Dakonte Product Group, Inc. 6615 W. Mill Road, Milwaukee Neighborhood: Menomonee River Hills East
Owner: Kate and Don Hill
Service: Sewn and heat seal vinyl products
What products do you make?
Kate Hill: “DPG is a Milwaukee manufacturing company making three brands of products: TIE Office Mates, Great Menu Covers and Easy Partitions.”
How did the company get its start?
“In 2016, I was approached by a business colleague to help find a buyer for the TIE Office Mates and Great Menu Covers product lines. When the search proved unsuccessful, I started DPG to acquire these product lines with the goal of keeping jobs in Wisconsin by applying my decades of business and economic development experience.”
What drew the company to Milwaukee’s northwest side from the suburbs?
“The original workforce brought over with the two acquired product lines were Hmong refugees that lived on Milwaukee’s northwest side. Moving the operation from Sussex to their neighborhood eliminated long commutes and opened opportunities for others in the area.”
What’s one major adjustment the company has made because of COVID-19?
“The pandemic all but eliminated restaurant menu cover sales and severely reduced industrial/office supply purchases of TIE Office Mates vinyl job ticket holders. This required an overnight pivot involving new product design, tooling, retraining employees and finding sales channels to market disposable face shields, COVID signage and sneeze guard partitions.”