Thriving family-owned businesses have become a rare breed in today’s economy. Many have fallen victim to the trends of consumers purchasing goods online and/or the manufacturing of products overseas at incredibly cheap rates with little regulation.
But Mount Vernon-based Beacon Adhesives is bucking these trends. The quality of its products is what gives this fourth-generation family-owned company the upper hand over its competitors. Beacon’s products — various adhesives including sealants, coatings, and potting compounds which are sold in well-known chains such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, and Ace Hardware — are formulated in its specialty labs using high-quality ingredients, and are all made in the US.
Founded in 1926, the company began in Manhattan’s garment district as a successful hat business. “Everybody wore hats,” explains Debbie Wojcik, vice president of Beacon Adhesives. “You would wear a hat as soon as you left your house. You had a hat for every outfit.” When the hat-wearing trend began dying out in the 1960’s, the company pivoted and began making other products such as pocketbooks, garments, and adhesives.
Today one of the most popular brands sold by the adhesive company is its clear, flexible, and fast-drying multipurpose glue called Fabri-Tac. Unlike fashion trends that go in and out of style, “someone always had to glue something that was broken,” says Wojcik of the product’s enduring popularity.
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Just as the company has had to evolve and change the products it sells, over the years the company has also had to change the way they connect with consumers. Beacon now uses social media platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to gather information from its customers. “What social media has allowed us to do is get to know our consumer face-to-face,” explains Director of Marketing Lisa Wojcik.
Through social media, the company is able to see what kinds of glues people are using or perhaps what kind of projects they are creating. “It feels almost like grassroots,” she explains. “We’re getting back to basics and getting back to knowing our customers to figure out how we can grow as a company.” Another component that has helped the company has been recent tariffs on products from China.
Besides creating quality products, another factor that differentiates Beacon Adhesives from other companies is its family-focused work ethic. There are about 50 employees who work in the 50,000 square foot facility located on MacQuesten Parkway, many of whom have been there for more than 15 years. “We all try to be like a family,” Debbie Wojcik explains. “That sort of philosophy keeps us stuck together.”