About Us

Sadie Barnett

B. Black & Sons is a family owned fabric business, operating from the same location for over 80 years. We think knowing how we got here might help you appreciate how truly dedicated we are to carrying on the family tradition of excellent service to our customers.

Our founder, Barnett Black was born in a small town in Russia in 1882. As a teenager he met and became friends with a young woman named Sadie Brown from a nearby village. At the age of 18 Barnett left his family and his homeland and journeyed to America. He arrived in New York in 1900, where he found employment in the garment industry. Unbeknownst to Barnett about a year later Sadie and her family also arrived in New York and the 2 childhood friends were reunited at a friend's party. Sadie and Barnett were married in 1902 and their first son; Jack was born 2 years later. In 1905 they moved the family to Chicago where Barnett Black started out selling pants from a pushcart. Soon, he was able to start "Brown & Black Woolen Company" with his brother-in-law, Sander Brown. In 1909 Sadie had another son, Sy and then in 1912 gave birth to Gertrude.

Although B & B Woolens was doing well, in 1922 the family moved to Los Angeles in the hopes it would be better for Sadie's asthma, which it was. Barnett and Jack went into business together and opened B. BLACK & SON on South Los Angeles Street, just across the street from where it stands now. Within a few years they outgrew that space and Sy was ready to join them. The company became B. BLACK & SONS and they moved up the street. In the meantime, Gertrude met Edmund Volk and they were married in 1932. The next year, Ed also joined the growing business and in 1925 the company moved for the last time to its current location.

Barnett died in 1945 and Jack took the helm of the business with his brother Sy and brother-in-law Ed at his side.

After graduating from High School, Gertrude & Ed's eldest son, Irwin, represented the 3rd generation to enter the family business. For several years he apprenticed with his Uncle Jack who was eager to teach him the trade. In 1954, Jack passed away, while Irwin was serving in the Korean war. Upon his return, at the age of 24 Irwin became President of B. Black & Sons and has held that position ever since. The Black family business had now gone on to become the Volk family business.

Irwin's younger brother Barney, also followed in the family footsteps and became his partner in 1969. 

The 4th generation is now an integral part of B. Black & Sons with Irwin's daughter, Jacki and Barney's children Shanna and Andrew involved in the business and dedicated to carrying on the long tradition of excellence.

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