Maxie's Daughter Fabrics
Since the 1930s
Maxie's Daughter

Our History

Maxie's Daughter is a family business that spans four generations. Maxie's Daughter is currently run by Eric Trobman and his family. Originally located on Ninth street in the Italian Market, the business was first called Max Wilk Fabrics. Eric Trobman's grandfather Max, a Russian immigrant, came over here when he was 16 or 17 years old. The government had taken everything from his family and they moved here to start a better life.

If you've ever walked into one of the many fabric stores on Fourth Street in South Philadelphia without any knowledge of fabric, it can be a bit overwhelming. Hundreds of different spools of fabric line the walls and, in some stores, spill over into isles creating colorful narrow pathways.

Fabric Row, located along Fourth between South and Catherine streets, has been a marketplace for quality fabrics in Philadelphia for over a century. During the early 20th century, immigrants, skilled as tailors or seamstresses, made their living by working in stores or renting pushcarts. Today, restaurants, hair salons and even small grocery stores are sandwiched between second-, third- and fourth-generation fabric businesses.

Max Wilk started work in the fabric business by renting a pushcart. He began with taking basically scrap fabric, folding it neatly and turning it into something that would get people's attention. Wilk was eventually able to make a sufficient living for his family and began renting a store in the Italian Market in the late 1930s.

In 1991, Wilk died and the family turned to Beverly Trobman, Wilk's daughter, to take over the business. In 1994, Max Wilk Fabrics was moved to Fabric Row street and renamed as Maxie's Daughter. In it's new location, Maxie's Daughter had more business than ever.

For more information and a video, see our article from Temple University's Philadelphia Neighborhoods.