Next time you attend a wedding, bar mitzvah or corporate event, take a good look at the fabrics adorning your table. You may be dining on linens that have been sourced, sewn and stockpiled at a close-knit business in Davie.
Working behind the scenes, Over the Top Rental Linens creates colorful tablecloths, chair sashes, napkins and the like, and lends them to event planners, florists, country clubs and hotel catering directors nationwide and internationally.
Brides and others can also rent linens directly by booking an appointment to visit the showroom, finger the fabrics and make their choices.
“What makes us different is that we are a specialty linen rental company,” said General Manager Rob Glassman. “And we’re only focused on one thing.”
Over the Top linens have decorated every occasion, from bar mitzvahs in Pinecrest and Sweet 16s in Boca Raton to weddings in Hawaii and corporate meetings in Switzerland, said co-owners and ex-spouses, Nancy Davis, 54, president and Alan Eingold, 55, vice president. Both grew up in Miami-Dade County.
And despite a slowdown and downsizing of corporate and social events during the recession, the company has found a way to keep growing.
“We said, to get the market up, we have to get into other markets,” Eingold said. So, Over the Top branched out more nationwide, shipping its linens to varied events. That balanced its main business in South Florida, which is heaviest from October to June.
“We found ways to increase sales in the off-season,” Eingold said.
This summer, Over the Top opened a warehouse and showroom in Orlando to further expand its events business in Central Florida. Next, the company plans to build up its business on Florida’s West Coast, where it has just hired a salesperson. It also supplements linens for small rental companies nationwide.
In Davie, Over the Top’s 25,000 square-foot facility is like a hotel laundry, fashion designer cutting and sewing operation and massive storage room, all in one.
At the far end, bins of dirty linens arrive to be checked and treated for stains; then they’re washed, dried and threaded through flat ironing machines and steam tunnels until they’re smooth.
Linens arrive in the company’s 10 vans or are shipped from all over the world. Over the Top sends duffle bags and shipping labels for the return of the dirty linens.
The laundry room’s crew can handle as much as 500 pounds an hour, Eingold said. Quality control specialists check for holes, open seams or stubborn stains, to be re-treated.
After the linens pass inspection, they are packaged in plastic and stored in storage bay after storage bay, organized by item, fabric type, size and color. It’s a kaleidoscope of color: pinks, yellows, corals, greens, blues, purples and golds in every shade. Plus prints, beads, sequins and metallics.
“Every event has a different color scheme, so we have to accommodate them,” said Beth Glassman, director of marketing.
Beyond storage is a cutting and sewing room where reams of fabric are laid out and cut, then sewn into tablecloths and toppers of every size, along with chair covers, sashes and napkins. The company’s 1,200 fabric choices are sourced from the United States as well as Turkey, China, India, South Korea and Taiwan. Materials include polyester, linen, satin, taffeta and organza. About 100 new fabrics are added each year, while others are retired, Rob Glassman said.