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 LendingFrog.com, U.S. Money Shops and Buy Here Pay Here USA, LoanbyPhone.com. He is one of the largest title lenders in the country and has become one of the largest internet lenders through CheckIntoCash.com.

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 – Hardwick.com.

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

Airnet Group Named Microsoft 2016 U.S. Education Rising Star Partner Of The Year

Airnet Group, Inc. announced it has been named the 2016 U.S. Education Rising Star Partner of the Year by Microsoft.  The U.S. Public Sector Partner of the Year awards were presented during Microsoft’s US Public Sector Industry Solution University yearly event, where Microsoft’s Public Sector executive team was on site to congratulate Airnet for its achievements. Winners ... (click for more)

Red Bank Chamber Council Hosts Local Heroes Event Tuesday

The Red Bank Council of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Local Heroes event at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, from noon-1 p.m.  Members of police, firefighting and emergency medical services agencies that impact the Council’s footprint (Red Bank, West Hamilton County, North Chattanooga and Signal Mountain ) will be recognized for their exceptional ... (click for more)

Boyd Says He Is Not On Witch Hunt Against CVB, But Intends To Seek Full Audit Of Agency; Graham Backs Visitors Bureau 100%

County Commission Finance Chairman Tim Boyd has told Chattanooga Visitors Bureau President Bob Doak that he is "not on a witch hunt" against the CVB, but he said he intends to seek a full audit of the agency. He said he was inspired to "take an even closer look" at the Visitors Bureau after he said Mr. Doak "unleashing a fire storm of emails condemning my accusations." ... (click for more)

Man, Child Killed In Crash On Highway 136 In Walker County; 2nd Child Who Was Seriously Injured Dies On Monday

A man and an unrestrained five-year-old child were killed when a vehicle went out of control on Highway 136 in Walker County on Saturday. A 10-year-old in the car was seriously injured, and later died on Monday. The driver was thrown from the van and was dead at the scene. The five-year-old was trapped in the vehicle and also died at the wreck site at Ponder Creek Road. ... (click for more)

Judge Doug Meyer Lived A Full Life Helping Many

I was sadden to learn of the death of Judge Doug Meyer.  Judge Meyer retired from the Criminal Court bench here in 2006.  Prior to that he had been the Chattanooga city judge for several years.  As a young attorney I tried many cases in front of Judge Meyer.  Also while I was awaiting my case to be tried, I would observe him on the bench.  Judge Meyer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Blackburn Good As Gone

I didn’t know until I read John Adams’ column in the Knoxville News-Sentinel that one person who doesn't personally know UTC Athletic Director David Blackburn said he heard he has a drinking problem. I also didn’t know that “the best thing to ever happen to UTC athletics” had health problems, according to a second person who does not personally know him. It is also being said David ... (click for more)