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Posted on: Friday - Sep 4, 2015

 

When TNECD recently visited Jim Marvin Enterprises’ Dickson, Tennessee showroom, we were immediately transported from a hot and muggy late summer day to a holiday wonderland filled with decorated trees, shimmering lights and glittery ornaments in bold, bright colors. It was not only beginning to look a lot like Christmas there, it never actually stopped.

That’s because Jim Marvin Enterprises (JME) is an international design firm which researches, develops, imports and distributes Christmas décor and specialty goods to the gift and floral trade industry – all from the company’s headquarters in downtown Dickson. Even though Christmas is still more than three months away, Santa’s workshop doesn’t have anything on the Middle Tennessee-based operations that its namesake owner started in 1975.

“Christmas is such a special time,” explained Jim Marvin, the company’s founder, president and CEO. “Sometimes it can be the smallest thing that can have a glisten and can be given to someone and will just make them smile.”

Each year JME develops about 2,500 holiday items to sell in department stores around the world including Harrods in London, Mitsukoshi and Daimaru in Japan, and Anthropologie and Fortnum & Mason throughout the United Kingdom. Stateside, the JME line can be found in Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and SteinMart.

“When we design product, we have to think of a wide market. It’s very diverse. We don’t know who’s going to walk in our showrooms. It creates a really exciting type of atmosphere for us,” said Marvin, referring to his Dickson, Atlanta and Dallas showrooms.

Even closer to home, Marvin helps Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam pick out holiday themes and decorate the Executive Residence in Nashville, and for the last 20 years, he has helped decorate the White House in Washington D.C.

Other memorable events Marvin and his company have had a hand in decorating include a State Dinner at the White House with Queen Elizabeth II, a special four-story Christmas tree in Chicago that recreated President and First Lady Kennedy’s 1963 White House tree, and a series of lavish, fashion-themed holiday events in downtown Hong Kong.

JME is already starting to plan for Christmas 2016, a full 15 months ahead, to create its next line of holiday décor. Each year after samples are generated in the fall, the products go to market in January of the following year and orders are placed in early spring. Then the company sends the decorations to stores all around the world from its Dickson warehouse beginning in the summer.

Marvin says Dickon’s location and transportation infrastructure make it easy to ship his products. 

“Dickson is very easy for transportation, right off of I-40, and this particular area is very easy for shipping because it reaches 75 percent of the population.”

Aside from the state’s logistical advantages, Tennessee is most importantly a great place to call home, even for a global company with products in some of the most prestigious retail outlets in the world.

“I just love Tennessee and Tennessee has been good to us from the standpoint of a good place to live and for my family and grandchildren to grow up and that’s what I wanted to do – be close to my roots,” explained Marvin.