Posted by Shawn Hales on October 09, 2014
Often, I get asked "how did you ever get into the post cap business?" This is a completely unsurprising question from those who know me and my background in scientific and artistic glassblowing. Deck and Fence Post Cap products would seem far from the scope of my possible business interest..right? Well this would be true if I weren't also a consumer, somewhat of a handyman, and have always loved building, creating, and working outside.
My father's hobby is woodworking, and it was my first exposure to the creative process; but I wanted to do something different then my fathers hobbies, and always had a knack for sculpture, building and drawing, So against my fathers advice I pursued the life of the "starving artist", with my chosen medium of glassblowing. For nearly 7 years I traveled the country selling my pieces of art to anyone that would buy them. I even attended school in New Jersey to learn the techniques of Scientific Glassblowing. Although unrecognized by the arts community, I knew these were the most technically proficient masters of my craft. Even though I had no interest in making glass lab ware, I knew these skills would help my art reach new levels. The only problem was the better I got, the less income I made. I had reached a skill level and technical desire that I was harder on my own art then anyone else, often throwing pieces away because I didn't want anyone to see what I felt was sub-par work. I think this is a common problem with many artist with a "vision" and being unsatisfied when that goal isn't reached. Unfortunately this contributes heavily to the "starving" part of being an artist.
After several more years of struggle, I decided to take a "real job" working for my father and continued my art on the side. I started working in his tooling and injection molding company in the warehouse. After a few years had worked my way up to the front office as the purchasing manager and efficiency coordinator. While working alongside the engineers and plastics experts, through osmosis I gained an education in plastics manufacturing, and design. The planning and design education I received there would come into play in surprising ways.
As a birthday present for my father, I built a small deck off the back of his house and wanted to top the post off with something attractive. Naturally, I went to the most common destination in my area for building materials; Home Depot. I found what I was looking for in a wood fence post cap with a copper top, I bought 6 and at nearly $20 each and they looked great! My dad loved the deck and I was happy!!
Six months later, the thin copper tops of the $20 deck post caps were beaten to smithereens by falling acorns, and the cheap wooden bases were splitting and falling apart. Upset with the return on my investment I began looking for alternative deck and fence post caps that would last in the extreme humidity and heat of the Georgia summers. I found nothing, except more cheaply produced wood post caps. Then I had an idea! Maybe we could find a plastic that is designed for such environmental extremities.
The next day I approached my father and some of the plastic engineers and began gathering details about making a post cap that was easy to install and would last in any environment for years. The engineers quickly responded "if you want something to look aesthetically pleasing and last outside there is one clear choice...ASA resin.
ASA resin was originally designed as an automotive material to meet these specific requirements. After many designs and prototypes, we came up with the design you see today. Originally we offered one single style, and color of fence post cap. The 4x4 White Estate Series Pyramid Top we still offer today. Today we still manufacture our post caps here in the United States and offer a generous return policy. Our post caps will outlast any wooden post cap on the market, and we back that up with a 10 Year No-Fade Guarantee.