If you were following the Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts during High Point Market, you might have noticed the hashtag “#hpmktcoveredincrypton.”
Why was High Point “covered in Crypton”?
Well, in order to appreciate the significance of this hashtag, you must first know the story of Crypton Fabrics, and believe me…the story of Crypton is almost as fascinating as the fabric is life changing!
I know that both parts of that statement sound like an exaggeration, but you may change your mind once you hear the tale of how Craig and Randy Rubin followed their dreams and how their success is changing the world of interior design.
I had a chance to sit down with Randy during my visit to High Point Market, and I am happy to report that Randy is as spunky as she is smart!
I captured our interview using my iPhone (isn’t technology a beautiful thing?).
You can listen to her explain how this “game-changer” came to be AND see a demonstration of how the product works in the video below.
Life Before Crypton
Randy married her husband Craig Rubin only three months after meeting him! She promises that there is an interesting backstory to this whirlwind love affair, and I believe her!
Before founding Crypton, with Craig, Randy was a marketing powerhouse for several Fortune 500 companies including Chevrolet.
Craig comes from a family of inventors. In fact, his grandfather invented the folding chair and the cot!
When Randy met Craig, he was a very successful distributor for a company that specialized in vinyl covered fabric.
How many of you remember your parents and grandparents having tablecloths like this one…
…the problem for Craig was that the fabric would crack and peel leading to unhappy customers.
One day after being chewed out by a customer, Craig was walking down the baby aisle at a local convenience store, and he had a “light bulb” moment.
He looked at the rows and rows of disposable diapers and he thought, “If there is a material that is comfortable enough for a baby’s bottom yet durable enough to hold the mess without leaking through, then there must be a way to apply that same technology to the fabrics we use in interiors.”
This germ of an idea was nurtured and grown by Randy’s enthusiasm and her keen marketing sense, so the couple set to work researching technologies and resources.
What they found was that there WERE fabrics that were stain resistant, and there WERE fabrics that were microbial-resistant and there WERE fabrics that were water resistant, but there were NO fabrics that bundled all three properties in a way that was inherent in the very DNA of the fabric.
Enter the first iteration of Crypton, which was focused on commercial and hospitality use.
In 1993, with little money and only their extreme desire to see their brilliant idea come to light, Craig and Randy beat the pavement in search of investors and venture capitalists.
Crypton Inc. was launched from the basement of their Franklin, Michigan home.
“I was looking for a $100,000 loan and no one would give it to us,” said Randy. “I wish there were that show Shark Tank back then, but then again we probably would have given our business away!”
It took a lot of work but their efforts were rewarded with over 18 patents and a highly regarded, industry-leading fabric technology.
With the commercial and hospitality arena conquered, the company looked to expand into the residential market.
In 2011, they developed a fabric line that was focused on residential use and pitched it to the showrooms and designers at High Point…to luke warm reception.
“It really hurt,” says Randy. “But we took the feedback from the furniture companies and designers and went back to the drawing board to fine-tune our product line.”
For Randy and Craig, they were dedicated to making sure that their residential product offering upheld their high standards and was consistent with their brand. The fabric had to feel good to the touch, look good and also hold up to the wear-and-tear of everyday family use.
After making some adjustments, the company collaborated with a few fabric companies to rollout Crypton color concepts for the home.
These collaborations not only made Crypton fabric properties more available and prone to be used in designer projects, but it also blended the amazing technology of the fabric with the some of the design industry’s brightest stars.
One of the most notable and successful collaborations has been the JF Fabrics collaboration with Meredith Heron, launched in January 2015. The Meredith Heron for JF Fabrics Crypton Home Collection has been so popular and so well received that the company will roll out a new collection in January 2016.
At High Point Market, Thibaut a company known for it’s colorful and striking wallcoverings, fabrics and customizable furniture pieces introduced a collection of Crypton fabrics.
To continue the momentum and brand exposure for Crypton, the company became the lead sponsor for the 2015 High Point Market Style Spotters program and the inaugural High Point Market Designers Blog Tour.
This move has Randy Rubin written all of over it, and because of her grasp of the power of marketing, this sponsorship ensured that the hashtag #hpmktcoveredincrypton became one of the top trending hashtags during the October 2015 market.
What’s New For Crypton?
The Rubin’s are not resting on their laurels. They ultimately want to see Crypton Home as a household name, and they are making strides to do this by pushing to make the fabric available in more retail locations around the country.
Their goal is to deliver fashionable performance textiles that give consumers the freedom to live—really LIVE—in their entire house. They hope to expand their product offerings to include mattresses, wallcoverings, furniture and more!