It was in 1966 that BonWorth was officially born. Its humble beginnings can be traced back to the time when Mr. and Mrs. Wells sold fabrics from the basement of the house of. For a look at how BonWorth came to be, below is a brief re-telling of its rich history.
Mr. Loren Wells, the man behind the brand
Mr. Loren Wells is a native of North Carolina, and upon meeting him, you will immediately get the sense that he is your typical “good ol’ country boy” as he will readily amuse you with stories of growing up in the outdoors, hunting and doing all sorts of fun stuff. He is also into football and he loves apple pies. You can’t be any more country boy than that; at least to his comrades in the U.S. Army.
Before BonWorth took up most of his time, Mr. Loren Wells was in the military, serving as Captain during the Vietnam War. After serving his country, Mr. Wells went back to civilian life, working as a salesman for one of the most popular textile companies in the country back then: Milliken.
During a visit to his parents’ home, Mr. Wells brought home fabrics from Milliken, which he bought to simply show to his parents, his mom, most especially. His mother then brought the fabric to church to show these to their parishioners. Little did they know that the fabrics would receive such a warm reception, to the point that fellow parishioners were asking where they got it. Thus, began the family’s venture into selling fabrics from the basement of the family home. As you can see below, BonWorth has a footprint all across the United States, mainly on the East Coast.
Who came up with the name BonWorth?
It was Loren Wells who named the business. To honor his parents, Loren thought it would only be fitting to name the business after them; and so, he combined the names of both his mom and dad. Mom was Bonnie and dad was Worth; and from these two names, BonWorth was born.
From fabrics to clothes
Ever since he can remember, Loren Wells has always been interested in dressing up women in fashionable and comfortable yet highly affordable clothes. In the beginning, he would buy clothes at wholesale prices and then sell these at the store. He even bought clothes from another popular Southern retailer, Hamricks.
To capture the fashionable and affordability concept into what he offers at BonWorth, he decided to focus on three-piece ensembles, which can be worn as separates or paired with other pieces. Business started picking up, and before he knew it, he already had BonWorth stores in other locations; mostly remote locations at the time. This presented a bit of a problem for the entrepreneur as some of his suppliers/manufacturers didn’t have stores at his locations.
But this problem proved to be a blessing in disguise as it was what catapulted BonWorth into the household name that it is today. He started designing his own collections to address the needs of his other stores, and soon enough, more and more customers were coming in and demanding for more of his collections. And the rest, as they say, is history.
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