FreeSpirit will continue under the Jaftex Corporation umbrella, which also produces Henry Glass Fabrics, Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp., Fabric Editions and A.E. Nathan Co., Inc.
The sale was announced Monday, February 26, in an email to FreeSpirit customers from Scott Fortunoff, owner of Jaftex Corp. The email detailed that Jaftex Corp., plans to ensure “minimal disruption to the marketplace” in the distribution of new lines, and mentioned Tula Pink and Anna Maria Horner specifically as designers who would be part of a Spring International Quilt Market programming.
Kaffe Fassett is also quoted in the email, saying: “We could not be more thrilled to be working with a company that has a true entrepreneurial spirit. We move forward, grateful that the Fortunoff family recognizes the excellence of our brand.”
The Original Morris & Co., Dena Designs, Snow Leopard Studios, Jennifer Paganelli, Heather Bailey were also listed as being part of FreeSpirit’s “global portfolio of artists.” It is unclear from the email if all artists will be included or what will happen to the FreeSpirit employees.
The Jaftex Corporation is home to A.E. Nathan Co., Inc., Henry Glass Fabrics, Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp. & Fabric Editions. Based in New York City, all of the companies owned by Jaftex Corp., were acquired in the last 25 years. But the company is an 88-year-old 4th generation, family owned business.
The email sent to Free Spirit retailers is included in full below.
JAFTEX CORPORATION ANNOUNCES INTENT TO PURCHASE FREESPIRIT FABRICS
(Charlotte, NC) Today, the Jaftex Corporation, a fourth generation, family-owned textile company, announced its intent to acquire FreeSpirit Fabrics. The acquisition would expand on Jaftex’s portfolio that currently includes Henry Glass Fabrics, Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp., Fabric Editions and A.E. Nathan Co., Inc.
The plan under the ownership of Robert, Greg and Scott Fortunoff is to ensure minimal disruption to the marketplace in terms of FreeSpirit’s current distribution and introduction of new lines. The “new” FreeSpirit will have a full presence at the Spring International Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon including artists Tula Pink and a premier schoolhouse by Anna Marie Horner and her new conservatory program.
“We are ecstatic to carry on the premier FreeSpirit brand,” said Scott Fortunoff (4th generation.) “Our intention is to maintain the ethos of the brand and its portfolio of well-recognized designers as well as the majority of the internal FreeSpirit team. We will continue to move forward with all of the existing marketing and sales efforts. We look forward to serving all of our retail partners with all of our brands, including FreeSpirit, for many years to come.”
Established in 2000, FreeSpirit brought vibrant, bold and large-scale designs from world-renowned licensed artists whose personalities equaled the brilliance of their fabric. Coats purchased the brand in 2007. Today, the global portfolio of artists includes the Kaffe Fassett Collective, Tula Pink, Anna Maria Horner, The Original Morris & Co., Dena Designs, Snow Leopard Studios, Jennifer Paganelli, Heather Bailey and many more talented artists.
“We could not be more thrilled to be working with a company that has a true entrepreneurial spirit,” said Kaffe Fassett. “We move forward, grateful that the Fortunoff family recognizes the excellence of our brand.”
“Uniquely, this acquisition brings us a proven brand with a plethora of well-loved designers. We look forward to bringing this together with minimal disruption to the retailers’ inventory of their favorite designer’s fabrics,” said Greg Fortunoff.
FreeSpirit is one brand under Westminster Fibers, Inc., which is part of Coats. It is one of the leading suppliers of high quality quilting fabrics and well known in the textile industry for its creative and unique fabric designs as well as talented and trend-setting artists. FreeSpirit offers retail stores some of the finest fabrics in the market that inspire sewing creativity and speaks to a new generation of sewing enthusiasts.
About Jaftex Corporation:
Jaftex Corporation is an 88 year-old, 4th generation, family owned business, based out of New York City. Jaftex has several well-known brands under its umbrella that include A.E. Nathan Co., Inc., Henry Glass Fabrics, Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp. & Fabric Editions. All of the companies under the Jaftex umbrella were acquired over the last 25 years.
Coats is the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer and a major player in the Americas textile crafts market. At home in some 60 countries, Coats employs 19,000 people across six continents.
Coats’ pioneering history and innovative culture ensure the company leads the way around the world: providing complementary and value-added products and services to the apparel and footwear industries; applying innovative techniques to develop high technology Performance Materials threads and yarns in areas such as automotive, composites and fibre optics; and extending the crafts offer into new markets and online.
Headquartered in the UK, Coats is a FTSE 250 listed company on the London Stock Exchange.