A Chat with John Economaki, Founder and President, Br
Then they told me they were going to sell the business to try and recoup their assets. So, my board of directors got together and put an offer on the table to the bank. It said, we'll buy the assets from you (the bank) but every week you delay, the offer diminishes by 2 percent. So what happened is that the bank paid me, my head manufacturing guy, and our head customer service person to come to work every day. And I work, I design all the products. I continued to do what I did. And our customers quite frankly know that they always have to wait for what they buy, because we're a made-to-order business. So we did that all the way through October. And then the bank came back to one of the board members and said okay, we'll take this offer, and they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars by waiting so long. It was rather stupid on their behalf. So, the new parent company was based in Iowa, set up an LLC and hired me back. And it was fairly transparent to our customers what we went through. We never talked about it, but I had floated an SB2 offering in 1994, so we had about 800 shareholders with an average investment of $700. We raised about $1 million on that deal. All of those guys lost their investment, and I lost my investment, which was hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Sept. 11 changed people's lifestyles. And you probably know this from your dad, but when you go out into your shop, you have no time consciousness. So, if you're a son or a wife and you want to spend time with them, they're in lala land. It's a time-intensive pursuit, and it's fairly selfish unless you're doing it for other people. It causes a lot of solo time, and while life doesn't get any better than that, if you have a family, it adds pressure. And 9/11 caused people to rethink that togetherness factor. That caused a shift.