The furniture company announced on July 27 that fabric house OJ Van Maele of Tielt, Belgium, has been acquired by the Garnell-Lake investment group, which was recently formed by Dessin Fournir Companies’ cofounder and CEO Chuck Comeau with a group of design industry leaders. They include Randy Powers/J. Randall Powers Design; Shea Soucie/Soucie Horner; Chris Hegner/Soucie Horner; Suzanne Tucker/Tucker & Marks; Tim Marks/Tucker & Marks; Suzanne Kasler/Suzanne Kasler Design; Winton Noah/Ainsworth Noah; Hal Ainsworth/Ainsworth Noah; Kerry Joyce/Kerry Joyce and Associates; Doug Kinzley/Kneedler Fauchere; and George Massar/Kneedler Fauchere.
OJ Van Maele, one of the oldest linen mills in Belgium, was founded in 1906 and is run by CEO Carl Holcomb, who will remain in his role. The acquisition came about as Comeau learned that OJ Van Maele was in financial distress.
Chuck Comeau; credit CNN/Livia Corona
“We have chosen to preserve an Old World legacy of craftsmanship that is elsewhere forgotten,” said Comeau. “We are passionate about preserving the traditions of hand-craftsmanship and the use of only the finest materials and master craftsman skills. With the help of a handful of industry VIPs, we are now able to preserve the Old World craftsmanship of Van Maele and the world will continue to experience some of the finest textiles known to mankind.” OJ Van Maele will now operate under the name Van Maele Weavers and will be operated as a separate entity reporting directly to the investor group.