Press Release – Sparty Mill and Hodges International Ribbon Cutting and Dedication
Lincoln Economic Development Association (LEDA) hosted a ribbon cutting and dedication event Thursday, August 18, for Sparty Mill and Hodges International. Known locally for over a hundred years as Duplan Mill, the facility has stood as a reminder of the industry that Lincolnton and Lincoln County was built upon. Once a thriving textile community, the facility closed and was left abandoned for many years until fashion executive, Deanna Hodges, CEO of Hodges International, discovered the property in a search for an east coast manufacturing facility. Purchased in late 2020, Sparty Mill, has undergone months of repairs and renovations so that once again cut and sew manufacturing, towel weaving, circular knitting, embroidery, and other textile capabilities will be produced in the City of Lincolnton, North Carolina.
As a result of the pandemic, California-based Deanna Hodges was inspired to fulfill her dream of bringing manufacturing back to the United States and was determined to reshore her textile businesses as well. After many months researching multiple states and locations, the search ended in North Carolina. Seeing beauty in the historic property, Hodges purchased the former mill with the support of Industrial Incentive Grants offered by the City of Lincolnton, Lincoln County, and a contribution from the State of North Carolina’ Department of Commerce. For two years since purchasing the property, Hodges has led the restoration effort to reestablish the mill. With the ribbon cutting event and celebration, a dream became reality.
Kim Phillips, LEDA board chairperson welcomed guests and celebrated the occasion. “It’s really rare to find a visionary who is willing to overlook big obstacles. Additionally, as a former proud textile industry city, it’s exciting to celebrate this business coming here. We are incredibly grateful to Deanna for her vision for this old mill and her ability to bring those kinds of dreams to life.”
In comments offered by the City of Lincolnton Mayor Pro-Tem, Dr. Martin Eaddy, “We’re proud to have this building rejuvenated. This building has been an eyesore on this street for about 40 years and now its starting to take shape. The textile industry was the backbone of this area. I worked at several mills while I was going to college. Textile mills brought people and transportation here. It’s probably safe to say that Lincolnton wouldn’t be here without the textile industry. To see this building be repurposed and textile manufacturing coming back is really satisfying and gratifying to me.” County Commissioner, Milton Sigmon, echoed those same feelings and recalled his brother had worked at Duplan Mill as a young man.
Ms. Hodges expressed appreciation to the City of Lincolnton, Lincoln County, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina and Department of Commerce, Lincoln Economic Development Association, and her village of supporters including Roby Jetton and her first employee, Brenda Colvard, formerly employed 58 years ago at Duplan Mill.
About Deanna Hodges
Deanna Hodges is a seasoned fashion, and US based apparel and textile manufacturer. Holding a MB and MIB from Webster University, Ms. Hodges serves as CEO of H2 Home Collection. Accomplishments and interests include being a member of Mensa, an author of three books, an animal rescue advocate, mentoring students, and supporting women. For more information visit www.H2HomeCollection.com or www.Hodgesinternational.net.
About Lincoln Economic Development Association
Lincoln Economic Development Association is a private, 501c(3) non-profit corporation charged with facilitating industrial and office development in Lincolnton and Lincoln County. LEDA’s mission is to foster an economic environment that promotes an enhancement of the standard of living by creating more and better jobs for the citizens of Lincolnton and Lincoln County and an increased and diversified tax base to provide needed community services. The organization’s goals include retention and expansion of existing business; attraction of diversified base industries, improvement of the overall business climate within Lincolnton and Lincoln County and the growth of stage two entrepreneurial companies.
Business Development Manager