Tag founder Norman Glassberg dies
Tina Benitez-Eves, Gifts and Dec -- Home Accents Today, 5/1/2013 11:34:41 AM
Founder and owner of Tag Ltd., Norman Glassberg, has died. He was 70.
Glassberg, who founded the home furnishings and accessories distributor nearly 40 years ago, was attending the Canton Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou, China doing what he loved most, his Tag business, at the time of his death.
"Norman was true visionary and a best friend," said Barbara Turf, former CEO of Crate & Barrel. "His business timing was always impeccable. His work ethic was enviably consistent. Norman's innovation and brilliance commanded employee and industry respect. He will be deeply missed."
A graduate of New York University, Glassberg studied biochemistry but soon hung up his lab coat after a few months to become a sales representative and sales manager. He soon became one of the original partners of I.D.G. (International Designs Group), now Pottery Barn, and in 1975, he moved to Chicago to form his own rep agency Trade Associates Group (Tag).
The company would quickly grow well beyond being a rep agency. The Tag wholesale business began in 1976, when Glassberg got the exclusive distribution for candles manufactured in Bordeaux, France. The candle business proved profitable, and Tag soon expanded into textiles. More than 30 years later, Tag remains one of the leading companies in the textiles industry.
In 2006, the company expanded again with the acquisition of Parallel Lines furniture, now known as Tag Furniture. Today, the company that Glassberg started as a rep agency manufactures in more than nine countries and distributes to more than 30 in multiple product categories.
"I like to think we're a company that is more than the sum of its parts," reads a quote by Glassberg on the Tag website. "We sell textiles, candles, ceramics, glassware and housewares, but what we're really about is a look."
In addition to his success with Tag, Glassberg was also an accomplished philanthropist. He and Tag contributed to dozens of local and national organizations, foundations, and public service groups. Glassberg also firmly believed in design and manufacturing standards that were responsible, sustainable and earth-friendly and used recycled and rapidly renewable materials in the design of Tag products. He also ensured that his company practiced ethical, fair trade policies, and prioritizes manufacturing resources that preserve cultural traditions, encourage hand crafts, and provide a living wage to craftsmen and artisans.
Glassberg is survived by his wife, Eileen; his three children David, Greg and Jessica; and his seven grandchildren Jack, Teddy, Max, Carolyn, Tommy, Ellie and Sean.
A service celebrating Norman Glassberg's life and work will be held at the Chicago Sinai Congregation on Wednesday, May 8 at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers please make donations to: National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Attn: Colleen Oliver, c/o tag, 1730 W. Wrightwood, Chicago, IL 60614.
We would love your feedback!