M&F Fabrics - Calico Corners Franchise History

1948 – 2018

Boasting a 70-year history, M&F Fabrics (the parent company to two Calico Corners franchise stores, one in Sarasota and one in Naples) celebrates their founder–and grandmother–Ms. Mary Millard. In an era where women entrepreneurs were unique, Ms. Millard was a woman ahead of her time. A world traveler, full of style and class, Ms. Millard wanted to put her talent and knowledge of design to work, and in 1948 she started M&F Fabrics, Inc., and purchased a franchise license to open a Calico Corners store in Bloomfield, Michigan—the second Calico Corners store in the country!

Inspired by her passion for beauty and adventure, she brought together the finest fabrics, furniture, and accessories from around the world. Despite the store’s slow start, she focused on offering a unique custom, high-quality service at an affordable price and grew a strong business with a loyal following. Ms. Millard’s vision continued to grow, and she opened a Calico Corners in Boca Raton, FL. The store’s building in Boca Raton was large, so she leased a portion of the building to another woman entrepreneur who was just beginning her fabric business, that woman was Lily Pulitzer.

The business continued to grow and Ms. Millard’s son, Nick Faulman, eventually joined her in business. In 1974, they bought the Sarasota franchise and turned a sleepy store into a success, eventually moving it ten miles south to its current location in Osprey in 1981. After running the business for 25 years, Nick sold the company to his son and his wife, Neill and Betsy Faulman, and to his daughter and her husband, Jena and Mark Miller in 1999.

The third-generation owners were excited about the opportunity to grow their grandmother’s dream and proud of the progress that was made in the Sarasota franchise. In 2004, the family opened a second location in Naples, FL. The business grew quickly and enjoyed the reputation of being a great source to the Naples area for superior quality home decorating products and custom design services.

This year, 2018, marks the 70th anniversary of Ms. Millard’s bold venture into entrepreneurship and she would be proud of the success M&F Fabrics boasts today. The company’s philosophy remains rooted in the traditional values of quality, courtesy, convenience, customer service, and craftsmanship, and these practices are evident in the full range of products they sell and the outstanding services they provide.