New Bedford company leverages core strengths in new markets

Press

NEW BEDFORD — Darn It! Inc. president Jeff Glassman proves diversity and ingenuity are key to not only surviving, but thriving, during economic challenges.

Glassman reinvented his family-owned manufacturing business in the 1990s, creating Darn It!’s quality control and refurbishing division which solves problems that arise when products come into the United States. Instead of throwing product away or returning it overseas, the retailer, wholesaler or manufacturer contacts Darn It!

“99.9 percent of the time they need to get this product to the shelves of the store as quickly as possible. That’s what we are here for,” Glassman said. Issues include fabric flaws, tears or stains, or labels that have incorrect information. Darn It! can repair or re-label the garments. Other garments need to be pressed, or have a mold or mildew smell that Darn It! can purify in its brand-new ozone room, which accelerates the airing out of a product.

“Our job is to come up with as much first-quality product that we can, to get it back onto the shelves as first quality,” Glassman said. “We’re not doing anything to the garment to make it irregular.”

Glassman said overseas factories are getting “better and better,” but he laughs, “thank goodness they aren’t perfect.”

“There is a need for this service and we are hoping we can continue,” he said.

But Glassman is also diversifying.

Darn It! is looking to grow its fulfillment and distribution business, managing the distribution process for companies that don’t have a brick and mortar building and staff. He is targeting young entrepreneurs as well as big manufacturers and wholesalers, and planned an advertising campaign in July to U.S., Canadian and European markets.

That division has been operating at 686 Belleville Ave. since the company purchased the former Fibre Leather building about three years ago. The balance of the business moved into the 315,000-square-foot building in March 2010.

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