Fabric > MADE IN THE USA > Springs Creative
An Unforgettable Story Baxter Mill Archive The Baxter Mill Archive is a vault of over 350,000 vintage designs dating back to the 1850s. The archive is located at the corporate and creative headquarters of Springs Creative Products Group inside the revitalized and symbolic Cotton Factory in Knowledge Park in center city Historic Rock Hill, SC. The Cotton Factory stands as the new-economy, talent district’s center piece – a magnificent building where more people work today (clean, safe, knowledge-based jobs) than ever in the building’s long history.
The Springs Story often centers around Colonel Elliott Springs. Though there are many characters of the 200 year saga, Elliott stands the test of time with true character and a larger than life run in this world of ours. Elliott was a cool rebel before he was a compassionate leader of 10s of thousands of employees. He was born wealthy and in boarding schools with the nation’s elite. He went on to be a dashing and daring fighter pilot, then an impassioned novelist. He flew single-engine planes through barns for a laugh. He was a symbol and the embodiment of excitement in a time between wars in our nation. It was a time that demanded of him his great purpose. To take the reigns of his Father’s textile company, now struggling to survive the great depression, and create a new success, larger than ever in the company’s past, or go all in trying.
Many assumed Elliott Springs was the nail in the coffin of the great Springs Industries. They were wrong.
A Converging Path, Born in the Heart of Old Manhattan When Leon Lowenstein was 18, his father handed him a sledgehammer and told him to knock down one wall of their fledgling textile import business. The adjoining store was vacant and they were growing too fast for their selling house. Claiming the space next door was the first of many broad steps for M. Lowenstein & Sons, a textile import business that sprouted up from post-reconstruction era New York.
Morris Lowenstein and sons, Abram and Leon, provided the garment industry with what they called “The right fabric, at the right price, at the right time”. It was a slogan that pushed them over the $1,000,000 sales mark within 20 years of opening shop, a major feat when the average household income was around $300 a year.
In the 1920s, Lowenstein decided that better control of product quality would come from production in their own facility. They expanded to the far away fields of Upstate South Carolina, where they laid the bricks of The Rock Hill Printing and Finishing Company. It was here that the company accelerated, purchasing textile companies like Wamsutta in the 1950s and building or purchasing mills all over the Carolinas.
By the early 1980s they were approaching yearly earnings of almost $20,000,000, growing a staggering 257% from 1980 to 1981.
Absorbed into Cotton Country In 1985, The Lowenstein Company, with its mammoth dollar value and irreplaceable archive of historical textile goods, sold to southern manufacturing giant Springs Industries. The Fort Mill, SC-based Company was initiated in 1887, growing from a 14-person cotton manufacturer to one of the worlds leading producers of specialty fabrics and household goods. The combination of these companies puts Springs as a major multi-brand corporation housing brands like Springmaid, Wamsutta, Dundee, Wabasso, Bali, Graber, Ultrasuede, and Ultraleather.
Born in the cotton-boom that saved the post-civil war south, Springs Industries built a name on an unfailing product and a rich history. The story of Springs is one of a compelling family that continually invested in people and life. What set them apart from other textile companies was their emphasis on creativity. It was a principal that informed their product, their brand and their management.
Springmade Post-War Colonel Elliott Springs is an authentic legend, the kind we just don’t make anymore. As part of his post-war rebirth of the Springs Empire, he began to manufacture finished products. Springmaid Fabrics was born. In marketing this endeavor, he conceived of a campaign that would change the face of American marketing forever. Again, innovating in bold ways.
The new Springs Creative, under the leadership of Derick Close (grandson of Elliott), is similarly bold and innovative in the transition out of the Industrial Revolution and into the New Economy of Creative Services and New Manufacturing and Sourcing Models.
300 Chatham Avenue, Suite 100, Rock Hill, SC 29730 803-324-6300 http://baxtermillarchive.com
They have a vault of vintage designs on their website- AWESOME C1850's thru 1970's.