Innovative e-commerce companies may seem more at home in Silicon Valley than here in the Hudson Valley, but Paragon Uniform & Apparel is proving that perception wrong.
The White Plains-based company got its start in 2003, selling men’s formalwear online, and the scope quickly blossomed into all types of clothing for both men and boys. “Everything from formalwear and menswear to casual and activewear,” says founder and CEO Harris Reinhardt.
The company sells various brands, but it’s increasingly crafting original designs. “Within a few years, 100 percent of the goods we sell will be our own private brands,” Reinhardt notes.
Earnings have surged, too. In 2013, the company had about $1.8 million in sales. “Last year, we did $7.7 million, and this year we are on track to do over $9 million,” Reinhardt says. In each of the past three years, Paragon has ranked on Inc. magazine’s list of the country’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies.
It’s an impressive feat for a company with just eight full-time and two part-time employees. Reinhardt’s devotion to remaining in White Plains, and hiring locally, helped Paragon gain acceptance into the Inner City Capital Connection Program, which provides small-business owners in urban areas with coaching, networking, and access to conferences.
Part of Paragon’s success comes from paying close attention to the data. “We embrace technology and measure everything that we do in all aspects of our business,” Reinhardt says. The result is a deep understanding of online shoppers and a long list of satisfied customers.