Gem-Dandy Celebrates 100 Years in Business

Rockingham County, NC (June 2, 2021) – Rockingham County’s Office of Economic Development, Small Business, and Tourism is excited to celebrate the 100th year of Gem-Dandy Accessories. During the month of June, Rockingham County Economic Development will highlight Gem-Dandy in the Western Rockingham Chamber of Commerce store front window, along with other Rockingham County industries.

Gem-Dandy, a successor to the Penn Suspender Company, started in downtown Madison, North Carolina by the Penn Family in 1921. Their first major product, the GEMCO Adjustable Garter, was quickly patented as the first fully adjustable garter for men, women, and children. The company later entered into the belt business which has landed them with several popular brands such as Greg Norman ®, Pebble Beach ®,  John Deere ®, Berne ®,  REALTREE ®, Roper ® and Colours by Alexander Julian ® as well as their own proprietary brands including Danbury Golf, Danbury Workwear, Lady Danbury, G-Bar-D Western Outfitters and Cowgirls Rock. Today, they are one of the country’s leading belt and accessory companies and serve retailers around the globe.

Gem-Dandy Accessories attributes their longtime success and prides themselves on quality. The majority of the leather for their products comes from India, Italy, China, and they even use American hides which are tanned in Mexico.  Their unique designs, which are done in house in their downtown Madison facility, set them above their competitors. Throughout their 100 years, they have been able to roll with the punches and conform to the needs and wants of their customers, and it has truly worked in their favor.

“When we see a local industry who has been in operation for a century, you know they are doing something right,” states Leigh Cockram, Rockingham County Department of Economic Development Director. “We wish Gem-Dandy another 100 years of prosperity and growth.”

For more information or questions, please contact Tara Martin, Economic Development Marketing Manager at