2002: The Year in Review

Well, Horton Brasses has had quite a year! It has been a busy year, our busiest ever. When June sales broke all records, we were thrilled. But then July broke June’s record, and September came close to beating both June and July! It looks like sales will have increased 15% over last year. We are very pleased.

We have made a number of capital purchases, as we do every year. We bought 2 large vibratory tumblers, one for our castings and the other for drying parts in our antiquing department. In the factory, we replaced two furnaces with a new combination heating and cooling system. Our factory is now air conditioned! And with our humid Connecticut summers, this is a welcome relief. New suspended ceilings with extra thick, accoustical tiles were installed in our shipping and buffing departments.

Late in August, our lives were changed forever because my husband (Toby) was in a motor vehicle accident, while traveling home from Alaska with his parents. The accident took place in North Dakota and Toby and his mom and dad all broke their backs. I spent part of August, all of September, and part of October in Minot, North Dakota; where all three had surgeries. Toby will be recovering for at least a year, but he is walking and is improving weekly. His mom and dad returned to their home in Florida the first of November and they are also walking and recovering. Toby’s dad is recovering very quickly, his mom has considerable pain but is walking again.

The Brassco worked right through this tragedy and everyone pulled together and did a wonderful job. Our son, Orion, joined us back in February, 2001; and worked hard to fill in the gaps created by our absence. He did a fabulous job, learned a great deal, and we are all very proud. One of the most incredible things about having a small company where everyone is important is seeing what happens during a true emergency. Every company hopes that never happens but in our case, it sure did. For most of the time I was gone, I was not able to help the Brassco because my attentions were elsewhere. That means that the folks back home made all the decisions and worked together to make joint decisions when necessary.

Only rarely was I consulted, and I had no worries or concerns about the Brassco because I knew the company was in the finest hands. Special thanks go to my office manager, Donna Haase and my shop foreman, Steve Hayward. Their willingness to agonize over the daily decisions, to work together to form consensus opinions with Orion, and their general leadership are things no other business enjoys–because they work for the Brassco. Without their guidance, Orion would have had a very hard time. I am truly the most fortunate of bosses.

2003 will bring a new catalog and we hope a whole lot less excitement!