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news Rit dye enjoyed robust sales during pandemic thanks to colorful consumer trend

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The local owner of an iconic dye brand says a colorful consumer trend helped grow the business during the pandemic.

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“Tie dye became one of the huge COVID trends, comparable to baking bread,” Rit Dye owner and creative director Jonathan Spagat told the Noon Business Hour Friday. “Our sales just skyrocketed. It took us completely off-guard, actually.”

Rit Dye did not have supply-chain issues as many companies did during the pandemic because the product is made in Indianapolis.

Sometimes, however, they had to send retailers less supply than they had ordered, he said.

Spagat’s company, Nakoma Products, acquired Rit Dye from a bankruptcy. The idea was to revive the familiar, if outdated, brand and make it relevant to today’s marketplace.

“When we found out about Rit, we were like, ‘This is a treasure,’” Spagat said. “It was a bankrupt company, but it had so much potential.”

He said the new owners changed the packaging and company website — “the whole look and feel of this 100-year-old brand.”

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