When I was in college back in the late 1970’s I certainly wasn’t saying to myself, “Boy, I hope that I end up selling shower doors!!” but that is exactly what happened to me a few short years after graduation and that pathway has lead me to where I am and where our team at Magruder Associates is today.
Century Bathworks was the launching pad for me into the business of being a manufacturer’s representative. I was working in Ohio in 1983 for Union Carbide in sales and wanted to get back east. My father in law was a manufacturer’s representative and had a territory open in New England and was trying to launch sales for Century in the territory as they had none. Fast forward ten years and he had sold me the rep business. I could not handle all of the business so had to hire another representative, Chris Gerardi, who is still with us today.
5 years after that, Chris and I could not handle everything we had and we had to add another person, Mark Sorenson, in 1997. This is when we got involved with Rohl LLC, which is what really launched us into a strong, showroom focused, rep team as Rohl had some really luxury lines and we had not had that before.
Over the next decade we added Phil Abbott to our team and also added Victoria and Albert Baths, Fairmont Designs bathroom furniture and several other lines which kept us quite busy. We added Upstate New York and Canada to our territory and our Sales Manager John Brannan, who retired several years ago, handled those areas. We have since exited Canada and are focusing on New England and Upstate New York above route 84.
My son Colin, who graduated college in 2009 joined us in 2010, and Bartek Churawski joined us in late 2019 to handle the Upstate NY market.
Sorry for the boring history lesson but you cannot understand our DNA unless you know a little bit of who we are as a team and how we got here. We were not decorative showroom reps when we started, we grew into it and learned it over time. Our focus is and always has been superior customer service, excellent training, and making sure if our customer has a problem with any of our vendors, we embrace finding a solution for them. Our Mission Statement is something we take very seriously and know that if we are not adding value to the relationship between showroom partner and manufacturer, we don’t need to be taking up space.
After 38 years in the trenches, Magruder Associates enjoys the privilege of representing so many well known brands like The House of Rohl, Thermasol, Century, Fairmont and Amerock, along with all our other partners. The real key however, is our customers and our relationships with them. Without them we would be nothing and are blessed to have such amazing showroom partners. As we slowly emerge from the challenges of a Covid 19 impacted last year, our team is well positioned to fulfill our mission statement and continue to enjoy our business relationships and partners in 2021 and beyond!!