About Custom Uniform Company
Hindlemann & Assoc., Inc.
Uniform Company, has been in business for over 75 years.
We have morphed from a small tailoring shop in the mid 1930s to
an eclectic uniform manufacturing company that reflects many
styles and interests of the early 21st century.
between, with various names under the same ownership, DHA &
Assoc., Inc. has manufactured US army uniforms for World War II, suits
for freed prisoners of war from concentration camps in Germany,
and military band uniforms, and outfits for parochial schools,
choral groups and cheerleaders. We supplied western wear, period
costumes, amusement and theme park identity apparel, ROTC groups,
National Guard, Marine Corps, Fire and Police department honor platoon
Rave Reviews from our
"Your level of workmanship, the quality, the custom adjustments
you made to adapt my patterns, were wonderful.
- Tiffany J., Tiffany Nursewear
"Thanks for getting the coat to me in time for our special occasion. It was a perfect fit!!"
- Miriam A., Kiwanis Club
"I offer you unending praise. I am very impressed with custom uniform company and you! You have been wonderfully pleasant to speak with and your service was without fault--just perfect."
- Cindy S., Munnerlyn & Company
"Got the coat today. It is wonderful--workmanship wonderful! I might sleep in it."
- Lt. Col. William D, U.S. Army
"The vests arrived (wow, you all are quick!), so we were able to fit and alter them by the tech. The vests look beautiful!"
- Meredith C., Barnard College Theatre Department
"We've been doing business together for over 20 years. where else could a dealer get custom made royal purple blazers?!"
- Pat S., The Rite Source
We are known for our good work for
Shrine Regalia for Rotary, Elks, Masons, Kiwanis and more, all
around the country. We do
Templar uniforms, too.
We've also received acclaim
from our customers for restaurant &
uniforms, esthetician outfits,
housekeeping & industrial uniforms, plus corporate and casual
Uniform Company brings versatility, creativity, unique
design/fashion/color concepts to otherwise mundane
uniforms. Reflecting the evolution of society,
we present changing styles, fabrics, and focus that have
satisfied our customers throughout the years. We deal with special needs such as
maternity uniforms and people with unique builds. There are
no pre-established styles, fabrics, or colors. We are a company that is completely dedicated to its customers.
We are family-owned and we
guarantee our work. We present a variety
of ways for uniform access: ready-to-wear, custom-made,
cut/make/trim (cut & sew), private label or customer label.
We maintain a small workforce to stay flexible to customer requests.
We are one of the few remaining
companies in the United States that will manufacture in small
quantities; this renders us unique.
Webster: Custom Uniform Company
Debra Hindlemann Webster
is the 4th generation of the Hindlemann family to be
involved in the garment business.
Her great grandfather, David,
was a tailor. He came here from Eastern Europe in the late
1800s and spent the rest of his life in the United States.
His son, Harry, was a haberdasher who sold men’s suiting to
department stores in the New York area. Harry’s business
fell apart during the 1929 Great Depression when the
department stores themselves defaulted on their payments and
Harry—with a wife and 3 children—was left penniless.
Dave Hindlemann, left New York to seek
work; he began his own business in Denver, Colorado: Pioneer
Wholesale Tailors, which eventually transposed to Bell
Tailors, Bellmaster/Bell Manufacturing Company, and finally
Custom Uniform Company.
Deb is Dave’s daughter.
Deb has been in and out of
the garment business for most of her life. Born in 1948,
she was assisting her dad at his tailoring shop as early as
the age of 5. Her love of colors, the feel of different
fabrics, and the art of design was always with her. Sorting
threads, swatches of cloth, exploring the various sewing and
pressing machines were her weekend pastimes with her
father. She decorated the clothing “dummies” with her own
variety of fashions that she cut out of assorted remnants,
here and there, fascinated by fashion and design.
Lucky enough to grow up
during the years when the United States was deeply committed
to education, patriotism, and respect/responsibility to
oneself and others, Deb had the privilege of being able to
learn and explore all avenues of life. She still applies
these same principles to whatever she does.
With three university degrees,
a background in theatre, writing and public speaking skills,
a teaching certificate, an ability to speak sign language
and some Spanish, Debra Webster brings a wealth of talent
and knowledge to the uniform business. Rather than the more
narrow focus so many people have, Deb is able to flex and be
acquainted with every customer and situation, no matter his
or her variety of taste or need.
Deb is able to say, “If I
don’t know the answer, I am able to find out.”
While Dave had his marching
band business during Deb’s teenage years—Bellmaster/Bell
Manufacturing Company—she would often do his office work,
the shipping, some tasks of finishing large orders. She
learned several parts of the business from the most basic
For income to pay her way
in college, she worked with women’s clothing stores and
haberdasheries for men; she did management, sales,
inventory, pricing, display, modeling. She learned how to
operate in the business world.
