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Marvin's history of entrepreneurship

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The Marvin Family of Brands consists of deeply entrepreneurial companies. We’re old hands at seeing opportunities and  creating products that fulfill our customers’ needs. We may have been around for over a century, but the entrepreneurial spirit that brought Marvin into being lives on in almost everything we do.

Yesterday we gave you an example of how one of our latest and greatest products, integrated interior shades, was developed with an entrepreneurial spirit. But that spirit comes from a long history. Let’s jump back in time a bit…

In 1904, George Marvin arrived in Warroad to operate a grain elevator. He settled into the town and became a leader in the community. As he grew his business, he was also raising a family. His sons were fixtures around the office, learning early the value of hard work.

When George’s son Bill returned to Warroad after college, he looked at the company with an entrepreneurial eye, and the company we know today as Marvin Windows and Door was born. Before we started moving from grain to windows though, we took an interesting detour into peas. Yes, peas.

During World War II, Marvin took a contract with Campbell’s Soup to sort peas. With many of the men in the area in the military, the company needed to do something to stay profitable and provide employment for the town–which at this point consisted largely of women. Pea-sorting was an idea solution.

After the war (and when we’d gotten out of the pea business), Bill was approached by Harry York, who had the idea to make barn sash during the winter–after all, the workers needed to be busy and this could help the company make some more money. Bill agreed. From this sprang the idea of making windows and doors, but not just any windows and doors–finely crafted, beautifully customized fenestration products.

Making our products in a remote, rural area has had its share of challenges over the years. But we like to think it’s made us all the more entrepreneurial. When we’ve wanted to do something, we are forced to do it ourselves. And this leads to innovation: recognizing the uses for a material named Ultrex back in the 90s, being the first to use a company fleet to deliver our windows and doors and being the first to have our entire product line certified by the Window and Door Manufacturers Association.

We are proud of the legacy of entrepreneurship our company carries. More than that, we are excited to see where this can take us, and what new products will come out of it in the future.

Have you ever started a business or had a great idea?