McMinnville company ARQ, which became a pandemic hit for its simple, high-waisted underwear, will wind down business operations after the death of founder Abigail Quist’s husband, Jefferson Quist.
According to an obituary from Yamhill County’s News-Register, Jefferson Quist died in McMinnville on Aug. 5 at the age of 40. No cause of death was given.
“Our family has experienced an unimaginable tragedy recently,” Abigail Quist wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday. “For this and many other smaller but significant reasons, I have decided to scale ARQ way back and wind it down before taking a pause.”
Abigail Quist started ARQ as a small line of children’s clothing in 2015. But when she introduced her “throw-back” underwear and camisole for adults in 2018, the line took off.
“2018,” Abigail Quist told The Oregonian/OregonLive in 2021, “we did about $180 thousand. 2019, we did about $1 million. And 2020, we did about $7.5 million in gross sales.”
As her company became more successful, Abigail Quist’s husband, Jefferson Quist, an immigration and criminal defense lawyer, became ARQ’s CFO. The couple have three children.
“I have had to say heartbreaking goodbyes this past few months, including to many beloved members of the ARQ family who I could no longer keep on and who will be dearly missed,” Abigail Quist wrote in her Instagram post.
It is not clear when ARQ will pause its operations. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But in her Instagram post, Abigail Quist said the company would have some promotions through the end of the year and would still introduce “some small new collections that have long been in the works.”
“My children and I need some time and are being well-supported by loved ones,” Abigail Quist said at the end of her post. “We thank so many of you who know us and have sent well wishes and love our way. We can feel it. Love, Abigail.”
— Lizzy Acker
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