Six years ago, Kathleen Bennett Marold created textiles and interior products for upscale hotel design projects, working with such major design firms as Donghia, Brunschwig & Fils, and Zimmer + Rohde. But work kept her away from home — and her daughters — for 80 percent of the year.
So, in 2012, she launched Floor 13 Textiles, a wholesale distributor of high-end decorative fabrics for the hospitality industry. Marold connects design firm clients with weaving sources to create products that fit the contract designers’ requirements.
Starting a business in her dining room was “a roller coaster,” she says, partly because she funded it. “I wish I knew I could have asked people to invest in such a crazy idea.”
What’s the best business advice you ever received?
“Hire a business coach. My coach opened me up to the idea of not taking no for an answer. They can open so many doors.”
Discovering SCORE, the nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, and getting lined up with their mentors “was really key in the beginning.”
So were her children. “Being a single mom and being there for my kids kept me going,” continues Bennett Marold, who adds that her three daughters — who were 6 (twins) and 11 at the time — would write inspiring notes on Post-Its to motivate her.
Bennett Marold’s home-based business in Fishkill has grown more than 100 percent each year she’s been in business. The company is now the official vendor to Hilton, Marriott, Disney, and Sandals/Beaches.