Like many “homegrown” businesses, Fabricor began when Kent Summers recognized and seized an opportunity in 1982. Summers had been doing construction finish work and had bid a project in Springfield, MO., which included a call for a solid surface countertop design that had no seams. That had not been done before.
“We thought, ‘Let’s try that,” Barbara Summers recalls today. “It worked and we found that it was a new market. That’s how it started!”
Today, Barbara and Kent Summers (brother and sister) are the founders and owners of Fabricor in North Kansas City, MO. The company is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) offering solid surface and granite fabrication used by many hospitals to reduce crevices where bacteria and viruses can hide. Fabricor purchases solid surface products, cutting raw sheets and or molds them into finished, fabricated countertops and other fixtures, primarily for the commercial market.
The company leveraged an SBA 504 loan in 2010 to move into a 40,000 sq. ft. facility, increase its number of employees and fulfil its requests for work.
“Without the SBA’s 504 loan, we couldn’t have done this. It’s been a breakthrough for us,” Barbara Summer explained. “We doubled the size of our operation and hired eight new employees.”
Today Fabricor employs 26 people and is planning a second shift, where they will add more employees.
“Our employees are happy. We don’t have turnover, at all,” said Barbara. “We have employees that have been here as much as 18 years but most have been working here for 5 or more years. We have a really good crew!”
Fabricor has provided both stone and manufactured surfaces for locations such as the Kauffman Foundation and Arrowhead stadiums, as well as hospitals and universities nationwide. A project is now under way for a sports arena in Pittsburg.
This company is considered an industry leader and has built a national reputation for quality service, craftsmanship and on time performance. They attribute this success to their demanding excellence in project management, which helps them to accurately bid and produce the desired service on schedule.
“I always heard of SBA, but was intimated by the amount of paperwork that will be involved,” stated Barbara. “But once I decided to seek SBA’s assistance, and apply for a loan, I soon found out that it’s not that bad at all. SBA is here to help small businesses succeed. Just take your time and submit what is required.”
Barbara leaves these words of advice, to all up and coming entrepreneurs, “Stay focus, set a goal, spend wisely and watch it happen!”