10. June 2016
An employee plates faucets.
The U.S. Small Business Administration selected Murrieta, California-based Waterstone Faucets as the Region IX Exporter of the Year. Waterstone Faucets is a vertically integrated kitchen faucet manufacturer that was started in 1999 by Christopher Kuran, a Naval Academy graduate and US Marine Officer. The company performs numerous finishing operations, from electroplating to polishing to powder coating.
Kuran, who is currently serving as Committee Chairman of the Inland Empire District Export Council, a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce to promote international commerce, had experience in entrepreneurial ventures prior to starting Waterstone Faucets. He started his first business, a plumbing company called Amartec in 1987 after transitioning from military service, and ran that company for three years before selling it, later working for American Builders Hardware as its head of operations. In 2001, Waterstone took out an SBA loan for $150,000 in order to start its kitchen faucet program, and immediately paid the loan back when the company took off with new sales from its success. Years later when the opportunity came to buy a building, the company bought its current facility at 41180 Raintree Court in Murietta for $3.2 million in 2014 using an SBA loan to make the purchase.
The company began exporting in earnest four years ago, focusing on Canada. After researching distributors selling to their target market, Waterstone found a partner in Nortesco, which had been selling to their target market for nearly 40 years, and signed a multi-year agreement, Waterstone’s first international business partnership. Sales from this partnership have grown to more than $500,000 annually, and based on this success, the company plans to expand even further internationally and enter into commerce in 3-5 countries over the next 5 years.
For information: waterstoneco.com