Small business owner Craig Carrel tells us how he and his business partner Gary Grigowski started their own plastics molding company in 1987 and why they work with NFIB.
Name: Craig Carrel
Business: Team 1 Plastics,
Job title: President
How did you become a small business owner and why?
I had always wanted to own my own business from being a teenager. When I went to the University of Utah and majored in chemical engineering, I also took some business classes like accounting, marketing and classes like that thinking I might need those. When I went to work for my first job out of college with a big plastics company called Celanese and I was down in Texas doing engineering work in a plant, but I knew I needed to get some sales experience. After a couple years there, I was able to get transferred up to their Detroit sales office. I was selling plastics to the automotive industry. While I was there I met my two partners who help me start the business. We were working together at the same company. I have an equal partner right now who is active in the business, Gary Grigowski. Him and I had started talking about maybe getting into running a plastic molding company.
What advice would you give other small business owners?
I think some of my advice is that the key of to owning a small business is to not let it take over your life. At the beginning, it has to take over your life because it’s a matter of survival. I think one of our objectives has always been to build a strong enough team and have a business that can support me not having to be there 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Why did you join NFIB?
We joined NFIB probably within our first year or two. It’s one of the organizations I’m proud to be a member of. I think the way they represent small business is the true small business organization. I love how you vote and that the agenda is based on a super majority by of the members for the direction. Every member’s vote is the same, and I just think that’s great. I’ve become more active at the state level for NFIB, too. It’s really a great organization. It really, truly represents the needs of small business. I just joined the Leadership Council and went to my first meeting last month.
What do you like to do off the clock?
Well I like spending time with family and friends. One of my favorite things I do which I’m going to be doing next week is snow ski. I’m going out west with my son and a friend. I try to ski as much as I can and enjoy the winter that way.