TSS Business of the month for September 2014 is DENMAN® International Limited

We cannot feature Denman International Limited without mentioning The Denroy Group. This group was formed in 1972 by Max Rainey and remains privately owned by the Rainey family. The group’s main headquarters is based in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland. The Denroy Group consists of Denroy Plastics Limited – providers of precision plastic injection mouldings, as well as being the manufacturing arm of the famous DENMAN® range of hairbrushes and combs. Our business of the month Denman International Limited, deals solely with the supply, marketing and sales organisation sectors of the group.

Jack Dean
Jack Dean

DENMAN® is one of the most respected names in hairdressing worldwide. It was the late 1930s when Ulster man, John Denman Dean (known as Jack Dean) pictured above, first patented the classic Denman D3 brush. Back then, this well known brush was made from boar’s bristles and natural rubber, but Dean’s work during WWII brought him into contact with a new polymer at the time; a material that was a versatile and durable synthetic called Nylon.

After the war Dean established Denman Tools Limited and Denman Products Limited in Welwyn Garden City, England. It was only then that Dean was able to turn some of his attentions to commercializing the hairbrush product he had invented some years previous. Dean’s pioneering work, overall, not only with Nylon, but, more generally, polyethylene, was recognized in 1959 when he was awarded the ICI Alkathene Design Trophy.

Dean was lucky to possess dual skills and this reflected in his business accruement. He had proven that he was a quality engineer, but he was also very artistic. He went on to develop a range of new and innovative products across both companies. Denman Tools Ltd continued with the manufacture and supply of plastic mouldings for the plastics industry in general, and, after spending a long time consulting with leading hairdressers of the day, the hairdressing side of business (Denman Products) produced brushes and combs that were largely designed By hairdressers For hairdressers.

Denman 1964
The front & back cover of a Denman catalogue produced in 1964 to illustrate its current product range. Source – Facebook The Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust

Upon his retirement Dean returned to the place of his birth, Cushedall, in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It was by pure coincidence it seems, that the two Denman companies were purchased by the Lyndsay & Williams Group who happened to locate Denman to Northern Ireland too.

Pictured is Denroy Group chairman John Rainey MBE Image source: http://www.hji.co.uk/

The name, Rainey is another important name in the history of Denman for the reasons we have already mentioned in the first paragraph. Pictured above is John Rainey chairman of the Denroy Group. This year John was awarded an MBE for outstanding contribution to economic development in Northern Ireland. The Group has provided employment for many people over the years, not just in Northern Ireland, but further afield, as Denman International also operates offices in London and Amsterdam, and has a wholly-owned subsidiary company, Denman Inc., based in Boston, USA.

So you see Jack Dean’s fabulously original hairbrush invention of 1938 was just the start!


Badge Business -of the month





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