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Meet Mary Chambers - WIFI@Work

I got my start at the very bottom rung. It was March 15, 1972 and my knowledge was that I could pick out a bolt, nut and a washer. I did have a good working knowledge of math. That was it. I have been selling hardware into distributors and end-users for over 44 years. I consider all of my customers to be friends and many I have known since I started as a young woman looking for a job; any job.

Times were very different back then. In 1972 I was paid $2.10/hour. If memory proves me right after 90 days I got a raise to $2.25/hour. How was I to know that that was the beginning of a great career that I could actually enjoy working in and building a future?

It took me just a short time to look around and realize that the folks that made good money were the outside salespeople. So after a couple of years of working for a large manufacturer and then an Industrial Supply House, I found myself back where I started with Standard Hardware. The pay didn’t get much better, but my boss (Bill Horn) allowed me to go outside and start making sales calls. It was very scary but I decided if I was going to make any money that is what I had to do.

After a couple of years there, then another company, then back to Standard Hardware, it was funny really, I went into business with a friend and we started our own Distributorship. I look back on it and am still surprised by the speed or the ability to open a small company selling fasteners to End-users with about $10,000. Amazing really. We were open for about eight years and then oil collapsed.

Our mistake was selling primarily into oil and gas, which I do today, what could one do, after all, this is Texas. Soon I was back to looking for a job. After a stint with three companies finally ending up with a small hot-headed manufacturer I went to work for Lake Erie Screw. What a gift.

I worked for them for a little over eight years and they were instrumental in helping me start up my Sales Agency. That was in 1994 which means I have been a rep for eighteen years and love it. I merged my agency with Doug Rolston’s warehouse and agency in 2002. We are still at it. I am in charge of sales and he is operations. He is the one who comes to work every day and turns on the lights.