The Tables Are Turning

Julie Gaines tells us her and her husband's tales of trekking cross-country in search of tableware, entering the international market-and holding their own against Macy's.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the June 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Vital Stats: , 37, and , 41, of -based

Company: Retailer of tabletop settings and commercial started in 1987

2000 Sales: More than $4 million

Us vs. Them: " knocked off our [212/New York] Skyline pattern, so we had our own little in-house campaign-'Fishs Eddy: where Macy's shops for ideas.' When Restoration Hardware started expanding, we got nervous, went back to the drawing board and put blinders on. We don't start [by] looking at what they're doing. We immediately stop looking at what they're doing."

Globalization: "[Thanks to] travel guides, people visit [our stores] from all over the world, and we ship all over the world. We're trying to expand to , and [expansion to] other major cities is likely. Down the line, I could see us selling our line in other stores." Even Macy's? "Yeah (laughter). We're not bitter-we see it as a compliment. Plus, I think we've made a market in the tabletop industry in our own way."

Excessive Hype: "We don't pay much attention to [all the press we get]. It's a nice way to get the word out, but it doesn't dictate where we're going. We really listen to customers, and people still want everyday stuff."

Where to Find Commercial China: "America is so picked over right now that we just go to our secret places in the -places that aren't accessible by any mode of transportation other than a military jeep . . . or at least an SUV."


Contact Source

loading...

More from Entrepreneur

We created the Start Your Own Business (SYOB) course to help you get started on your entrepreneurial journey. You will learn everything you need to know about testing the viability of your idea, writing a business plan, raising funds, and opening for business.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Entrepreneur Store scours the web for the newest software, gadgets & web services. Explore our giveaways, bundles, "Pay What You Want" deals & more.

Latest on Entrepreneur