Discover how a family business has thrived through several generations in this Echo Bedding and Bath Linens Interview. Learn how Meg and Steven Roberts have successfully grown this cherished family business and even taken it into the bedding industry in this exclusive interview with LoveToKnow editor Sally Painter.
Echo Bedding and Bath Linens Interview
LoveToKnow (LTK): Is there any significance or meaning to your company name?
Meg Roberts (MR): The company was founded in 1923 by Edgar and Theresa Hyman (my husband's grandparents) on their wedding day, and was called the Edgar C. Hyman Co. Theresa eventually took Edgar's initials, and borrowed the "o" from Company and created ECHO. The joke is that it was a good thing she added the "o" because can you imagine a fashion company being called "ECH!"?
LTK: What are some of the challenges you've faced as a family-owned and operated business?
Steven Roberts (SR): I have to say that the challenges we faced have more to do with the usual challenges of business and of the changing marketplace rather than from being a family business. I'm sure it sounds too good to be true, but we all get along extremely well. We have different strengths and skill sets, but they complement each other. We are still here after 87 years, when most family-owned businesses fall apart by the third generation, so that says something!
Secrets of a Successful Business
LTK: What do you attribute to the longevity and success of your business?
MR: A few simple, but extremely important fundamental qualities and values. It almost goes without saying that we have very talented designers; you can see that in the product! We are constantly traveling, innovating, trying to find the best, design the best, but what you can't physically see is the integrity that we live by in every facet of our business.
SR: We feel our mission is to consistently produce innovative and quality fashion-right products. We never underestimate the taste level and sophistication of our consumers, and we do our best to stay as close as possible to our customers and to the end-consumer as well. After all, we are consumers, too, and we try to tap into what we all want, how our daily lives and needs are changing, how we are spending our time, and how that translates into how we can design and create the most relevant, exciting products possible. Most importantly, we are happy when our customers are happy and that drives us to not only design fantastic collections season after season but also to provide remarkable customer service. After 87 years, our passion and drive keeps us current.
Moving Beyond Scarves into Bedding Linens
LTK: When did the company branch out from manufacturing only scarves to bedding?
MR: In 1992, Echo diversified into the Home Industry, first into wallpaper and fabrics, and then bedding was launched in 1993.
LTK: Your bedding designs are unique and varied. What type of fabrics do you use?
MR: Our fabrics are predominantly cotton, or cotton and linen blends, but the real uniqueness and variety comes in the prints, patterns and exciting fashion colors. Thread count (TC) ranges from 250 to 400, with most at 300 TC.
LTK: Do you sell complete ensembles or is all of your bedding sold separately?
MR: Again, there is some variety, but most are sold as mini-sets that include a comforter, two shams, and a bedskirt. The sheet sets, Duvet covers, Euro shams, Standard shams, and Decorative pillows are sold separately.
Most Popular Styles
LTK: You seem to offer something for everyone; which of your bedding styles are the most popular?
MR: We've had tremendous success with our fresh, colorful paisley "Jaipur", and some modern florals, "Fan Floral" and "Pop Poppy". We are very excited about upcoming collections that will be in the stores in the Spring, such as a new coloration of the paisley in the seaside blues and greens called "Sardinia", and a wonderful trend right purple and taupe ethnic called "Marrakesh". We've also received wonderful response to a modern citron and cream "Abstract Palm".
Echo Bath Linens
LTK: Please discuss the bath linens you offer, such as type of fibers used, any specific design styles, and anything that makes them more desirable than other bath linens on the market.
MR: In the Bath Linens Departments, we offer full collections of coordinated shower curtains, towels, rugs, and bath accessories, as well as freestanding solid color towels and accessory programs. What makes our bath collections truly special are the wonderful fresh colors, and modern spirit, which is signature Echo. For instance, our spring solid towel program is a really happy, trend-right, ruffled towel available in great colors!
A Special Thank You to Meg and Robert Stevens
LoveToKnow would like to thank Meg and Robert Stevens for taking time out of their busy schedules to give readers a glimpse inside a family business and to share their bedding and bath products in this Echo Bedding and bath linens interview.