Purl Wax in Dillon increases production
DILLON When a moving truck pulled up to the Purl Wax shop in Dillon last Wednesday, it carried two new 500-pound wax tanks a promise for increased productivity and company growth. Why? Owner Scott Sparks will have three large wax tanks instead of one, making it easier for him to up production and meet rapidly growing orders for his eco-friendly ski and board wax.And Sparks knows wax. Hes experimented with the stuff for almost a decade and has a patent pending on a new, all-natural wax created by him through trial and error. Sparks even has his own wax formulas and he mixes everything from scratch.Purl Wax was born in Boulder when Sparks worked for B&A Designs, a sticker and T-shirt printing company. He was introduced to wax production by his bosses in the mid-1990s when B&A started making its own brand of snowboard wax.I fell in love with it immediately, just the smell of the wax, Sparks said. I could really see myself moving to the mountains and doing this.When B&A owners went their separate ways in 1999, Sparks took the wax aspect of the business and ran with it. Ive got this thing, Purl Wax, he said. What am I going to do now? … The whole Purl thing was one of those things where all the pieces fell together.He began manufacturing ski and board wax in 1999 with mini-electric skillets in a studio apartment (filled with boxes and a bed) in Boulder, Sparks said. The joys of starting a business.The next step was to mass-produce wax by handmaking a melting device, which entailed cutting and welding a keg and a solar tank together, and then fashioning a spout. We had a 50-pound keg a few years ago, Sparks said. We went from 50 to 500 last year. And now we’ll have three 500-pound tanks as of Wednesday. Theyre really hard to find. … Its going to make life a little easier as far as meeting demands.Life has changed a lot for Sparks over the years. Born and raised in Alabama, he moved to Boulder in 1994 after graduating from Auburn University. I was like hey, I can do anything, he said of his transplantation from the South to the West. I packed up a piece-of-junk truck with a motorcycle in back with a U-Haul and hit the road, ended up here. And he started snowboarding as soon as he moved out to Colorado. In 2000, Sparks moved to Summit County with Purl. Each year since, hes seen his passion grow. He currently has a few part-time employees and a lot of friends who lend him a hand.This county has really been amazing because a lot of people have shown a willingness to come in and help for the sole purpose of seeing the company grow, he said.Hes had help with everything, from pouring wax, packaging wax, shipping wax and just spreading the good word.When youre working in corporate America and you do something really big, part of you says who cares?, Sparks said. When this opportunity arose, I really wanted to go live in the mountains, be in this environment and be around people that share a common interest. There are a lot of advantages to being up here, and its even better if you figure out a way to make a living. … This is definitely hard work and its a job, but its a job I enjoy.For more information, visit http://www.purlwax.com.Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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