The Ray Sewell Company (Courtesy of Sharon Sewell)

The production of men’s apparel was unique to central west Georgia. In 1919, brothers Robert, Roy, and Warren Sewell operated a “jobbing” company in Atlanta, contracting men’s clothing in New York and selling those clothes under their own labels here in Georgia. Headquartered in Bremen, Georgia, by 1928, their Sewell Manufacturing Company began manufacturing men’s suits and coats themselves. As the Sewell’s company grew, they expanded operations several times in the west Georgia region. Eventually each Sewell brother created his own manufacturing company.   

Entrepreneur Ray Sewell Sr., nephew of Roy and Warren Sewell, opened his own clothing company, The Ray Sewell Company, in 1955 in his home when he filled a contract order for men’s pants with a Louisiana company. The Ray Sewell Company soon opened small manufacturing plants in Mount Zion and Buchanan, Georgia, and Wedowee, Alabama.

Though the Ray Sewell Company experienced success and expansion through the 1960s and 1970s, including in other area cities, the company closed its doors in 1988 due to increased foreign competition that preceded the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of 1994.

The Ray Sewell Company’s Mount Zion location is now the home of the community’s local library. Today you can see photographs of this former manufacturing company within the library.