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Perfect Fit

Chaia Frishman

Today business is burgeoning, but David and Pessy Rosenberg’s clothing empire began with a couple of suitcases schlepped along on a Yom Tov visit. After three decades designing and producing clothing to suit the frum community, they’ve got the process down to perfection

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

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TIMING IS EVERYTHING No store wants to run out of clothing during busy season, but order too much and you run the danger of a being left with a surplus of last year’s items that no one wants to buy (Photos: Tzvia Studios)

From their hub in Montreal, David and Pessy Rosenberg are dressing frum families around the globe. Petit Bouffon, the apparel empire they’ve built over the course of three decades, includes four distinct clothing brands catering especially to the frum consumer: Roberta di Roma, a high-end knit and fashion line for boys and girls; Ben Hugo, which makes Shabbos shirts of all styles; Luciana, a line of ladies’ clothing; and the prominent Armando Martillo division — a name that can be found on the labels of suits, shirts, and pants of frum boys the world over. 

The business started almost by accident. Pessy, a native Israeli, married Canadian-born David, and after making their home in Canada, the couple would regularly travel back to Israel for Yom Tov. On their trips, they’d take along children’s clothing from a local Canadian manufacturer and sell it there. The demand surprised them; people were standing in line to buy the clothing, and as much as they brought, it was never enough. It was clear that they were holding the seed of a promising business, and soon enough the enterprising couple established their own factory in Montreal. 

For the typical frum mother, shopping season comes two or three times a year. But if you’re on the manufacturing end, every day is busy season. “This business is challenging and there are no down times,” says Yiti Rosenberg, a daughter-in-law of David and Pessy. Yiti and her sister-in-law Margalit, the only Rosenberg daughter to work in the company, work in the communications department, where they manage the company’s China operations. “During this time of year, we’re busy preparing for trade shows while shipping off the last orders for Yom Tov as well as placing orders with China for the next season.” 

Margalit’s oldest bother Yitzchok (known to everyone as Isaac) acts as manager of the operation overseeing shipping and warehousing, customer service, and placing orders from China. 

Two more members of the Rosenberg family actually work from south of the Canadian border. Shmulik works in advertising and product branding, while Moshe is where the buck stops. Accounting might not be the most glamourous aspect of the job, but someone’s got to do it. (Excerpted from Mishpacha’s Behind the Scenes, Pesach Mega-Issue 5777)

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