A couple of weeks ago, we had the distinct pleasure of being a part of Wilson Tool’s 50th Anniversary Celebration! We provided Balloon Twisters, Face Painters, Magicians, Caricature Artists and good old fashioned group games for their picnic! Check out the fun below in this short video.
Wilson Tool International is the largest independent manufacturer of tooling systems for punch presses, press brakes, and punch and die components for the stamping industry. (Okay, I don’t really know what all that means, but I got it from their website, and it’s pretty impressive!) But what’s even more impressive is a company which started in a basement with 9 people, and which has grown to over 800 people around the world.
And they’ve been around for 50 years! It got me to thinking… What is the secret to their longevity?
Without knowing the ins and outs of their industry, I can only comment on my experience with them for the two events we’ve done for them.
Besides an obvious commitment to customer service, innovative technology and a quality product, Wilson Tool (still family owned & operated) cares about its people. I know this, because I spent hours with those people a few weeks ago, as well as a year ago. So often, I can hide behind my balloons, face painting or games, such that people don’t really pay attention to the fact that I can hear all of their conversations. (And they talk about EVERYTHING!) What I heard at both events is what a great place Wilson Tool is to work, that it cares about its employees. I can’t recount all the different ways it showed up, but the words “generous”, “they care about us”, “this is a great place” were heard multiple times.
I have confidence in a company which has been around for 50 years. It tells me they’re doing something right!
The Power of Longevity – Celebrating 30 Years in Business!
This is particularly meaningful to me, as 2016 marks my 30th year in business. What started as a sole proprietorship run from my college dorm room has grown into a family-owned and operated business which provides entertainment to over 325 events each year. (I don’t have any aspirations to do more than what we’re doing). There are a handful of other entertainment companies in the Twin Cities which have been around as long as we have (give or take 5 years), which begs the question.. why aren’t there more “old-timers” like me?
Providing entertainment to corporate and private events is deliriously fun! It’s so fun that face painters, balloon artists, clowns, magicians, etc., enter our market regularly. But not many of them stay for more than 5-10 years. Why? Because, as fun as this is, it’s a lot of work. “Show Business” requires expertise not only in the “show”, but also in the “business”. We’ve been blessed to have on our team some of the most talented artists and entertainers in Minnesota. I expanded to start hiring others in 1996, and some of those original artists are still with me today! I moved my business from New Mexico to Minnesota in 1992, and a couple of my earliest customers from 1994 are also still with us today.
The principles which governed my business practices 30 years ago are still in force… wholesome family values combined with passion, talent and joy. It is my hope that any “fly on the wall” observing my team at an event would have the same to say about my company as Wilson’s crew about theirs. That we care. We care about our customers. We care about the guests at our customers’ events. And we really care about our team.
I think that’s the secret to longevity.
It’s been a glorious 30 years!!