Once the decision was made to open a distribution center, financing was the only obstacle that was standing in the way. Banks did not understand what the product was, and why a woman wanted to open a distribution center. She obtained two silent partners who believed in the idea. They remained silent partners for 12 years and never had a part in the day to day operations of the company, but were always available if needed. Paula became 100% owner in 2006 when she bought out her two partners.
North East Metals opened their doors to the public on August 19, 1994. The business started with Paula and 2 other employees. The first location was located on Joe Harvey Street in Lavonia with a warehouse space of approximately 2500 sq.ft., 500 sq.ft. of office space, a delivery truck, fork lift and a chop saw. Our targeted customer base was the smaller customers. Although our customer base has basically remained the same, we have serviced many large accounts.
We remained in the Joe Harvey location for three years, then moved into our current facility. In 1996 we purchased 5.56 acres of land off Ayers Street in the City Limits of Lavonia and had a metal building erected to better suit our needs; 10,000 sq.ft of warehouse space, 1000 feet of office space, a 5-ton D-mag overhead crane and a pull through bay for delivery trucks, a band saw and a cold saw. We moved into our current location in September 1997. Today we have 4 employees and still hold true to our commitment to the smaller customer.
"God is the silent partner in all good enterprises!"