Over a year ago Gregg Donnelly, founder of Jack Donnelly, known in the Ivy Style community for its American-made trousers, was hospitalized for three months after suffering a severe allergic reaction to a prescribed prescription medication. After leaving the hospital, it took Donnelly another twelve months to fully recover. Faced with financial trouble from hospital bills and little income from Jack Donnelly due to his absence, he considered throwing his company out altogether. “I was at a crossroad,” he recalls. “Do I graft back and relaunch? Or do I pack in and start another career?” Driven by his passion for the brand, Donnelly re-launched Jack Donnelly, saying, “I had come too far and built too strong of a foundation to abandon everything.”
Throughout this period and his absence, fans remained loyal and he maintained a steady base of customers. “Most of our customers were very understanding of the situation and continued to support us,” he says. “It meant so much to see that.” Since starting his business and facing immense health challenges through the company’s journey, he has refined his approach to the business and built upon his perspective of running a company. Describing the founding of Jack Donnelly, Donnelly is blunt: “I will say it’s very challenging to start a business by yourself – that is the first lesson.” Adding to this, he says how in the first few years of starting his company he believed there would be a “right time” for everything, before realizing “There’s no time quite like the present.”
Indeed, Donnelly has taken the charge since re-launching by expanding Jack Donnelly and implementing his evolving visions for the company. Throughout, he has remained committed to the same principles he started the company with, namely continuing to make quality American-made products and provide excellent service. And as the company eases in with a new supplier, Donnelly added that production will continue during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. With a new business partner, too, Donnelly plans to continue to produce their best-selling Hybrid Fit Dalton Pant in khaki. Moreover, he plans to add additional colors and fits as the company expands, including a new Officer Pant made from 9-oz. Japanese Selvedge Twill, and a 12-oz canvas 5-pocket. In addition, another new batch of products will be available on the website in early May.
Perhaps most significantly for Ivy Style readers, however, is the upcoming release of Jack Donnelly’s Ivy style fit, a trouser he modeled off of the elusive and highly-sought after high rise and tapered-legged pant of the Ivy heyday. Donnelly describes the trouser as having a “long rise” and “straight leg on the slimmer side.” As of now, the company is finalizing samples and, once approved, will begin producing the trousers.
“We’re excited for the future,” he says. “It’s been wild journey, but we’re really only getting started. We want to continue to improve in all that we do and continue to establish ourselves as a go-to American-made khaki provider. Thanks for all of your support. We can’t do without all of our consumers and supporters. To anyone who sent me an email, ordered a pair or two of khakis, visited our website, liked or commented on our socials, posted a photo in our pants, or has been a JD faithful throughout this crazy ride, I see you, I appreciate you, and I need people like you to help fuel this small business.” — JACK M. CARLSON
Gregg Donnelly has graciously extended a discount to Ivy Style readers. Enter the code “Ivystyle” at checkout for 15% off.