The current issue of Designers Today hones in on indoor and outdoor furniture manufacturers. Throughout the summer, we will be taking a look at more of the who, what, where of Made in the USA.
Meet Wildcat Territory, a design-driven manufacturer of high end bedding, draperies and decorative accessories headquartered in Thomasville, NC. Nancy Reib, creative director and president of Wildcat, and her husband Ibrahim Cobam, COO, CFO, and resident problem solver, relocated the business from New York to Thomasville in 2015.
The Wildcat line is diverse and very designer-friendly. In addition to producing simple and elegant bedding ensembles, Nancy developed a large custom side to the business too Cake offers interior designers and decorators a huge playground to create bedding and drapery. “I called the program ‘Cake’”, says Nancy, “because I feel design is very much like baking — you need a good recipe, fresh ingredients, and a little luck to create something fabulous.”
Here, Nancy talks about the move and Wildcat’s commitment to manufacturing domestically.
Q: Nancy, why did you choose to come to Thomasville?
A: We moved here because we got a grant to renovate an old textile building. We'd been coming to market for almost 30 years and we felt comfortable with the area. We also fell in love with this dilapidated old building and being serial renovators, we saw so much potential we couldn't say no... although we had planned to live near Durham.
Q: Have you acclimated to small town living?
A: The move hasn't been easy professionally or personally. It's been hard to find truly talented sewers. I'm a city girl and living in Thomasville where there is really nothing to do has been a shock to my system. But over time, I've really grown to appreciate what is here and know that we're exactly where we're supposed to be.
Q: What is the unique opportunity here?
A: First, just the sheer luxury of having more square footage was liberating creatively. Going from 10,000 sq. ft. to 50,000 opened up so many new possibilities for us. It's been exciting to find ourselves surrounded by so many creative makers. That's allowed us to begin doing upholstered furniture, designing and developing our own fabrics to name just a few. Probably the most interesting change is that after all these years I feel that I'm part of the industry in a way I never did before moving here. It's been wonderful to connect with so many people in meaningful ways that I wasn't able to do when I dashed in and out of town.
Q: What does manufacturing domestically mean to you?
A: We've always been committed to manufacturing in America. We've sacrificed a lot to continue doing so but it's ultimately rewarding and very fulfilling. We love our products and our customers and it's such a high to walk onto our factory floor and see it abuzz with activity and know that we're bringing some energy back to Thomasville.