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Entrepreneurs

MADE Winners – Manufacturing Category

By Staff Reports, posted Feb 24, 2017

BRADFORD PRODUCTS

bradfordproducts.com

Year founded: 1982 | Number of employees: 147

Top official: Michael Brodeur, VP

Company description: “We are the worldwide leader in stainless steel pool, spa and specialty aquatic vessel manufacture.”

Target market: Architects, engineers, aquatic designers, general contractors, hoteliers, developers, homeowners and spa designers

Company growth: “We have grown from being a small fabrication shop in the 1980s to a global leader in pool and spa manufacture today. In 1996, we relocated to Wilmington with 17 employees. Today we operate in a 170,000+ square-foot space with over 140 employees.”

How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “Our sustained growth has had a positive impact on the Cape Fear region. By providing employment to skilled and unskilled labor, to the use of local and regional suppliers for the purchase goods and services, Bradford continues to fuel the local economy.”

How did you originally come up with the concept for your product? “While on holiday in 1980, our owner experienced a soak in a barrel-style hot tub in Northern California. When he returned home he sought to purchase one. When none were available, he decided to fabricate one from stainless steel in his shop, and that’s how it all began.”
 

DRY CORP

drycorp.com

Year founded: 1999 | Number of employees: 21

Top official: Roy “Arch” Archambault, owner

Company description: Dry Corp runs two product lines from its facility in Wilmington: DRYPro is the manufacturer of waterproof body protection, and DryCASE is the manufacturer of waterproof outdoor gear.

Target market: “DRYPro’s target market is mainly the parents of children with arm or leg casts. DRYPro also targets people with prosthetic legs, PICC lines and ostomies. DryCASE targets outdoor enthusiasts from all walks of life including fishermen, hunters, hikers, boaters, scuba divers and more.”

Company growth: “DRYPro has become the leader in waterproof body protection. DryCASE capitalized on the smartphone revolution with a proprietary vacuum sealed phone case, and has since expanded to create a variety of products for active outdoor enthusiasts.”

How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “Dry Corp has consistently hired local talent for almost 20 years at every level of the organization. The company’s COO, Corey Heim, is a UNCW grad.”

What are your future goals for the product? “Both DRYPro and DryCASE plan to expand their market share and product assortment in the coming year. Both are in the process of expanding their client base to include more big box retailers, collegiate and professional licenses and the U.S. military.”
 

P2P RESCUE

prone2paddle.com

Year founded: 2014 | Number of employees: 2

Top official: Cliff Ray, founder/owner

Company description: P2P manufactures innovative watersports equipment for athletes, lifeguards and recreational users. Our boards are proudly made in Wilmington, North Carolina.”

Target market: The lifesaving industry, “with its target market ranging from Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue to as far as the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.”

Company growth: “Prone2Paddle expanded its product range from recreational and race paddleboards to its popular rescue board models in April 2016. Rescue boards are currently in use on Wrightsville Beach, the Jersey Shore, the Gulf of Mexico, in New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, California and on Oahu and Kauai, Hawaii.”

How has your product helped impact the region’s economic development? “P2P is rooted in New Hanover County. With production facilities near the port and expansion underway, we are committed to utilizing our skilled, local labor pool and sourcing materials that are local or made in the USA. P2P boards have been purchased and are used by Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue.”

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