An extensive background in textiles combined with an inventive mind helped Craig Rubin revolutionize the fabric industry. The 63-year-old businessman is the co-founder of Crypton, best known for its specially engineered fabric system. Featuring a fully integrated moisture barrier and available in a multitude of color and style options, Crypton Super Fabric is one of the most specified upholstery fabrics in the health-care and hospitality markets.
Prior to starting the business, Rubin sold textiles in the contract world for some 30 years. He understood the market and also knew what it lacked: a fabric that was resistant to moisture, stain and bacteria, yet soft, breathable and comfortable.
“After seeing a display of disposable undergarments for adults in a drug store I had an epiphany,” Rubin said. “That’s what I wanted to do with a fabric.”
He called the manufacturer, which was none too eager to share its secrets with him. Rubin spent the next several years working on his own formula. He also got married. After extensive research, he and his wife, Randy, quit their jobs to devote themselves full-time to the pursuit, assembling a top-notch research and development team.
Working in the basement of his home, Rubin and his team developed the Crypton Super Fabric formula, establishing the company in 1993.
“For the first couple of years, my wife and I literally lived on the road. But if you want to be successful, you have to believe in what you are doing and be willing to take a risk,” Rubin said.
Crypton was founded strictly as a licensing and branding company. Its business model changed in 2002 when it started manufacturing its product itself.
Co-founder Crypton West Bloomfield, Mich.Annual revenue: Approximately $25 million to $29 millionType of business: Manufacturer/licenser of fabric system; also sells related product on InternetAreas of operation: Nationwide
The majority of Crypton’s revenue is generated through licensing and manufacturing. The company works with 11 licensed mills and more than 40 distributors that sell Crypton Super Fabrics to architects and consumers. Its patented technology is engineered into every fiber, making it permanently stain, liquid, mold, bacterial and odor resistant.
Rubin is always on the lookout for ways to expand Crypton. Its offerings now include car coverings, a disinfectant and deodorizer, cleaner, a line of pet products, accessories and items that it sells direct to consumers via its Web site.
As the sole owners of Crypton, Rubin and his wife run the company together. She is responsible for marketing, branding and legal.
“We don’t step on each other’s toes, which is how we’re able to work so well together,” Rubin said.