Theatrical fabric supplier finds new mission in support of social distancing

Posted at 1:12 PM, May 13, 2020

North America's largest provider of theatrical fabrics for the entertainment and event industry has launched a new campaign. They're calling it a call to action. It's a mission that might just be their biggest offstage performance.

Before the pandemic, Rose Brand made the backdrops for the Country Music Awards, Coldplay, Elton John, Madame Butterfly and The Joffrey Ballet. Much like a curtain fall, it all came crashing down.

“You can imagine our business basically fell off a cliff,” said Louis Peter, chief marketing officer for Rose Brand.

Rose Brand provides stage curtains, fabrics, hardware production and supplies for all things entertainment. They don’t only help with large productions, but they also help high schools, colleges, churches and the Georgia Aquarium.

“You could go to a Coldplay concert and see our products. You could see Lady Gaga, who has used our products. Any opera house in the country and see Rose Brand products,” Peter said.

Hootie and the Blowfish took their specialized lift system and curtains on tour across the nation. The Rose Brand company has been around 99 years. It started with an idea that had nothing to do with theatrics.

“The company is an old rag company. Corporate name is Rose Brand Wipers Inc. When it started, we supplied rags to newspaper presses and machine shops,” explained Josh Jacobstein, president of Rose Brand.

They marketed "America's finest wiping cloths and fabrics" seen in catalogs from 1963. At one point, The New York Times was using their rags to clean the presses. Over the decades, they turned to events, entertainment and production supplies.

Now, all of that is being used for a very different reason.

“Now, that gaffer’s tape that was used to tape lighting and fabric for scenery is now helping stores help customers social distance spacing,” Peter said.

Fabrics into face masks. Theatrical banners into the message "Join the resistance. Keep your distance.”

A drone captured the 140-ft long banner featured in Rose Brand's parking lot. Company leaders wanted something uplifting for their employees and the nation.

As the country starts to re-open, Rose Brand wants people to spread their new message personally. They're selling T-shirts, masks, posters and bumper stickers on this website. A portion of the proceeds gives back to the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

While their message won't be on Broadway, they're hoping their patriotic design will remind everyone that this country can do this together.