J & J Industries, located in Dalton, is one of the largest privately held commercial broadloom manufacturers in the carpet industry. Founded by Rollins Jolly and Tom Jones during the 1950s carpet boom in northwest Georgia, the company initially manufactured candy-striped carpets and braided rugs but now exclusively produces commercial carpets.
After graduating from the University of Georgia in Athens, Jolly worked for twenty years in textile manufacturing in North Carolina and Georgia. In 1953 he opened Jolly Textiles in Dalton, selling yarn, jute and duck backing, and yarn cones. He also founded Dalton Cone Company to reprocess used cones and transform carpet remnants into rugs. In 1957 Jolly bought a truck for his business from Jones, a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta with a degree in industrial management. Soon thereafter the men became business partners. Their new business, J & J Industries, initially made rugs from odd lots of yarn.
By 1967 Jolly and Jones had decided to focus exclusively on the commercial carpet business. That same year Jolly’s son Jim Jolly, who became president of the company in 1986 and later assumed the roles of chairman and chief executive officer, joined the organization. The industry was just introducing “fine gauge tufting,” which used more needles per square inch to produce a very dense product. The unique product was much in demand and sold well, despite the lack of an adequate sales organization at J & J. At that time, the company’s main competitors were the woven-carpet manufacturers Bigelow, Lees, and Mohawk. Currently J & J sells most of its carpet for use in corporate office buildings, with additional sales to schools, retail stores, hospitals, airports, and the like.
J & J has worked to be an industry leader in reducing pollutants and minimizing the environmental impact on air, water, and land. The nylon yarn and backing used to make carpets are composed of some recycled materials, and post-consumer carpet is incorporated into cement, decking boards, and marine pilings (or plastic “plywood”). The company has also donated land adjacent to its facilities, which has been developed, in conjunction with such groups as the Nature Conservancy, into a wetlands area. These wetlands contain storm water and establish a riparian habitat in the Conasauga River watershed. Jolly was also active in relocating and expanding Dalton’s municipal airport, Jolly Field, which is named for him.