Dripworks 2016 Catalog – the 25 Anniversary Issue
Feb 11th 2016
Twenty five years ago, three men with a vision, technical know how, and a lot of energy started DripWorks. Our goal was to provide a way for gardeners and farmers to buy top quality drip irrigation products so they could save water, time, and money. Drip works! Its that simple.
In the summer of 1991, Eric Glassey was taking his family on vacation and went to a local gardening store in Willits, California to ask them for some ideas on how to efficiently water his landscape and vegetable garden while they were gone. Their salesman Jerry Jordan, told him about drip irrigation, sold him the parts, and explained the installation steps that would make Eric’s project successful. After purchasing and installing a complete system setup including a timer, it occurred to him that many people faced the same situation. He soon went back to talk to Jerry about starting a mail order catalog company that would sell drip irrigation supplies. A few weeks later Leon Springer was brought into the picture as Leon had recently sold a company where he was doing the marketing, had a lot of gardening experience, and could provide the start up funding to get Dripworks off the ground. He was asked if he would like to come to their next meeting.
At the meeting all of the pieces started to fit together. Eric had the basement where the business could operate and the computer that the business needed to do its bookkeeping and take orders. Jerry had been working in the drip business, had hands on experience, and knew the vendors. Leon was an avid gardener who could also “talk-the- talk” with prospective customers.
It took four months to set up the warehouse in the basement, hook up the three phones, line up the sources for products, strategize on a marketing plan, and develop the 1992 Dripworks catalog. The challenge was getting known by people who had a passion for gardening and those who were trying to make a living on their farms, and explain the advantages of drip irrigation.
There weren’t many people buying online in 1992 so we spent 90% of our Marketing budget on advertising in gardening and farm magazines. We also set up booths at expos, shows, and fairs and gave out catalogs to potential customers who showed interest. Our efforts succeeded as we got thousands of requests for catalogs resulting in $78,000 in sales the first year to give us a glimmer of hope.
Through the 1990s Dripworks grew to the point where right after launching our Dripworks.com website in 1998, we had an opportunity to buy a few flat acres and build 15,000 feet of office and warehouse space. The next year the internet (remember the “bubble”!) and Dripworks took off. We hired people to design drip systems for customers, UPS started leaving their trailer at our shipping department door, and the phones were ringing off the hook. By then we had about 10 committed employees. Very challenging times!
Our second decade saw us filling every inch of our buildings, hiring people to fill the “call center”, the marketing department, the front office, the warehouse, the shipping department, the purchasing department, the IT department, and bookkeeping. Dripworks.com has become a website that is easy to navigate and is full of resources on all the products necessary to set up a system.
In the last few years we have seen the start of our very popular “chat room” available for people to ask questions regarding drip irrigation, specific products, or challenges they may be having while setting up their system. Yes, a live human to talk to! You can also watch more than 60 “how to” videos on our website. Our “Gallery of Plans” is a very helpful resource showing many different garden or farm setups with all of the products necessary.
The 2016 catalog, our 25th anniversary edition is a result of the experience, hard work and focus of our team of employees. We hope you enjoy and benefit from reading it. You’ll notice the beautiful plant pollinators that are spread through the pages giving you a hint of our commitment to a beautiful, safe, and healthy environment and future we all hope to share.
Thank you to all of our loyal customers and employees through the years. It’s been a wonderfully rewarding experience owning a business that helps people who want to grow their own food without wasting water, irrigate their landscape more efficiently, or turn a profit on the farm.
Have fun in the garden, and success on the farm,