A number of you may recall that we are celebrating our 30th anniversary in business. I am pleased to share my second installment on the business beginnings and its growth.
ROHL’s second decade would be a “Rohller” coaster of events which would test management’s ability to adapt to change, business threats, as well as the markets openness to an expanding desire for decorative faucets and fixtures.
On the political front, 1993 brought President Bill Clinton to the White House, while a single currency (the Euro) and open borders were initiated by the European Union. Both events had a positive effect on ROHL as the United States economy began a robust period of home building and remodeling. Our dealings with European manufacturing partners were greatly simplified.
One notable change was our transition from a kitchen product focus to the introduction of traditional country styled bath faucets and fixtures – all made in Western Europe.
A major threat to our viability occurred in 1996 when our original European partner divorced us in favor of going it alone. As the saying goes “when one door closes – another door opens.”
The ISH Fairs of 1997 and 2001 were particularly impactful, as was KBIS 1998. This was a time when many of our now familiar product lines had their genesis, i.e. A3608 and U.3721.
The ROHL organization and family were also expanding. By 2003, our headquarters occupied three buildings in Costa Mesa, California. ROHL also held offices in Freehold, New Jersey and Sausalito, California. Lou was managing the West and had married Laura. Mark was well entrenched in the East and had married Denise. They now have two daughters, Remi and Peri.
Greg was heading up our marketing effort. My operations staff and I were quarterbacking our manufacturing partners and making strategic decisions impacting product development and marketing.
Our family business, like so many of our customers’, was built on a legacy and reputation of quality, service and the dedication of a team earnest in its intention to be a reliable contributor to its community and the industry it serves.
As we finished our second decade, we’d concluded our role as a one act supplier. Now poised to offer a full complement of kitchen and bath faucets, fixtures and accessories, we were beginning to solidly position ourselves as purveyors of authentically crafted, luxury products in the traditional, transitional and modern vein. The economy was in an adjustment period, but we were at the beginning of a new decade that would bring significant growth and brand recognition.
Stay tuned for the third and final chapter of our 30th Anniversary Celebration Series, to come in the Fall of 2013.