NEW YORK — Executives in the industry have said focusing on niche markets is a useful tool in battling the difficult conditions of the textile market. However, even as many companies shed underperforming divisions and cut back operations, some players continue to charge into the textile and trim arena.

One new entry to the market, which will bow at next week’s International Fashion Fabric Exhibition, is sequin manufacturer Sequin City Inc.

The company only opened its doors a few months ago, but is forecasting 2003 sales to reach as high as $2 million, according to founder Raymond Hill, a former sales manager at Haymoss Industries and Sequins of Distinction. He recently bought a factory in West New York, N.J. Now, Hill is tapping his wide range of contacts, which includes couture houses in Paris, large wholesale companies in Spain and Germany and New York-based theatrical companies.

"Volume-wise, we’re a midsize operation," Hill said, noting that his factory has production capacity up to $5 million worth of sequins a year. "But our focus is on quality and service and we’re not trying to compete with low prices."

Despite that, Hill said his prices, on average, are about 50 percent less expensive than sequins from Europe. He said this is possible from lower labor costs and a smaller markup.

Hill said he is using IFFE as a jumping point for his line.

"Our main motivation [at IFFE] is to be present and let people know who we are and that we’re in business," Hill said. "It’s largely public relations, but we expect to get business because we’re introducing our new collection."

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