In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s we (McGary & Co.) were the exclusive distributor for all linen products to the Scandia Down Shops. At that time there were approximately 100 franchised stores around the county and after trying to satisfy their customers with domestic made bedding, they decided to focus on European bedding. As their distributor we were soon importing products from Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy, all private labeled for Scandia Down.
Our direct business dealings with the European suppliers allowed us to see, first hand, what was good (and not so good) about each country’s bedding industry. A change of ownership and management of the Scandia Down franchisor meant a new direction for the company; not a direction we were excited about and we each went our separate ways.
The knowledge we gained in Europe lead us to produce our own linen collection, which we marketed under the brand name “Lisa Galimberti.” We sold this brand in our designer showrooms and exclusive stores around the country, while along the way honing our knowledge of the industry and focusing our efforts.
For reasons that are unimportant here, we decided to change the name of the collection from “Lisa Galimberti” to “Belisari” while keeping the products the same. In other words, we changed the insert and the sewing labels; not the products.
Our 40+ years of experience in purchasing products from many, many different European suppliers have taught us at least two things: Italy makes the finest fabrics and in high-end Italian linen the focus is on classic designs and colors that consumers can live with for decades. (Oh, and drink the wine from the local Italian maker, it’s usually fabulous.)