By Phyllis DePiano
After 36 years in the business, Ricky Brooks, founder of RNK Distributing, and his wife, Kay, have built RNK into a leader in the sewing, quilting, crafting, embroidery, and appliqué world. What is truly amazing is this couple’s road to success and their dedication to the ever-evolving sewing demographic.
Before starting his successful business, Ricky attended college in Memphis, Tennessee, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Theology. After college, he worked in the mission fields of Iran, Ceylon, and India. While he served as a minister in Northeast Mississippi, his brother, Rudy Brooks, would take him along on his weekly trips to nearby Sewing Machine Set-ins. It was on these trips that his entrepreneurial spirit and desire to provide top-of-the-line sewing equipment were born.
At the age of 24, Ricky moved to Dyersburg, Tennessee, to open his own New Home Sewing Machine business. In just a few years he obtained many outlets that sold multiple sewing machine brands. In 1980, after a move to Jonesboro, Arizona, he met his wife, Kay.