"No one ever regrets
buying quality."

It all started with Grandpa Henry.

Grandpa Henry was a wheat farmer. He was a good man, strong and tough.

He farmed 1200-plus acres in southeast Colorado, where wind whips down off the Rockies every day of the year, weather is violent and volatile, and the only thing that stands in the way of bankruptcy is an absolute refusal to give up.

My favorite childhood memories are from my days on that farm with Grandma and him.

Farming was his life.

Every piece of equipment he owned was the strongest and toughest he could afford. Not necessarily the most expensive. Just the best.

See, he refused to trust his family's welfare to low-quality equipment, even if it saved him a little money.

I asked him about that once. "Why not save a little money on equipment, Grandpa?"

I’ll never forget his answer.

DeLawn, aprons
"No one ever regrets buying quality."

Those words have always been with me.

When I started my new waitress job at a high-end seafood restaurant here in Phoenix, they gave me an ugly, worn-out apron to wear.

“This isn't acceptable," I thought to myself. "I can make something better than this.”

And so I did.

DeLawn, aprons, tablet pouches,
I started with the strongest, toughest fabric I could find.

Not the cheap stuff that wears out in a month, or bleaches out after a couple of washes. It had to be tough and strong.

I made the strings a little longer, so it would wrap from back to front and still be long enough to tie. And I made the strings a little wider, so they didn’t cut into my waist, and so they'd stay tied once I tied them.

Then I made it a little wider, so it would fit a woman’s hips better. (Skinny guys never think about these things.)

DeLawn, aprons,
I wanted keep my hands free and still have quick access to everything I needed.

So, I added several different sized pockets to fit all the different things I had to carry - pens, lighters, corkscrew, tablets, rags.

I hated it when my aprons fell apart. So, I chose the strongest German-made thread available. Then I used small, tight stitches and reinforced all the places that aprons normally wear out.

Yes, it took longer to make.
Yes, it cost more.

What mattered in the long term was that it was strong and tough and wouldn’t wear out. It looked as good after a year of wear as it did on the first day.

Grandpa Henry would approve.

When my co-workers saw my new apron, they loved it. “Where’d you get that,” they wanted to know.

When I told them, "I made it," they all wanted one.

DeLawn, aprons, tablet pouches,
Next thing I knew, the restaurant ordered a dozen aprons from me.

Then the parent company ordered aprons for all their restaurants.

More companies heard about my aprons, and they ordered too.

I was in business.

And that’s how it began.

That was 1987.

For almost 4 decades, Grandpa Henry’s words and values have guided my work.

"No one ever regrets buying quality."