Published on March 1, 2012 by Brian Boyd, SouthCoastToday
NEW BEDFORD — A growing local manufacturer of custom-made bags and covers has moved into a larger space in the North End and has plans to hire more employees.
Under Cover, which was bursting at the seams in a 1,000-square-foot space in Fairhaven, has moved into a Hatch Street location that is seven times larger, said Peter Arsenault, the company’s chief of operations.
“We had satellite storage everywhere,” he said. “It was just getting a little crazy. We were tripping over each other in the space.”
The company plans to hold a grand reopening party this afternoon for family, friends, and supporters at the new location, Arsenault said.
Arsenault and his wife, Kelli, who is the company’s president, are Fairhaven natives who spent 25 years in New York City. They originally launched Under Cover in the city, before moving it to the Fairhaven location in 2006 after they outgrew their space in Manhattan.
The manufacturer, which currently employs about 10 people, designs and makes padded bags and covers for all types of equipment, though most of their customers are in the professional live sound industry.
They have also made bags or covers for other industries, including health care, packaging and the military. Kelli Arsenault designs all of the products herself.
“Everything we do is made to order,” Peter Arsenault said.
The origins of Under Cover traces back to when Arsenault was working as a live sound engineer. He was unloading speakers with torn covers for a show, and Kelli, who is a designer, suggested she could make new ones.
Arsenault said they will be hiring more people over time, though he didn’t know exactly how many. He said the city’s business community has been very welcoming, and he sees their business as a good fit for New Bedford given the long history of textile manufacturing here.
He also said he wanted to reach out to the fishing industry to see if it needs any specially designed covers.
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