The Barber family's roots trace back to Lodz, Poland, where the family ran a successful textile business that was overtaken by the Nazis during the Second World War. After the war, the Barber family emigrated to Israel, where Ben’s father purchased a small fabric factory to earn a living. At the age 22, Ben had virtually no experience or even interest in the textile industry until his father brought him into the business.
Starting fresh in a new country and lacking any other work experience, Ben was determined to stick to the only thing he knew — textiles. Seeking a market niche, he decided to focus on high-quality bed linens, that would surpass the standard market offerings. Barber began experimenting with a wide variety of styles and fabrics, adding elegant trimmings, lace, ribbons, and embellishments; transforming each set into a work of art.
His linen boutique located in Brooklyn, attracted a huge number of customers, including brides intent on stocking her bridal trousseau with the finest selection of quality linen. Soon enough word got out that Elegant Linen by Ben Barber, offered the highest-quality fabric and most attractive styles available in bed linen.
Mr. Barber always says, “Our customers are our best salespeople”, which is quite evident by the strong following of loyal customers he has accrued over the years. Many of his customers have stated that their first set of linens after getting married came from Elegant Linen. “We are seeing fourth and even fifth generation customers”, says Barber, which today is unique for any business.
Part of the secret to Elegant Linen’s success, is their Brooklyn factory. Having a local factory helps cuts out the middleman and results in big savings for customers. It also provides a place to shop for custom linen with sizes not available in big box stores.
Richard Citron, co-owner, points out that Elegant Linen is able to present such great quality at affordable prices because they purchase and manufacture vast quantities and have a wholesale division which caters to other stores as well as to boutique hotels. This allows customers to find a bigger selection at many different price points.
In 1990, Barber opened his second store, and at present, there are 4 branches of Elegant Linen by Ben Barber.