Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 35

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.
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.

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.

William Durkin (left in both photos) and his brother-in-law Bernie Ginty
(right in both photos) became owners of Durkin's Inc. in 1955.

YEAR FOUNDED: 1904
ORIGINAL PRODUCTS: Flooring
CURRENT PRODUCTS:
Awnings and shade products,
solar screens, tents
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 25
Durkin's celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2004. Jeff Ginty (seated to the right
of the dog) is the company's fifth-generation president. Photos: Durkin's Inc.

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Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020

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