Marine Fabricator July/August 2020 - 16

DURKIN'S INC.
Year founded: 1904
Original products:Flooring
Current products: Awnings
and shade products,
solar screens, tents
Number of employees: 25

TOP: William Durkin (left) and his
brother-in-law Bernie Ginty (right)
became owners of Durkin's Inc. in
1955. Photo: Durkin's Inc.
RIGHT: Durkin's Inc. employees use a
Pionjar jackhammer as they prepare
to anchor a tent. Today, its tent
rental division is just one part of the
company as it continues to evolve
and diversify. Photo: Durkin's Inc.

J

eff Ginty, president of Durkin's Inc., is
the fifth-generation family member
to lead the company, which was founded
in 1904. Although Durkin's, located in
Danbury, Conn., started business in
the flooring industry, it transitioned into
awnings by the 1930s. In time, that led to
automated systems like retractable awnings.
Ginty explains that Durkin's survival-
enduring through wars and recessions-
is partly due to its recognition that "you
can't have all your eggs in one basket.You
need to be somewhat of a chameleon,"
he says, "kind of adapt to each situation."
In the 1970s and '80s, Durkin's began
manufacturing tents and entered the tent
rental market.While it eventually stopped
manufacturing, its rental division is still
going strong. Selling louvered shading
systems is Durkin's latest venture, one
where Ginty sees a lot of potential. "With
everything there's a life cycle" with peaks
and dips, he says.
The company works to provide a
personal experience to customers.
"We've kept it small enough where it's
manageable, so we can keep the focus
on our customers," he says. "Being it's
family owned, we give them the family
experience.We know them face to face."

The march of time brings new challenges, of course. For Ginty, who came on
board full time in 2000, one such challenge
was the rise of social media-something
his degrees in business management and
marketing did not prepare him for. The
company knew it had to "hop on that
boat" or be left behind. Durkin's now has
an active presence online.

"You can't have all
your eggs in one
basket. You need to
be somewhat of a
chameleon and adapt
to each situation."
-Jeff Ginty, Durkin's Inc.

When COVID-19 hit, Ginty "put
everything on freeze." Yet, with so many
people home eyeing the next home
improvement project, sales have been
continuing, particularly for louvered
shade systems. So when it's safe to
return to work, the work will be lined up.

16 Marine Fabricator | July/Aug 2020

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Marine Fabricator July/August 2020

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