Outwater Plastics was founded by former company president Moe Kessler in August 1972 on the premise, although simple, to provide small furniture and cabinet manufacturers with a source from whom they could purchase extruded plastic mouldings in the amounts that reflected their actual requirements rather than the set substantial minimum quantities dictated by the plastic extrusion manufacturers at the time.
Kessler, however, did not actually start his career in the Plastics industry. Upon his discharge from the Navy, Kessler went to work for a large wholesale hardware company in New York City. It was actually only quite by chance, through an unfortunate incident experienced by one of his customers that Kessler began to experiment with Plastics.
One of his customers, a store showcase manufacturer out of Philadelphia once complained to Kessler about the glass breakage he frequently encountered while the showcases were in transit. Kessler, in trying to pacify him, remarked at what a shame it was that the showcase itself couldn’t be wholly manufactured out of plastic.
Nevertheless, realizing the potential advantages in manufacturing with and use of this then new material, Kessler decided to examine the suitability of manufacturing components out of plastic instead of the comparatively dated materials in which they were then being manufactured.
Although it was not yet feasible to replicate the glass showcase doors themselves out of plastic, Kessler began to focus his attention on one of the showcase’s peripheral components, the metal grooved channels or tracks in which the glass doors were fitted.
Having determined that the comparative cost to manufacture a door track in plastic was less than half of its current cost in metal, Kessler scraped together the then large sum of $400 needed to produce the die for Outwater Plastics’ very first product, the Plastic Sliding Glass Door Track.
The Plastic Sliding Glass Door Track had the potential to become an industry staple, but unfortunately, at the time, Kessler did not have the necessary financial resources to get his new company off the ground.
One day while at home, Kessler was paid an unsolicited visit at his fifth floor walkup by an industry acquaintance who, cognizant of Kessler’s financial circumstances, offered to put up the necessary capital on the grounds that they become business partners. Not knowing how to respond on account of their very different personalities, Kessler consulted his wife, Sylvia, to which she responded, “Moe, just give it a chance. You can worry about your differences later.”
The business began to take off, but the partners’ relationship never grew. Realizing that their methods for running a business differed so vastly, they made arrangements to amicably go their separate ways. Kessler’
As Kessler had previously and accurately envisioned, it wasn’t long before his Plastic Sliding Glass Door Track became a huge success.
And from that one initial success, Kessler began to manufacture other plastic extruded mouldings that, up until that point, had only been available in metal. From each new success readily spawned another. The Plastics Industry began to prosper, thus giving way to more and more products.
Not only did Kessler serve to open the manufacturers’
Yet, less than a year later, tragedy struck. One day while calling on a customer in New York City, a car struck Kessler as he crossed the street severely fracturing his leg in multiple locations.
Laid up and unable to run his business, Kessler realized that without an immediate resolve, the tenuous future of his young company was in jeopardy. However, by an ironic twist of fate, this misfortune would serve to play a greater role in the success and growth of the Outwater Plastics than Kessler ever could have imagined.
Kessler credits his accident with the two most important components of his business: 1) That his then 15 year old son, Chip, came into the business with him. Even at this young age, Chip possessed the keen, natural business savvy that Kessler referred to as “The Missing Link in our company,” which without, the business never would have grown. Together, they were the “perfect match,” and 2) On account that Kessler was unable to call on his customers because of his prolonged immobility, he took a risk by promoting his products through the creation and distribution of a simple catalog, which even after he returned to work, sometime later, permanently replaced him as the fulltime company salesperson.
From the vendor of a single product line back in August of 1972, Outwater Plastics and Architectural Products by Outwater are recognized today as well established international manufacturers and stocking distributors of more than 65,000 standard and innovative component products to a very diversified range of commercial and retail customers.
Outwater’s products are very competitively priced and include Plastic & Aluminum Extrusions; Lighting and Lighting Accessories;
With 300,000 square foot warehousing and distribution facilities located in both New Jersey and Arizona, Outwater not only facilitates purchases with reduced lead times and shipping costs for its customers’ convenience, but also allows them to deal directly with extremely knowledgeable and friendly full-time sales and customer service representatives in multiple time zones who pride themselves for their unparalleled support and assistance.
To aid in product application and purchasing decisions, Outwater offers a free benchmark master catalog with clear and accurate photos or drawings, schematics, technical information and pricing. Outwater’
Joey Shimm, Director of Marketing
Outwater Plastics Industries, Inc. + Architectural Products by Outwater, LLC