality, superior service and personal integrity. "We realize it will take a substantial investment in time and money, but we are in this for the long haul," Cohen remarks. "We believe the only way to grow is to offer innovative designs, better product and value. This is what we want the Veratex brand to mean to the consumer. "It's been a fun ride and we are going to continue to take an aggressive approach to the market,” he concludes. "Tomorrow is a new day."