Bruce Bellusci Is New President Of Hardwick Clothes; Company Gets New Flag

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Bruce Bellusci
Bruce Bellusci

After a nationwide search, Cleveland, Tn., businessman Allan Jones today announced that Bruce Bellusci – formerly the executive vice president of sales at Hart Schaffner & Marx - has been selected as president of Hardwick Clothes.

He is Hardwick’s ninth CEO/President since the company began in 1880.

Bellusci worked at Hart Schaffner & Marx for 34 years and served as the Executive Vice President since 2006. He was responsible for sales, merchandising, advertising, marketing, and distribution.

He is regarded as an expert in the tailored menswear business.

Hardwick Clothes is America’s oldest tailor-made clothing manufacturer. Hardwick is known for its “Sewn in the South” slogan and in the ‘60s made the best blazer in the world.

The company will formally introduce its new CEO – and new flag – next Monday at the company’s 134th birthday celebration.  

When Mr. Jones began negotiations to acquire the bankrupt Hardwick Clothes earlier this year, his first priority was to find the best leader possible to guide the 134-year-old company into the future.

“Hardwick Clothes will soon be known as the company with the best blazer in the world and we wanted the best CEO to help us get there,” said Mr. Jones, best known as the founder and CEO of Check Into Cash, the second largest payday lender in America. “With Bruce on our team there is no limit to what we can achieve. The whole world is watching.”

Cleveland, Tn., businessman C.L. Hardwick founded Hardwick Clothes on July 28, 1880 and the company stayed in the family until the Jones acquisition on June 16.

Mr. Jones said the company’s new flag that will be flown every day after July 28 is actually an old flag – the version of Old Glory that existed in 1880.

“Old Glory only had 38 stars in 1880 and on July 28 we will be raising the same flag C.L. Hardwick raised on the company’s first day 134 years ago,” Mr. Jones said.  “Since that first day, the company has survived two major fires, two World Wars, the Great Depression, leisure suits, NAFTA and – worst of all – making us watch China manufacture our Olympic team’s blazers.”

Mr. Jones is considered to be one of the 20th wealthiest Tennesseans. His career began at the age of 20 after he left college to help his father, who was suffering from emphysema, stabilize the family’s small, manually operated credit bureau located in his hometown of Cleveland.  Jones built the business into the largest credit bureau database in the state and then turned the collection agency into the largest in Tennessee as well, with offices from Memphis to Atlanta.

Mr. Jones founded Check Into Cash in 1993 and the company grew to include 1,300 locations nationwide. He has numerous other brands, including, U.S. Money Shops and Buy Here Pay Here USA, He is one of the largest title lenders in the country and has become one of the largest internet lenders through

Mr. Jones paid $1.9 million for Hardwick’s assets through Jones CapitalCorp LLC but acknowledged it is going to take much more than that to turn the company around.

Mr. Jones acknowledged he will spend $10 million in advertising alone this year to promote the Hardwick brand and the new company website –

Mr. Bellusci said he and Jones share a common commitment to excellence and success.

“Hardwick is the oldest business of its kind in America and Allan and I will work together to make the brand famous again worldwide,” Mr. Bellusci said. “Allan believes the pendulum is swinging back to ‘Made in America’ and I agree – the future looks good for Hardwick and other American-made brands.”

Mr. Bellusci said he has already been impressed with what he has seen from the Hardwick team and Jones CapitalCorp.

 “The employees at Hardwick are enthusiastic and excited about the new challenge ahead,” said Mr. Bellusci. “The journey starts now to regaining our national prominence. Working together, we will revitalize the Hardwick brand and reach new levels of success. The best is yet to come.”


 The new Hardwick Clothes flag is a 38-star version of Old Glory that existed when the company began in 1880
The new Hardwick Clothes flag is a 38-star version of Old Glory that existed when the company began in 1880

First Horizon Declares Quarterly Dividend

First Horizon National Corp.'s board of directors has approved payment of a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock of $.07 per share. The dividend is payable on Jan. 3, 2017, to the common shareholders of record on Dec. 9.   The board of directors has also approved payment of a quarterly cash dividend of $1,550.00 per share on FHN's Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred ... (click for more)

Chattanooga's NorthShore Offers Activities To Get Families Off Their Devices This Holiday Season

The NorthShore Merchants Collective is hosting its Second Annual Holiday Window Treasure Hunt to benefit the Northside Neighborhood House.   "To join in the fun, all you have to do is pick up a game card from any one of twenty-seven participating businesses and start a-hunting," officials said.  "Similar to those 'find the hidden object in the picture"' games you might ... (click for more)

In Surprise Vote, Chattanooga City Council Turns Down Short Term Vacation Rentals

In a surprise vote, the City Council on Tuesday night turned down allowing a process to legalize short term vacation rentals in Chattanooga. Only Chip Henderson and Jerry Mitchell voted in favor. Opposed were Carol Berz, Yusuf Hakeem, Larry Grohn, Moses Freeman, Ken Smith and Russell Gilbert. Chris Anderson was absent. Afterward, Councilman Smith said, in light of the vote, ... (click for more)

Cold Case Unit Makes Arrest In Murders Of Brothers In Brainerd Almost 20 Years Ago; Detectives Say Brainerd Jeweler Rick Davis Tied To Incident

The Cold Case Unit set up by District Attorney Neal Pinkston has made an arrest in the murders of two brothers in Brainerd almost 20 years ago. The Hamilton County Grand Jury on Monday indicted 52-year-old Christopher Jeffre Johnson on two counts of first-degree murder in the January 1997 deaths of Sean and Donny Goetcheus. The 25-year-old Sean Goetcheus and his ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Picture a sold-out baseball game at Wrigley Field or Nationals Park packed with 40,000 fans. That image represents roughly the same number of women and men who die from breast cancer each year.  In Tennessee alone, an estimated 900 women will die from the disease in 2016. It is a sad statistic, but there is some good news: thanks to early detection and improved treatments, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saving A Life & More

About 40 years ago I was at an afternoon football practice when one of those who was also watching from the fence was bitten by a bumble bee or yellow jacket or whatever it was and almost died from anaphylactic shock. Luckily an athletic trainer had an EpiPen, jammed it into the man’s thigh and it is believed to have saved the victim’s life. For years I kept an EpiPen on the top ... (click for more)