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Mom and Pop Textile Company Celebrates "Platinum" Anniversary
20 years for Brentano in 2010


Brentano 20 years
Iris Wang always knew she wanted to be an artist; what she didn't know was what shape that career path would take. Beginning with a modest eight patterns in 1990, she and her husband, E-Kwan Chen, set out upon an endeaver to open their own textile company, with Chen in charge of the administrative tasks -- ranging from shipping to singlehandedly making up the "customer service" department -- and Wang in charge of sourcing textile mills and bringing her designs to life. Twenty years later, they are celebrating their "Platinum" anniversary, with many successes to celebrate. What started as a mom and pop company still is, with Wang and Chen in the office working with their team daily, albeit one that is internationally represented and partnerted with renowned companies such as Donghia and Pollock as well as numerous independent sales representatives.

2010 is off to a great start, primariliy due to a series of steps over the past several years. In February of 2008, Brentano moved to their present day corporate headquarters in Wheeling, Il, just northwest of Chicago. This move from their previous location, which consisted of three separate buildings, allowed the company to unite their team under one substantially larger roof. In late 2009, the design department moved into their newly constructed environmentally-conscious design studio. In February 2010, they will launch the first half of their year-long celebratory collections, named "Platinum" for the modern-day 20th wedding anniversary gift. Additionally, Wang is embarking upon a lecture series, begininng with an event on the importance of color to design in Toronto as part of the Interior Design Show with their local showroom Primevera. In March, Wang will also speak to design students at Columbia College in Chicago about fiber content and textile choices. In April, she will travel to Egg & Dart in Denver to lecture on the Brentano Green collection of eco-friendly textiles, and then in October of 2010, the lecture series will conclude in New York with an event cosponsored by Pollack, celebrating not only Brentano's 20th anniversary, but also nearly 20 years of the two manufacturers working together.

When asked about the journey from those eight patterns to Brentano's present-day success, Wang is humble, saying she never imagined such an opportunity, and that it is in large part due to the clients for supporting the line, and to the sales force for believing in the company. While Wang has an understanding of Brentano's place in the interior design industry, she also says "I feel this is just a start," she says, "like we have been learning how to do it." She says it's been 20 years of a gaining experience, and she looks forward to learning more and continuing to go further in the years to come.

Brentano headquater and design studio near Chicago, IL
Brentano's corporate headquarters in Wheeling, IL

Brentano Owners: Iris Wang and E-Kwan Chen
Iris Wang and E-Kwan Chen, Vice-President and President of Brentano and husband and wife team.

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