Made in Our Hometown: Fieldtex now Worldwide
Updated: Wednesday, January 8 2014, 11:39 AM EST
A soldier at war must trust his or her equipment. Same goes for an emergency medical worker. There is a local company trusted to make the carrying cases for these vital pieces of technology. It's called Fieldtex and it's in Henrietta.
If you need a soft-sided case for a project, they can build one.
The "sample room" at Fieldtex on Brighton-Henrietta Town Line Road reaches high overhead with hundreds of examples of their work. You can see the names Rural Metro, Pop Warner and Harris RF Communications on the samples. They are just a small sample of the company's customers. The bags come in all sizes and colors even camouflage and pink. They've made them all on site.
Sanford Abbey took over the company in 1973 when the focus was making awnings and tents and employed 6 people. Then came Xerox and the need for a case for the memory writer typewriter. "The case business. That got us into it. We didn't even know how to make a carrying case until Xerox needed it... and we learned very quickly," Abbey told us.
Harris RF Communications became a client around the same time and continues to be, which means Abbey often sees his company's work on TV news.
"When we see something in Afghanistan or Iraq and we see our troops and we see them in combat positions and we they'll have radios and stuff... we see our stuff all the time."
That fact is a definite source of pride for employee Kim Forcey who's worked at Fieldtex for 17 years.
"When we have to make sure that the stuff we make stands up to the rigors of what they put it through, that's a good feeling too, that we made something durable enough for our military guys to be able use," Forcey told us.
Fieldtex can take the design from a drawing or just a concept to computer model to sample.
Once approved, the material is cut by a machine. It can have a label added and hardware attached.
Then all the pieces are assembled.
Many of the 172 employees are sewers.
Twenty-three nationalities were represented at the Fieldtex holiday party last year.
And the company continues to grow.
An addition was put on the building a few years ago and already Abbey is looking to expand again.
Twenty-five projects can be going on at once on the sewing room floor and then shipped out across the country or even to Canada or Latin America.
Forcey often sees Fieldtex's work on clients' brochures. "And it's like ‘Oh, we made that!’ That's really great."
That's Fieldtex - one of the few domestic manufacturers of textile bags. Proud to be made in America. Proud to be Made in our Hometown.