You were an early believer in the power of marketing. Why is marketing important to a brand?
Marketing is important because it familiarizes the purchaser with a brand that they might not recognize but might actually need. Marketing is your voice to the outside world, it is your shot at telling others who you are and what you have to offer.
Kravet is a family-run company. In what ways has that been an advantage?
We have been able to make decisions within the family while still consulting our employees for both creative and operational issues. On a daily basis, our family discusses issues both large and small, always coming to what we believe is the best decision for the company. We are also able to respond to things rather quickly without having to go through the proverbial red tape.
What is it like working with members of your immediate family?
So enjoyable. I come to work and I feel so lucky to be able to see my children every day. And we even have lunch together in our Kravet Cafe.
Kravet is currently run by your children. When did they join the family business?
They officially joined the business in the 80s after college and graduate schools but actually they grew up in the business…from the time they were little ones, they gathered on our kitchen floor to help select fabrics…all following in the footsteps of their father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
How does the corporate structure accommodate the strengths of each Kravet family member?
Cary, Lisa, Scott and Ellen each has his or her own area of expertise which allows them to work independently as well as together.
How has the company changed through the years?
S. Kravet & Sons began in 1918 as a small trimmings supplier, started by Samuel Kravet, an immigrant tailor from Russia. Through the years, through hard work and dedication, Kravet emerged as a national distributor of decorative fabrics. Today, we are very proud of our accomplishments as we stand as the leader in home furnishings to the decorative trade.
What do you consider one of your biggest achievements?
My children, the next generation of Kravets, taking over the business and bringing it to the next level.
What has been the highlight of your career?
Creating the revolutionary print campaign for Kravet that incorporated our beautiful fabrics with different forms of art and nature. It was a first in the industry.
Who has impacted your career most and how?
My husband Larry, with his knowledge, foresight and encouragement. We worked together on marketing and advertising, creating a new image and direction to showcase our beautiful products to the interior design industry.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned in your career?
Always stay on top of trends, be open to new ideas, be flexible, stay ahead of the pack, and search for new ways to do things. Always provide your customers with the best service out there.
What advice would you offer to a woman starting her career in design?
Read, study, read, study, and have a real interest in what you are doing. Become aware of world fashion, spend time in museums, and then study some more. There is so much to learn. Become an expert, enjoy the challenges, be confident, and take time to absorb the beauty in the world.