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Dressing for success.

As in the old adage "Clothes make the man," uniforms have made Donald Pollard Sr. successful.

Pollard's Houston-based company, Uniforms Plus Inc., specializes in designing and distributing a complete line of uniforms, headgear, footwear and T-shirts to a wide variety of customers, including Frito-Lay Inc., Maxwell House Co. and Texaco Inc. Pollard says he designs 15% of the uniforms he sells, and purchases the remaining 85% from 35 suppliers nationwide.

"Uniforms is a recession-proof industry," notes the 47-year-old Pollard, who worked for 17 years as a sales manager and accountant for a Cincinnati uniform supplier before starting his company in 1990 with $20,000 in personal savings. He says 60% of the nation's work force wears some type of uniform. "When businesses want a professional image, they turn to uniforms." That's good news for Pollard. In its first year, the company provided uniforms for 3,700 people. That number now tops 5,000. Pollard grossed $240,000 last year and expects company sales to reach 350,000 in 1993.

The key to Pollard's success is no mystery to Paul Jackson, vice president of Amtro Inc., a Houston company that sells ball bearings and industrial equipment. "Donald goes out of his way to make customers feel comfortable," says Jackson, whose firm spends $30,000 annually with Uniforms Plus. "He always calls back to see if there are any problems."

One problem Pollard himself is wrestling with is finding expansion capital. He's looking for $150,000 from banks or investors to buy equipment (washers, dryers and delivery trucks), build to a five-person sales staff and hire a sales manager. "I want to expand this business to other markets," Pollard says.
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Title Annotation:Uniforms Plus Inc.
Author:Lewis, Nicole
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Aug 1, 1993
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