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The Story of EnMart Part 1: Ensign Emblem

24th May 2013

The Story of EnMart Part 1: Ensign Emblem

posted in About EnMart |

original_ensign_logoIt has been said that many great companies start with a simple idea.  Ed Benjamin, one of the founders of Ensign Emblem, had such an idea.  He believed every customer was worthy of superior customer service and excellent product, regardless of their size or budget.  The Benjamin family had been part of the Industrial Laundry Market for several years, and Ed gradually realized that this simple idea was something other companies in the marketplace hadn’t yet discovered.  So, believing they had could create a company unique to the industry, the Benjamin family founded Ensign Emblem in 1974.

Ed Benjamin and his daughter Gayle established Ensign Emblem in Detroit, Michigan. Gayle, fresh from college, joined her father in developing a company that would always be responsive to customers, providing excellent service and product to companies of all sizes.  Gayle’s drive for perfection and Ed’s passion for excellence allowed them to form a company that inspired, and still inspires, loyalty from both customers and employees.  After 15 successful years in Detroit, the company headquarters moved to Traverse City in Northern Michigan in 1989.  Traverse City’s reputation as a small town with big city amenities made it a perfect place to raise a family and grow a company.

Once the company was settled in Traverse City, the next four years were spent determining where and how to grow.  In 1993, Ed Benjamin decided to retire and sold his share of the company’s stock to Gayle, who became Company President. Gayle, who had developed ambitious plans for the company, immediately began to implement those plans.  In April of 1993, Ensign opened its Lawrenceville plant, just outside Atlanta, Georgia. This new location was an immediate success, and paved the way for the opening of the Decatur plant in Illinois in April of 1994. As the company continued to grow, a fourth production facility was opened in February of 1997 in Reno, Nevada.  The Reno plant remained in Nevada until August of 2002, when was moved to Los Angeles, California. This strategic move allowed the company to better accommodate clients in the western United States.  As the company continued to move from success to success, the need for a fifth production facility became evident. In October of 2005, the company again established a production facility in Reno, Nevada.  In 2008,  Ensign added a facility in New Jersey,  bringing the total number of Ensign locations to six.

Ensign Emblem’s core products had always been emblems and direct embroidery,   and over the years the company had used a ton of machine embroidery thread from most of the major manufacturers.   Some threads worked well and some didn’t work so well,  but none had exactly the right combination of shine, strength,  and durability that was needed to survive an industrial wash and dry.   Luckily,  a new thread,  and the genesis of a new company, was on the horizon.

Next Week:  Ensign finds a new machine embroidery thread and a reason to create a new company. 


This entry was posted on Friday, May 24th, 2013 at 9:44 am and is filed under About EnMart. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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