Rachael Kupfer and Alan Domb founded SignatureTowels.com Corp. last spring to fill what they saw as a gap in the market for interesting monogrammed towels and novelty gift items.
"A customer chooses on the Internet the colour of towel they'd like, whether they want a single towel or a set, then the font and colour of thread they want," says Domb
"You design the image on the computer and transfer it either by cable or by disc to the embroidering machine," says Domb
Kupfer and Domb spent months researching towels and towel production, going everywhere from department stores to gift shows. 'We wanted to target gift-givers and to offer them an alternative to the impersonal products that are often all you find on the Web," says Kupfer.
"We discovered that all the Canadian manufacturers were pretty much bought out and closed down by American manufacturers - except for one, Cambridge Towels in Cambridge," says Domb
Although Cambridge had done almost all its business with department stores and at first was reluctant to deal with a small company, Domb
argued that the Internet gave businesses of any size a huge base of potential customers.
"A lot of embroiderers have older machinery and are stuck with three or four archaic fonts," says Domb
A list of fonts on the wall shows examples of such exotica as KR Flower Power, Curlz and Jokerman, as well as traditional fonts used for special occasions like weddings and anniversaries.
The Web-based nature of the business is ideally flexible for Kupfer whO has a hearing impairment and Domb
, who is a new father.
The company's novelty items, such as hooded baby towels, robes and spa wraps, are manufactured overseas, but Domb
and Kupfer plan eventually have the entire line made in Canada. New products include a beach or pool lounge chair cover and towel tote bag.
Teaming up with a PR graduate, Alan Domb
built a Toronto-based website called SignatureTowels.com
through which she
could sell personalized towels, robes, wraps and other products. custom-embroidered to suit each customer.
People can choose from 20 differe nt styles of lettering, from wacky to elegant, as well as the product and thread colour.
Because it's a web-based business, much of the necess ary communication can be done by e-mail or fax.
takes care of any necessary phone calls.
Rachel Kupfer and Alan Domb are the creative founders of SignatureTowels.com, which has elevated the common towel to a luxury gift item.
Once back in Canada, Kupfer teamed up with communications specialist Alan Domb to offer the largest choice of decorati ng options for towels and such online.
There are so many variables that can affect the quality of embroidering on this fabr ic that we consider it a skilled art," states Domb