Triad business started with less $100 going strong 35 years later

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A Triad business that was started with less than $100 is still going strong.

National Robe Corporation has dressed clergy and judicial leaders across the last 35 years. 

Founder Josephine Bass started the company with only $75 dollars.

She got the idea after her pastor put her in charge of dressing a choir that ultimately grew to 183 people.

She and a friend made robes using donated fabric.

“And when they came down that aisle, that expression I saw on their face, I knew that I was in this forever,” Bass said.

Bass used the $75 to rent a space in downtown Greensboro to get her business off the ground.

It wasn’t long before the company outgrew the space.

Her husband later came on board as the company’s CEO.

Today it’s estimated that National Robe Corporation has served more than 5,000 people.

There’s a team that does the manufacturing, but Bass still handles the design.

Part of the reason the company has maintained a strong reputation as a supplier of church apparel is its dedication to quality.

“I feel like that the people of God should have the best because they work hard,” Bass said. “Every piece in here I've prayed over, and I say when it leaves this building. Let it be a blessing to people.”

The Bass family is known for clothing some of the Piedmont’s top leaders, but Bass and her husband also make it a priority to clothe those in need.

Their outreach has included providing clothes to people affected by the 2018 tornado that touched down in the East Greensboro community.

Providing clothing, food and youth-based activities is also part of their outreach through their ministry Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

National Robe Corporation will celebrate 36 years in business this October.

The company has moved from its previous location on Rehobeth Church Road.

It is now located at 2302 Soabar Street in Greensboro.

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