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SBA-backed loan helped 2017 Illinois Small Business Exporter of Year grow his business globally

Fari Maissami

Small business owner Fariborz Maissami saw big potential in manufacturing small items. Denbur Inc., of Westmont, Illinois, makes products for the dental, hobby, beauty, and automotive industries, such as interdental brushes and picks, diagnostic instruments and light enhancing devices, makeup applicators, and more. Uniquely designed dispensers ensure users can access products easily and sanitarily. Throughout the company’s history, strong relationships with clinicians and dental schools have helped Denbur stay ahead of the competition and anticipate their customers’ needs. 

Because of his successful history serving clients both domestically and abroad, the SBA has named Maissami its 2017 Illinois Small Business Exporter of the Year.

Founded in 1979 as a consultant for European dental articulator manufacturers, Denbur began importing products in 1990 and, five years later, manufacturing products of its own. Currently, Denbur employs 30 people full time. As the company has grown, SBA assistance has been critical. In 2012, financing secured through SBA’s Export Express loan program allowed the company pay for two new pieces of equipment needed to serve increased demand from their largest customer, a dental supply company in Germany. Denbur is also a current client of the Illinois Small Business Development Center & International Trade Center at the College of DuPage.

Currently, Denbur exports products to nearly three dozen countries across five continents, demonstrating unflagging determination to explore new markets. Worldwide trade shows and dental exhibitions offer invaluable marketing and networking opportunities. In March, Fariborz traveled to Cologne, Germany, to meet thousands of dental supply wholesalers and generate sales at the International Dental Show, the world’s largest exhibition of its kind. Trade missions sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce have also been beneficial, and the state has recognized Fariborz’s enthusiasm for these opportunities and Denbur’s growth as an exporter. The company has twice been named State of Illinois Exporter of the Year.

Addressing each country’s unique needs and requirements has been an essential part of Denbur’s exporting strategy, and it’s paid off in both sales and customer satisfaction. Fariborz has learned, over time, to work only with wholesalers experienced in importing to a specific country, and that insisting on well-packed, accurately labeled boxes reduces headaches later. Customers appreciate the attention he pays to these details, leading to longstanding relationships.

Company Name: 
Denbur, Inc.
Location: 
Westmont, Illinois