About the Founder
A childhood accidental burn at the age of seven left Beulah limited use of right arm. She was encouraged to throw a baseball, so with her dad she practicing throwing it every day. Over a period of time, she not only regained use of her arm but became an advocate for playing softball and became known as a star athlete.
After high school while playing softball on traveling and recreational leagues she took a job at a local sewing factory and later became a supervisor. She was taught tailoring by an Italian tailor. In 1985, she opened her own alteration business which grew rapidly and soon clothing designers were contacting her. Soon the alteration business had added production of designer dresses and she began hiring more employees to keep up with the demand.
In the spring of 1994, an alteration for Hugh Cantrell, owner of the National Softball Association led to a request for help with the umpire ball bag he was using for his association. The newly designed bag led to a patent process. Being happy with the ball bag, he then asked for a specially designed pullover jacket to meet the needs of his umpires. After a few months her patent agent called with the news that she needed to give her ball bag company a name and since she was doing other things now for umpires, she named her product line Ump Attire.
In 1995, in order to customize the National Softball Associations logo on the products she was making for them, she attended embroidery school in Chicago. With the orders from NSA seasonal, she started doing embroidery for the public to generate more cash flow. In 1997, her website, umpattire.com was launched. After 6 days of internet marketing and emailing, Beulah made her first international sale of one of her ball bags.
In 1998, Beulah’s patent was granted, and she was featured in the Lane Report, Referee Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. Ump Attire was among the first to sell online related to sports. Ump Attire expanded it’s services to include alterations, embroidery, screen printing, manufacturing, sublimation, and product development and customization.
In 2004, Beulah partnered with Eastern Kentucky Technology and Innovation Group, to apply for a grant from the Kentucky Science and Technology Center to develop a new shirt idea for referees. The shirt idea was to take the undershirt referees were wearing for moisture wicking to a sublimated outwear shirt. Her grant had been awarded, so she worked with local mills and factories to get her new shirt idea on the market. When the shirt hit the market it was immediately in demand.
In 2006, Beulah sold her retail website only to her web contractor, Jim Kirk. NO OTHER PART OF HER COMPANY SOLD. SHE STILL OWNS UMP ATTIRE NAME, THE WHOLESALE DIVISION AND THE TRADEMARKED BRAND. She sold the retail site so she could focus on her strengths in marketing and product development. A very smart move as it now gave Beulah 3 revenue streams of income which consist of a monthly payments for the purchase of the website, an additional royalty for the use of the Ump Attire name and selling wholesale through umpattire.com.
In 2007, Beulah partnered with an Amish couple, who were running a business making windows, horse bridles and lead lines in Crab Orchard Kentucky, to start manufacturing her products. She taught them the manufacturing assembly that she had learned through her previous experience as a supervisor in a sewing factory. The Amish taught Beulah how the manufacturing could be done with non-electric powered by air motors, proving to be an effective, green solution to support Jim Kirk by keeping umpattire.com in stock almost daily as he sold them.
In 2010, the Amish factory had outgrown its facility and moved to a 6500 square feet facility in Munfordville, KY to focus on Ump Attire’s production of her sports related attire.
In 2012, Beulah was honored with an award from Kentucky Small Business with the success story of the year for jobs created. Beulah stated it was an awesome opportunity to be chosen for such an award and be able to go to Churchill Downs on Millionaires Row to receive such an honor.
In 2013, the Amish manufacturing ceased supplying the Ump Attire products directly to the umpattire.com website, but they continue to work with Beulah Hester. By this time Beulah had learned that to grow in the demanding US economy you needed to be technology driven and the business grew stronger than ever.
Currently Beulah’s new UA-USA products are sold retail at www.Amazon.com and www.playnsa.com.
In 2016 The contract between Score 451 Sports, owner of the retail website umpattire.com and Beulah Hester owner of the Ump Attire name and trademark, mfg and wholesale division ended. Umpattire.com is a retail website selling and supporting imported products. Beulah has stuck with her commitment to made in USA products. So much so that in are manufactured in factories in several states throughout the United States as she stays deeply committed to promoting made in the USA and supporting US economy. She specializes in product development from design, computerized pattern making to the spinning of yarn to the dying, to sublimation, to automatic cutting through production.
She has endured many family and personal tragedies along her professional journey and when asked how she endured it all, she says, “I never won a game that I quit playing.” In response to public demand, Beulah is working on writing her autobiography, as her story and endurance despite trials has proven to be an inspiration for many others, including entrepreneurs in Kentucky and around the world.
*For more information, Read Kathy Moat’s story about Beulah’s entrepreneurial spirit.