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Domestic Bliss: Family linens business thrives by investing in sustainable U.S. manufacturing

Mar. 4, 2018, 4:45 PM

When George Matouk graduated from Vanderbilt in 1991, the forces of globalization were wreaking havoc on American manufacturing by replacing items once made domestically with a flood of low-cost imports.

For Matouk, this was no mere point of curiosity. The table linens business run by his father—and founded in 1929 by his grandfather, who emigrated from Syria to New York—faced daunting questions about whether to close its domestic manufacturing facility and reposition itself to sell wares made overseas.

Instead, after enrolling in Columbia Business School’s MBA program in 1995, partly as a way to study the company’s dilemma, Matouk and his father arrived at a different conclusion. “We really invested in our domestic manufacturing when everybody else was eliminating those assets,” he says.

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