The Fine Rug Gallery at Macy’s
From a boot-strapping business borne of one man’s penchant for globetrotting, to a thriving family company running the rug departments for America’s largest department store chain, Kenneth Mink’s business has come a long way since its founding in 1972. In 2009, Mink’s operation not only acquired the leases to all 200 Macy’s rug departments and macys.com, but also joined GoodWeave®, pledging to source rugs certified child-labor-free from its suppliers in India.
Before taking over the Fine Rug Gallery at Macy’s, Mink’s operation was in the department store business for five generations. Founder Kenneth Mink Sr. steered the family profession towards rugs, taking a number of rug-buying jobs in the 1950s and 1960s to satisfy his love of travel. Kenneth’s sons: Dave Sr., Ken Jr. and Fred came on board in the 1970s, when Kenneth landed the leases to the rug departments in the Washington, DC-based Woodward & Lothrop chain, and began to build the family rug empire.
Now operating the Fine Rug Gallery at Macy’s, Dave Mink Sr. is eager to partner with GoodWeave and contribute to its mission of helping children in weaving communities. “Macy’s is a company that does things right. It doesn’t want to be involved with child labor or sweatshops in any way,” says Dave Sr. “From a business standpoint, joining GoodWeave can only be a good thing, as it helps us positively answer questions about how our rugs are made. I am particularly in favor of the educational aspects of the GoodWeave program.”
Currently, the Fine Rug Gallery at Macy’s carries select certified lines from the Bashian and Kenneth Mink brands. Both the Fine Rug Gallery at Macy’s and macys.com will make GoodWeave certified rugs a larger segment of its imports over time. GoodWeave certified lines incorporate everything from traditional designs to modern and contemporary styles.
Kenneth Mink passed away before he got to see his business’ success at Macy’s. However, several family members still carry the torch lit by the company’s founding father. In addition to his three sons: Dave Sr., Ken Jr. and Fred, Dave Sr.’s wife, Dottie, works on design; his daughter, Kristen Koontz, helps with customer service; and his son, David Jr., handles the day to day operation as CEO. Ken Jr.’s daughter, Caroline Mink Richardson, serves as Group Regional Sales Manager for Northwest stores and Fred’s wife, Janice, assists with auditing as well as being the company liaison to GoodWeave because of her background in child advocacy.
Along with great adventurers like General Douglas MacArthur, oceanographer Captain Jacques Cousteau and Senator John Glenn, Dave Mink Sr. is a member of the prestigious century-old Circumnavigators Club, whose motto is to make the world a better place through friendship. Rug by rug, in partnership with GoodWeave, Mink’s operation of the Fine Rug Gallery at Macy’s is now living out that motto. “I’ve been to India 40 to 50 times, and seen the good, the bad and the ugly,” Dave Sr. concludes. “I think it’s important to give back to weaving families and do our part.”
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