At Milliken, our employees are the very heart of our business. Every team member provides a unique perspective, offering unsurpassed skill, insight and talent that continues to stimulate new product innovation and ensure our business remains recognized as an industry leader. Milliken Specialty Interiors employs best practices in guaranteeing the upmost fabric quality and color consistency. In this employee spotlight, Chris Wulforst discusses how his role with Milliken Specialty Interiors as a Senior Account Manager has shaped his perspective on why materials matter.
Q. Tell me about your history at Milliken.
A. In 1996, I started my career with Milliken & Company at the Sharon Plant, a weaving plant in Abbeville, South Carolina. From there, I moved into other manufacturing roles and also worked in Milliken’s Logistics Department. After several years working in the manufacturing and logistics areas I became a business planner supporting the new product launch of a product called “Dryel” at our Spartanburg, South Carolina headquarters. To explore new opportunities, I joined the Milliken Hospitality and Healthcare sales team in January 2001 and was then promoted to Product Manager several years later. In 2015, I took on the role of account manager in our Bedding non-woven business which allowed me to learn about a different market and manufacturing process. I recently rejoined the Specialty Interiors Business in January 2019.
Q. Why were you interested in sales?
A. I initially joined the Hospitality and Healthcare sales team because I enjoy working with people and problem-solving. Sales seemed to be a natural fit for me and why I continue working in sales today.
Q. Can you tell me about your position?
A. I see my role as a solutions provider for our customers. Because Milliken has so much to offer, our customers do not always know the full breadth of our capabilities. It is my job to match Milliken’s capabilities with our customer’s needs. I often act as a conduit between our customers and our design team by providing our designers with feedback on the latest market trends. They use this information to consider what the end user wants or needs when designing products. Overall, I connect people with what they’re looking for.
Q. Why do materials matter?
A. I cover multiple markets, including hospitality, healthcare, theater and specialty events. Therefore, materials matter differently in each of these markets. For bedding, the yarn that we use plays a big role in determining the durability of our products. In healthcare, our antimicrobial treatment of our fabrics appeals to many of our customers who are looking for those kinds of features. Additionally, we provide superior flame retardant (FR) performance in our theater and specialty event markets to meet the federal and state laws that protect consumers. The materials that we use are strategically chosen to enhance our products’ performance, our brand, and our foothold in our industries.
Q. What’s the Milliken advantage?
A. Milliken Specialty Interiors has high standards for the quality of our fabrics. Consumers can rest assured that our materials are compliant with applicable tests after undergoing many rigorous procedures. Additionally, our fabrics have superior color repeatability and color durability. We pride ourselves on our ability to consistently provide accurate and long-lasting colors from lot to lot. From reinvigorating current products to exploring new technologies in new markets, our team is striving to expand our reach and enhance our brand presence by actively seeking new opportunities for growth.