Not Our First Rodeo: A History of Adaptability and Resilience

After 90 years doing business, we’ve seen a lot. More than a lifetime’s worth of events have occurred in the nine decades we’ve been servicing Hoosiers. With each life changing event, Plymate has persevered and come out on the other side stronger than before. Remembering our past challenges serves as an excellent reminder of Plymate’s adaptability and resilience —the two things necessary to thrive through challenges.

A Look Back

1930: Our grandfather founded Plymate, Inc. in the middle of the Great Depression. Working at a dry-cleaning facility in Indianapolis, Glenn had an entrepreneurial spirit and took the risk to purchase a dry-cleaning company in Shelbyville at age 31. He signed the documents and opened Plymate January 2nd, 1930.

1941-1945: World War II was in full swing and caused setbacks for most industries in America. Much of the workforce was overseas, and dry cleaning was considered a luxury. Nevertheless, Plymate was steadfast.

1966: A devastating fire destroyed our downtown Shelbyville dry cleaning and commercial laundry facility. It took months to recover from this blow, both financially and emotionally. Glenn and Jim Plymate had just completed a total facility remodel. Glenn took this opportunity to purchase and retrofit a warehouse on the other side of town. This is our current uniform plant to this day.

1988: Plymate suffered a second devastating fire just over 20 years later. This time, we were forced to sell off the hospitality/restaurant portion of our business to stay afloat. However, we took this opportunity to invest in our technology and became the first in our market to implement a barcoding system on all garments.

2008: The recession created loss and pain for many businesses and families, and Plymate was no exception. Our volume dropped about 20%, but we capitalized on an opportunity to further optimize our product mix and service model. By taking a true partnership approach with our customers, it allowed us to both weather the storm and maintain exceptional customer retention through the recession.

A Look Forward

2020: The current pandemic surrounding COVID-19 has without a doubt slowed the world down. Many industries have been shut down temporarily to help flatten the curve, but Plymate remains open as an essential business providing necessary products and services to other essential businesses. While there is still a lot of uncertainty, we do know that as a result of this, Plymate has and will continue to implement enhanced safety measures for all of our internal and customer-facing co-workers. Plymate will continue to support our healthcare providers, trucking companies, and various other essential businesses. We believe we are positioned well to recover quickly as we continue to support our communities and further expand the product offerings to our customers. It’s adaptability and resilience at work.

While we don’t know exactly what the future holds in a post-pandemic world, we do know what’s always made our company successful. It’s the core values that guide us, no matter the circumstances.