Photo by Heather Middleton
By Maria-Jose Subiria Arauz
It was a rainy afternoon and Abbott Airline Uniforms, in Atlanta, was
experiencing a slow business day.
Virginia Harris, a seamstress there, managed to keep busy on a sewing machine, adding stripes to a pilot's uniform.
"I love sewing," said Harris.
Harris said that since 1997, she has worked for Abbott Airline
Uniforms, located in the Atlanta Air Center, at 3401 Norman Berry
Drive, Suite 144, Atlanta. Throughout her employment there, she said
she's developed positive professional relationships with customers,
who are mostly pilots.
"If I don't know your name, I know your face," said the sociable
She said most of the uniforms she works on are for pilots of AirTran
Airways, Delta Air Lines and Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA).
Matt Miller, manager of Abbott Airline Uniforms, said he is
responsible for overseeing operations at the facility, which include
customer service, documentation and uniform measurements. He said he has worked for the company since August 2009.
Miller said he finds his job exciting, because he meets pilots from
different parts of the U.S. every day.
"Ms. Virginia [Harris] never keeps it boring either," he said with a
According to William Warren, III, president of Abbott Military
Tailors, Inc., Abbott Airline Uniforms is an expanded service of the
military tailoring company, and serves as a vendor for various
airlines, including Delta Air Lines, ASA, AirTran Airways and World
According to Warren, the business is approximately 10 minutes away
from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and is open
Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m., to 5:30 p.m.
He said that Delta Air Lines has three different uniform vendors, and
Abbott Airline Uniforms is one of them. For World Airways, Abbott
Airline Uniforms is the sole provider of pilot uniforms, Warren
When pilots pick up their uniforms they typically receive numerous
pieces, including a coat, three trousers, a cap and between three and
six shirts, explained Warren.
"Everything that pertains to what a pilot would wear," he said.
He said the individual pilot is responsible for purchasing the
uniform, which could cost a little over $500.
Abbott Airline Uniforms also serves pilots that fly corporate jets,
he said. Pilots who work for corporations such as Wal-Mart and The
Coca-Cola Company get their uniforms from Abbott Airline Uniforms,
He said for the first 50 years of Abbott Military Tailors' existence,
the company focused on military uniforms for the United States Navy
and Marine Corps.
He said Abbott Military Tailors is a family business that began in
1940 with his grandfather, William Warren, Sr., in Pensacola, Fla.
Warren said his grandfather was working under contract with the
United States Naval Academy, in Maryland, where he outfitted
students. In 1940, the United States Navy began a flight program in
Pensacola, and Warren said his grandfather was asked by the Navy to
outfit the flight students there.
He said his grandfather eventually established Pensacola-based Abbott Military Tailors, in 1949. The company continues to provide uniforms for the Navy and the Marine Corps.
Warren said some Navy veterans, that were former customers of Abbott Military Tailors, became pilots for Delta Air Lines and told the
airline about Abbott's products.
"Delta asked if we would be interested in supplying uniforms," he said.
Warren said the company added a location in Atlanta, where Abbott
Airline Uniforms opened for business in 1991 to serve airline pilots.
Abbott Military Tailors has been passed down from generation to
generation, said Warren.
"We are a third-generation business and we offer quality uniforms
made in the U.S., and we work hard for customers," said Warren.
"Everybody that works for me has years of experience."
On the net:
Abbott Uniforms: www.abbottuniforms.com