Wellborn Cabinets offers American made cabinets made with the utmost quality and care. In this interview at last year’s Made in America expo, president and CEO Paul Wellborn discusses the future and importance of the ‘Made in USA’ label.
Talor Whitaker: Founded in 1961, Wellborn Cabinets, Inc. will help you achieve your dream kitchen, but you’ll also find them on Capitol Hill advocating for fair trade and labor rights for American manufacturing. Welcome to Comcast Newsmakers. I’m here at the Made in America trade show and convention. With more on this interesting dichotomy is Wellborn President and CEO Paul Wellborne.
Paul Wellborn: Thank you for having me Talor.
Talor: This is quite a unique event. What have you thought about it so far?
Paul: We walked through the show yesterday and the booths we went to, we could tell there’s a lot of excitement and enthusiasm about American products. It’s great to be here.
Talor: Exactly. Red, white and blue everywhere. You’ve been in the business since 1961 and the culture at Wellborn is very unique. Talk to me about the culture you’ve created in your business.
Paul: My father was a builder, so my brother and I built my first kitchen in 1958. We moved back home to Alabama and we first built a little 40 by 80 building. We hired people to help us do that and we’ve grown since then. And these people are outstanding. You can’t believe how hard they work and the quality work they do.
Talor: I’m sure what makes these employees so good is that they’re happy with the workplace they’re in. And I understand that you really encourage a safe and healthy environment. I know you have a nurse and a cafeteria for your employees. Can you talk to me about those little details that you thought were important?
Paul: Actually, the way I look at it is that you need to enjoy your work. So, we have some things like hunting for employees, fishing, nurses and doctors coming in every week. You can’t do enough for these people. It not only benefits them, but hopefully it benefits us the same. We wouldn’t have it without them.
Talor: And that’s important as well as the product they’re making. You’re 100 percent American made–can you tell me how important that is for you?
Paul: It’s really important. Many times, Chinese companies would come to our booth at conventions and tell us that we should buy their parts and pieces that our competitors use. And I just told them we like to make our parts.
Talor: That’s very interesting as a cabinet company because of the boldness you’re demonstrating on Capitol Hill with advocating for fair trade rights. Talk to me about your work outside of Alabama in advocating for your business and American made products.
Paul: We have been working as a group in the Kitchen Cabinet Association (KCA). My son was the president last year. They formed a group of approximately 50 kitchen cabinet manufacturers–about 70 percent of the business. They’ve gone to D.C. and put our feet forward in march to file a case. It sounds favorable so far. We’ve spent a lot of time there and had a lot of good response.
Talor: That’s wonderful that you’ve found your voice and are using it in that manner. While you’re in D.C., you also get some face time with the president. How do you feel he’s doing?
Paul: It’s great to have a president that cares about people and their jobs. I’m also very grateful for Don Buckner for putting this show on for American manufacturers and I’d like to see it continue year after year.
Talor: I agree. And I would imagine there’s a responsibility that comes with slapping a ‘Made in USA’ sticker on your product. Does that ever weigh on you?
Paul: It’s great to be able to do that. I’ve always believed in quality work. Our company slogan is “people who care” and we mean that.
To learn more about Wellborn Cabinets, visit Wellborn.com.