Reprinted from New Bedford Economic Development Council
An “Extreme Makeover” of Ronnie Manufacturing in 1996 transformed the 35-year-old contract clothing business into a unique operation that solves quality control and logistical problems caused by offshore manufacturing.
Darn It! was created in response to a dilemma facing the 350-employee, family-owned plant: the wave of outsourcing that was draining the U.S. garment industry. “The old adage – ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,’ is fitting”, according to Darn It! President Jeffrey Glassman.
Glassman and his father Norman made the bold decision to change the operation’s focus and the result today is a thriving, growing business with more than 120 employees occupying 140,000 square feet on 92 Harbor Street in New Bedford in the former Berkshire Hathaway mill complex.
Darn It!’s client list includes major retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, importers, catalogue retailers and liquidation companies.
The idea for the business sprung up from the fact that many of their customers in the mid 1990s began sending their cut-and-sew productions offshore instead of to Ronnie Manufacturing, Glassman recalled. However, when the products came back to New England, they had quality problems ranging from poor stitching and packaging to incorrectly sewn labels.
“There was no time for them to send the products back to the original factory as their customers (the retailers) could possibly cancel the order if the delivery date was not met. So our old customers began sending their foreign made products to us to fix and refurbish for them. We would inspect, repair and send them the product back quickly so they could meet their delivery deadlines,” he explained.