ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Albuquerque company started out of the garage of one of its co-founders nearly 20 years ago now has 32 franchises across the country.
It also has a new headquarters. Get A Grip Resurfacing recently moved into a 6,000-square-foot building near Alameda and Jefferson, with offices, a warehouse and a new showroom that allow for future expansion.
Sharon Dillard, the CEO and co-founder, said the company uses proprietary coating and cleaning products to deep clean and resurface bathtubs, showers and sinks, countertops and cabinets. Dillard says many of the company’s resurfacing projects have the look and feel of stone and granite.
Get A Grip’s products “cure,” or dry, more quickly than others on the market, Dillard says, which is a selling point for two of the company’s largest target markets — apartment complexes and hotels. About 70 percent of the clients in Albuquerque are owners of commercial properties.
“Time’s money, especially for apartment owners and hotel operators,” said Dillard, whose son Ryan is president and co-founder. Austen, another son, and husband Cub also work in the business.
The company also does a lot of work on housing at Kirtland Air Force Base, and many of the franchises also work on military housing if they have bases in their area, the owners say.
Both commercial and residential property owners look for cost-effective ways to preserve their investments, Sharon Dillard said, and resurfacing counters and bathtubs is often more economical than replacing them.
Jobs can range from patching and resurfacing counters scarred by cigarette and candle burns left behind by previous tenants to stains left by hair dyes and self tanners in tubs and showers. The company also installs non-skid surface mats in tubs, a patented product that inspired the company’s name.
“We’re filling a niche that has a lot of opportunity, especially when customers are concerned with keeping material out of the landfill, yet want to make their properties more pleasing,” Sharon Dillard said.
Sharon Dillard’s flair for sales and marketing is what convinced Ryan to bring her on board to help build a company from the resurfacing concept he was developing out of his Albuquerque garage back in 1999. She is a former key account manager for Chanel cosmetics and fragrances in Dallas.
Ryan Dillard, who did a lot of the resurfacing work in the early days, helping perfect the application technique, convinced his mother and the rest of the family eventually to relocate from Texas.
“The week we cleared $500 (in revenue) was a real milestone,” said Ryan, laughing at the memory. Initially, the company sold dealerships, but shifted to franchising in 2007. Franchisees purchase products from the parent company, which makes everything uniform and enables the franchisees to help each other out if they are running short of stock.
Get A Grip is shooting for 200 franchises, which cost between $30,000 and $60,000, depending on the size of the market, said Ryan Dillard.