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s&s history

110 Years of S&S Worldwide History

S&S Worldwide is the company big enough to meet the demands of a growing global market, yet small enough to give customers a friendly, personal experience. Think "Big guy" selection with "Small guy" service, which is how we've done business for over 100 years.


In 1906, Aaron Schwartz, a Russian immigrant, founded S&S Leather in New York City. The fledgling business hit the big time with its "flapper"-inspired hair curler. Millions were sold in discount chain stores like Woolworth's and Kresge's, which is now K-Mart. As sales rose, the humble scrap merchant resettled to rural Colchester, Connecticut.


Aaron's son, Hy, inherited control of the company in the mid-1930s, shifting focus to vocational rehabilitation. Partially finished leather kits were shipped to blind and handicapped customers, laying the foundation for our therapy line of products and arts & crafts kits in later years.


As sales of leather crafts waned, the company started developing products for children, which led to significant growth. During the 1960s, a broader line of kid-themed products and new philosophy emerged: "Learning while playing."


Stephen Schwartz, who took over as company president when Hy passed in 1969, continued in this new direction. Today, under the fourth generation leadership of Co-Presidents Adam and Hy Schwartz, S&S is an industry leader in the Recreation, Sporting Goods, Healthcare and Education markets.


S&S currently employs about 200 associates on a central campus of over 250,000 square feet of warehouse and distribution space. To solidify our position as a worldwide leader in our field, S&S has invested in an expansive manufacturing facility in southern China that produces most of our paint and group craft kits.


Beyond all the brick-and-mortar infrastructure that makes S&S tick, our primary attention continues to be on customer satisfaction. HOW we treat our customers is as important as what we sell. We know that nothing matters if you're not happy! For us, "it's not yours 'til you like it!" That's the true measure of our success.