Richmond Veterans Launch ‘Warp & Phil’

Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites Sign On U.S. Manufacturers

by Marc Weinreich

August 25, 2011


YORBA LINDA, California — Warp & Phil, a hospitality textile supplier launched in February, has already received its “Endorsed Vendor” status with Choice Hotels International. The company is under the leadership of Brian Coughlin, David Balk and Anita DuCoffre, who bring a combined 50 years of industry experience. 

“We’re very excited to help launch a new bedding program for one of the largest hotel franchise and development companies in our industry,” said Coughlin, president of Warp & Phil.  “The Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites brands will be introducing entirely new room schemes in September.”

The decorative fabrics are produced in wide widths to ensure the seamless construction of bedding and drapery products specifically engineered to endure the rigors of the hospitality industry. Warp & Phil has also introduced duvets, bed scarves and skirts and pillow shams as part of its bedding offerings.

In March, the company launched its first collection of bedding and window treatment fabrics in 120 skus, a month after it officially opened its doors for business. Per yard, this first collection ranges from $16 to $22. WP

“We’ll be introducing a second collection of bedding and window treatment fabrics this fall with a shift toward more sophisticated offerings with very bold designs,” said Coughlin. “If all goes as planned, the collection will be showcased in September at HD Boutique in Miami. The company is also developing upholstery weight textiles for hospitality projects and is slated to introduce the line within the next 12 to 18 months.”

The Warp & Phil company name is derived from the warp and fill fibers of woven textiles. The founding team members brought these terms to life by making them the names of the two animated characters they created fifteen years ago, which have since become the face of all marketing initiatives for the company.

“Although the logo reflects a lighthearted approach to marketing, the business practices are cutting edge and customer-care is the top priority for all of us,” said DuCoffre, vice president of customer care. 

Coughlin, Balk and Ducoffre have a storied history working together, dating back to 1998 when they worked at Chicago-based Richmond textiles.

“We were fortunate to have learned the fundamentals of hospitality textiles from industry legend, Paul Richmond,” said Coughlin. “Together with Paul, and many talented co-workers at Richmond Textiles, we were able to increase revenues five-fold and position the company for its eventual acquisition by Hunter Douglas Hospitality.” 

Although Coughlin’s career initially began at Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers in New York and Chicago, he left the finance industry in 1987 to pursue opportunities in the commercial interiors and furnishings industry.

“I transitioned from corporate interiors to hospitality when I joined Richmond Textiles as vice president of sales in 1996 and eventually became president of the firm, with the full support of David and Anita,” recalls Coughlin. David Balk, Anita DuCoffre, and Brian CoughlinDavid Balk, Anita DuCoffre, and Brian Coughlin

In February of 2001, Coughlin left the company to become vice president of sales and marketing for Fabtex and eventually became one of the principal owners of the Pennsylvania-based fabricator.  

“But after 10 years of great experiences, I knew it was time to get back together with David and Anita to form our dream company, one that reflects our own personalities,” said Coughlin.

Balk is vice president and CFO of Warp & Phil and brings with him a degree from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and years of experience as CFO of Richmond Textiles and later Contract Decor International.

Having worked in hospitality finance and consulting in Los Angeles during the mid to late 80’s, Balk’s relocation back to California was an easy transition from CDI’s office in Brocton, Massachusetts.

“It was a cold, damp day in November when Brian called to taunt me about the warm and sunny Orange County weather,” recalls Balk. “Climate aside, the opportunity to reconnect with former colleagues to build a company we planned years ago was very attractive,” said Balk.

After receiving a Masters degree in Business Administration, DuCoffre began her career in textiles as a customer service representative at Richmond and within four years had ascended to vice president of operations. Before moving to Orange County, she was the owner of several Illinois-based food service and fitness franchises.

“It’s been a great experience starting our own company,” said DuCoffre. “We get to create systems and procedures from the ground up, from our customers’ point of view.  Our business model is to answer their questions before they ask them.”

The company’s weaving and manufacturing facilities are based in North America and it has 20 sales reps throughout the U.S.

“We use North American manufacturers and suppliers as much as possible in an effort to maintain lead times that customers need to keep their projects on target,” said Coughlin. “There is currently a spirited backlash to the extended lead times and quality concerns arising from importing goods from distant corners of the world,” said Coughlin. “Further, as developing economies focus on production for their growing domestic markets, the price advantages they once offered are evaporating rapidly which make the inconveniences intolerable for our customers.”.   F&FI


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