After 47 years in business, Shelby Paint & Decorating, which has retail locations in Rochester Hills, Grosse Pointe Woods and Shelby Township, recently made a product shift that has the potential to add $1.5 million a year into the local economy. The company partnered with Lansing-based O’Leary Paints, which has been in the industry since 1891, to start producing and selling Motor City Paint.
Introduced to Metro Detroit in March 2016, Motor City Paint and Stain was developed specifically for the local market with the needs of customers and contractors at the forefront.
“We have created two Michigan jobs since we started Motor City Paint. The O’Leary’s have also hired two people into their organization since we created Motor City Paint,” said company president, Brian Eisbrenner. “For every dollar of Motor City Paint or O’Leary paint we sell, we expect to return $.60-$.85 or more to the Michigan economy. If all goes as planned, we believe we can add at least $1.5 million more per year into the local economy.”
The advent of Motor City Paint harkens back to a different time. Metro Detroit was once home to several different paint manufacturers, but like the rest of the country, many of those smaller companies were bought out and closed down by larger manufacturers. The result has been a significant decrease in quality and selection. This new line aims to raise the level of quality paint available locally, by catering to the needs of this region.
“Motor City Paint is built specifically with our geography in mind. We go through more freeze/thaw cycles in a typical year than do most of our neighbors to our south or north, which is particularly demanding on a coating," said David O’Leary, Co-President of O’Leary Paint Company. “In every category of product that we produce our goal is to make a unique and superior product vs. anything currently in the market.”
Thus far, the plan is working. Motor City Paint recently captured Gold, Silver, and Bronze honors from an independent, accredited laboratory. According to the company's website, all national brands as well as other regional and international brands were tested. Motor City Paint interior semi-gloss rated the highest of all the paints tested. The company’s Ambassador Semi-Gloss line scored twice as high as the next closest competitor.
Eisbrenner concedes that the decision to create this line of Michigan-centric products was very much driven by feedback from contractors and homeowners, but also came from the heart.
“Our core values as a company are Faith, Integrity, Commitment and Community. We decided to break from Benjamin Moore because we could make a paint in Michigan that was for Michigan and that outperformed the national competition. We felt we could not find a better way to live out our core value of community than taking a leap of faith and putting the $1.5 million we spend on paint back into the Michigan economy. We are a small business and we depend on the communities we are in. One of the best ways to help those communities is creating jobs.”
Right now, the line is only available in Shelby Paint & Decorating’s three retail locations. It may become available through other stores in the future, but Eisbrenner prefers an expansion route whereby his own employees get ongoing training and eventually become franchisees.
In the meantime, to make sure the products are readily available around the state, the company has developed a delivery system. For a $75 minimum purchase they will deliver to anywhere in the state of Michigan. Otherwise, there is a modest $6.50 shipping cost.
Knowing that contractors are often on a tight schedule, those in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties, can have same day delivery. Outside of that region, 2-day delivery is available.
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