For much of her time with
Custom Uniform Company, Deb was the behind-the-scenes
organizer, coordinator, improviser. She can tell a fine
garment from a poor one and does not rest until uniform
quality is the highest standard.
While Dave has passed away, Deb continues to
respect his expertise and build on his enormous skill as
owner of the
company she has been involved with for the last 29 years.
Her career has been
varied. In addition to her business, she is a single mom
with a grown, multiply disabled daughter for whom she cares
and advocates. She continues to teach on a freelance
basis. She has written and published; she has often
written for "Made to Measure Magazine," and for
www.uniformmarketnews.com as its fashions and trends editor. She maintains an
incredibly ordered and organized life, and is one of those
individuals who is convinced that the more a person takes
on, the more efficient and productive a person can be.
She is 4th generation garment
industry; she is 2nd generation Custom Uniform Company: Both
at their very best.
Dave Hindlemann: Bell
& Custom Uniform Company (as profiled in Made to Measure)
in the first decades of this century are largely responsible for
one of the most incredible periods in human history. Everyone
pitched in, did his/her proud part to enrich the fiber of our
nation. People were not afraid of work; success was by sweat of
MADE TO MEASURE
profiled a few individuals of that generation, still active in
the business, whose diligence and commitment helped build the
uniform industry into what it is today.
In 1916 New York City, where a kid made a
living by the seat of his pants, Dave Hindlemann, entrepreneur, began at the
age of 10 juggling three paper routes and an elementary
school career. Whether it was his first bicycle, his
Model T Ford with a crank that he bought for $50, or his
upgrade to a roadster with a gear shift and rumble seat,
Dave always paid his own way. He grew up in Mount Vernon,
New York, where his father, Harry, was a contractor in
the garment business. The Wall Street crash with its
domino effect, destroyed the elder Hindlemann's career
when the majority of his clients went bankrupt.
The family headed West. Dave abandoned his hopes for a
future in engineering or law, apprenticing with his
father in a small, Denver-based clothing company. He
earned his Bachelor's degree in accounting from the
University of Denver. Working by day and learning at
night, 20-year old Dave Hindlemann started his first
company, Bell Tailors, in 1936. "I've never
regretted owning my own business," Dave relates.
"I never go to sleep at night worrying that the next
morning some executive will tell me my job has been
Dave's success allowed him to bring his parents,
sister and brother into his business. He saw to it while
he was in Europe for three and a half years during World
War II that the company continued to thrive, by
converting its skills to the manufacture of military
1945 came and the boys returned home—not to
proprietary pinstripe suits—but to open-collar shirts,
slacks and sport coats.
Dave adapted the military uniforms for marching bands,
parochial schools and ceremonial groups. He converted
from the cost-prohibitive wools to the new technology of
synthetics. His tailoring shop mushroomed from five or
six tailors to 50 or 60 sewers. Bell Tailors became Bell
In 1981, he was offered a buy-out, readily gave up the
high overhead and stresses of operating a large factory
and went back to a smaller staff and shop, again
modifying as the baby-boomers graduated from school and
budgets for band uniforms got smaller. "Flexibility
is everything in the manufacturing business," he
Today, after 21 years in partnership with his
daughter, Debra Hindlemann Webster, Dave's smaller business, Custom Uniform
Co., Inc. is bigger and more challenging than ever. All
types of custom designed garments are manufactured under
private label and the Custom Uniform label; he
complements his inventory with ready-made uniforms.
"I like being a big fish in a small pond. We can
make small quantities. It's fun. If you don't enjoy
coming to work every day, you'll never be a success at
what you do."
Married for 55 years, Dave and his wife, Phyllis have
three children and three grandchildren. He states without
hesitation, "Family has always been first. Even in
the early years I always tried to make time for my
Dave insists that he is retired. "Retirement
means doing what you want to do. I love to work, travel,
read and enjoy my family. I'm doing all of those things,
so I guess I'm retired." At the age of 86, he still
works six days a week.
"So many things have changed," Dave
Hindlemann reflects. "It used to be a handshake was
a man's word. Now, it's lawyers and contracts
– cut and
dried. The personal element is missing."
*note: Dave passed away
November, 2006 at the age of 90. He worked until a week
before his death. His wife preceded him in death the
previous March. They were married 59 years.
Excerpted from story that first appeared in MADE
TO MEASURE Magazine, Spring & Summer 1997 issue,
updated Winter 2012. © All rights reserved. Photo
appears by special permission.
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