Two for the Money, Two for the Show
It's always interesting to learn how entrepreneurs got their start. This is the story of how APR Allen Plastics Repair was founded by two brothers, Dan and Mark Allen in July of 1985.
Dan Allen grew up working on the family-owned onion farm in upstate New York. At just 18 years old, Dan started a remodeling company...that didn't work. Always searching for ways to make money, Dan came up with some really interesting business ideas. Some of them worked, some not so much. "I bought out all the eggs in town before Halloween," explains Dan. "And I sold them to all the kids out of the back of my car!" I'm sure you can guess what those kids did with all those eggs... Dan always wanted to own his own business; he tried rental properties, selling onions to the local grocery store, and a few other ideas...that didn't work.
Dan moved to the Midwest and settled in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he was working for Lake End Sales, a distribution warehouse. The company used small plastic totes for their products and pallets for shipping that kept on breaking. They would simply throw the broken containers in the landfill and buy new ones. Dan saw a need for repairing these items as the cost of replacing them was pretty high. So, he started fixing the pallets with a crow bar and a hammer out of the basement of his house. "It was a lot of work and time, for very little money," Dan remembers.
After years of learning and developing new techniques for fixing the plastic containers and pallets, Dan finally found the answer at the library. There he found material about plastic welding equipment which offered a much more efficient way of repairing the totes and pallets. He started lining up customers in April 1985 and the business just took off. "I give all the credit to my savior, Jesus Christ," Dan says. "I was saved, and my business succeeded!" After determining that he would need some help, Dan turned to his younger brother, Mark, and asked if he'd like to go into business together repairing plastic totes and pallets. Mark agreed, uprooted his growing family from New York, moved to Indiana, and the rest is history. In July 1985, Allen Plastics Repair was born and became incorporated in 1995.