In 1975, a junior in high school, my dad had an old welder in the garage. I taught myself to weld and built my first setting rack and paddle mixer. Over the next several years, I expanded my line all in my parent’s garage. As I brought on new tools over the next 20 years, I personally tested and modified every single tool to work efficiently and be cost effective, always striving to keep the values my parents taught me.
In 1990, I built a bicycle for my daughters (Allycat Bicycles, Inc.). This forced a trip to Asia to discuss manufacturing. The market in the United States at that time was quickly changing and this opened my eyes to begin manufacturing quality tools in Taiwan and China. Manufacturing off shore allowed A.Bottini Enterprises to be competitive and allow growth in our market in the United States.
Throughout the 90’s, with the help of a childhood friend and Import Specialist, we rounded out our line as I designed new products. Our dealer network also started to expand with us. With the steady growth, I have met many exceptional people – yes, they are customers but also friends.
In 2000, A.Bottini started to evolve into a national company (that continues to answer phones). Throughout the next decade we grew to over 1,000 wholesale customers, maintaining the small company feel and service.
As the decline hit in 2007, we have had to work harder than ever before. We endured an 80% drop in sales at the lowest point. I was shaken to my core. We actually lost money for the next 4 years.
2011, more drastic measures needed to be taken. We refused to roll up the sidewalks. We relocated to a larger facility in Gilroy.
Currently, my wife Pepper, is back in the office every day overseeing operations. She serves as our President, CFO and COO. My daughter Ally came on board to help out and revamp our sales model and update our company into the second generation. Ally has found that the family business is in her blood and she is transitioning into a leadership role.
2013 our core group is strong, business is growing thanks to Ally and our valued Sales Reps. We have an entirely new second generation look, (thanks Ally). As we go forward, we will never forget the loyal customers we have served throughout our 37 years. Wow, that’s a long time and my gray hair shows it!
As many of you know, Ally and I still visit customers and set up stores when the time permits. We will gladly pick up the phone any time. With our values in place, we strive to offer great tools at a great price.