History Back to Company

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” Colin Powell

How it all began…

Every company has a foundation story; here’s ours. Bob and Martie Sachs, 23- and 22- years of age respectively, founded Arden in 1964 as a broker and distributor of household cleaning products.  Since then, their goal has remained the same, to make sure that Arden is “a source of pride for its people” and that the corporate motto, “On time, Complete and Correct,” never loses its significance.

The genesis of Arden’s success began in the small town of Ionia, Michigan, where the first manufacturing plant opened with two sewing machines and 10 employees in the summer of 1966. At the time no one knew Arden would grow into an international company with four manufacturing facilities in the United States, offices in Asia, and manufacturing partners in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and India.

Room to Grow

The 1980s marked a time of rapid change around the world and at Arden, which experienced huge advances starting in 1983, when production shifted from Ionia to Kendallville, IN.  After that, the company grew exponentially by entering the cushion and umbrella market in 1985 and, with the acquisition of Benhar Mills, the home and restaurant textile market in 1990. New business brought both challenges and opportunities as new factories in IN, NC,  TX and CA had to be built and staffed to meet the growing demand for products, which were at that time being sold at a variety of retailers, including KMart, Walmart, A&P and more.

The New Millennium

As the global economy and manufacturing evolved, Arden pivoted, opening its first office in China in 2004 and another office in Taiwan in 2011. By doing so, the company had far greater access to textile manufacturers and cut and sew suppliers, which then led to more opportunities in the U.S. retail market. In order to fully capitalize on the potential, the company refocused its energy to the cushion business and exited the household products and institutional textile divisions.

“Great companies are built on great products.” Elon Musk

Entering the replacement cushion market in 1985 fundamentally changed Arden from a small, Midwest-based company to one whose supply chain now reaches around the world. And even though patterns and styles have changed through the years, Arden’s goal has been the same: Provide customers with superior merchandise to make spending time in their backyards a relaxing and enjoyable experience.

“Details create the big picture.” Sanford I. Weill

The journey of a single patio cushion or pillow to someone’s backyard involves hours of planning, hard work, and effort from teams across the entire company as well as our strategic partners around the world.

It starts with pattern development and design by members of our textile team in Bingham Farms. Next, with the help of the projections of our forecasting team, our purchasing and planning teams decide upon and order the right amount of fabric from our vendors in Taiwan, where the fabric is woven, printed, or dyed. That fabric makes a journey from Taiwan to China and Vietnam, where our production planning team ensures its production into shells that are then shipped to our U.S. factories.

Once there, the shells are filled, finished, and, with the help of our logistics team, shipped to brick and mortar stores, Dotcom distribution centers, and people’s homes across North America. The cushions and pillows are then displayed in store and online with the POP materials our Sales, Marketing, and Design teams have carefully developed. The journey ends with the customer finding their perfect cushions and pillows and bringing them to their home where they can relax and enjoy them.

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Abraham Lincoln

The future of Arden rests where it always has, the dedicated employees who have worked together to help it grow. Although our manufacturing foundation remains integral to our success, we’ve continued to evolve.

In 2012 we became a licensee of the Bombay Company and began designing and importing products for Bombay Outdoors, a new collection of outdoor furniture, textiles, and décor. The number of items available for sale in the Bombay Outdoors collection has grown exponentially, from eight in 2014 to hundreds today.

Being successful in the future means we must not only examine and make adjustments to internal processes but also learn more about consumer preferences and react to market forces. It’s a big challenge, but we’re betting that Arden’s future will be even more exciting than its past.

Below are some key milestones that have led us to where we are today, an industry leader in the outdoor product category.

1964 Founded in Detroit by Bob and Martie Sachs as a broker/distributor of household cleaning products
1966 Opened our first manufacturing facility in Ionia, MI which was relocated to Kendallville, IN in 1983
1985 Entered into the cushion and umbrella market and opened two new plants
1990 Expanded into the home and restaurant textile market with the acquisition of Benhar Mills
1994 Expanded our Sanford, NC operations to include a second factory
1995 Commenced operations at our sixth plant in Amarillo, TX
1997 Installed our first polyester fiberfill line in Amarillo, TX
1999 Built a new facility in Sanford, NC
2000 Relocated our Sanford operations to the newly built complex and installed a third fiberfill line
2003 Moved our California operations to a new facility in Rancho Cucamonga, CA
2004 Expanded our manufacturing operations in Asia
2005 Developed our exclusive everLUXE™ airlay poly fill
2006 Achieved C-TPAT Certification
2008 Exited the household products industry to enhance focus on the outdoor business
2010 Built a new High-Loft Fiber Line that increases quality and has improved energy efficiency
2011 Exited the institutional textile market to further heighten our focus on the outdoor business and opened an office in Taiwan to be better engaged across the entire supply chain
2012 Arden became a licensee for the Bombay Company and began designing products for Bombay Outdoors, a new collection of outdoor furniture and decor
2014 Arden began selling eight items from the 2014 Bombay Outdoors collection on bombaycompany.com
2014 Arden celebrated its Golden Anniversary