David Saini has a goal—to bring luxury linens to Canada. After all, we spend a third of our lives in bed. Shouldn’t we take our bedding seriously?
At David’s Fine Linens in Toronto’s Bayview Village Shopping Centre, the shelves are piled high with products from designers such as Missoni, Fendi, La Perla, Roberto Cavalli, Frette and St. Pierre. While other stores might carry an item or two, Saini insists on carrying entire lines so customers can see and feel the products in person. “Carrying stock also means that our customers gets their products right away,” he says. In addition to bedding, David’s Fine Linens sells bath towels and accessories, table linens and home decor items.
When Saini founded David’s Fine Linens back in 1977, there were many naysayers—his friends and family didn’t believe that he would be able to make a living selling bedsheets. Today, Saini has two boutiques in the Greater Toronto Area—one at Bayview Village and the other in Vaughan’s Centro Square—and a thriving online presence that ships across Canada and to the continental United States.
Always on the lookout for new products, Saini goes to Europe at least four or five times a year. He travels the continent going to markets and speaking to manufacturers about new technologies and trends. “We import luxury brands from Italy, Germany and Portugal,” says Saini. “The workmanship, product quality and standards of work conditions all result in a better product.”
Because he has one foot in Europe, Saini has been able to bring new items to the Canadian market. “We introduced Micromodal to Canada,” he says. Micromodal is a trademark yarn made out of the pulp of beech trees. Produced at only one factory in Austria, it is softer than silk and is used primarily for lingerie. “A lot of people wouldn’t make sheets out of it because it’s very expensive,” says Saini. “We import it in sheet form—it’s like sleeping in luxury pajamas. Once you sleep on these sheets, it’s hard to go back and sleep on anything else.”
While he’s proud of the store’s vast selection of high-end linens, Saini says it’s his staff’s expertise that’s key to the company’s success. “What sets David’s apart is customer service,” he says. “Our staff is very knowledgeable. Nothing can equate to experience when you’re selling high-end goods.”
So much has changed since David’s Fine Linens launched more than 40 years ago. Today’s customers are looking for linens in white or grey—not groovy browns and oranges. And like all retail these days, much of their business is slowly migrating online. That said, there are plenty of things that haven’t changed—people still appreciate the finer things in life, and good customer service still goes a long way.