Success Flows for Vet-Owned Small Business
You know you’ve struck a chord when pop star Taylor Swift, Guy Fieri (host of TV’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives), Haylie Duff (host of Real Girl’s Kitchen) and Sam Zien, better known as TV’s Sam The Cooking Guy are buying your products and sharing it with the world. Such was the encouraging realization of Chris Kuran, president of Waterstone Faucets, which manufactures American made high-end, luxury kitchen faucets in Murrieta, California. A native Californian, Chris is a serial entrepreneur and job-creator with a big heart for military veterans.
INNOVATION AND PERSEVERANCE PAY OFF
After graduating from the United States Naval Academy and serving his country as a Marine officer, Chris started a plumbing parts company and was bit by the entrepreneurial bug. His engineering and design background, coupled with his military leadership skills prepared him to transform Waterstone into a company that blends high-end design and technology to create products tough enough to for a lifetime of use in your kitchen. Chris continues to grow the company into an industry leader and symbol of American innovation and design. Despite all the naysayers that told Chris he couldn’t successfully manufacturer products without going overseas, Chris has stayed committed to total domestic production. He takes great pride in saying We are Made in America.
Initially manufacturing decorative filtration faucets, Chris changed direction in 2005, focusing on designing and creating high-end, niche kitchen faucets. The idea took off and Waterstone enjoyed steady growth for the next several years. In 2014, bursting at the seams in his original facility, Chris purchased a 42,000-square-foot building in Murrieta with a $3.2 million SBA-504 loan from CDC Small Business Finance, paving the way for product expansion and new jobs.
76 NEW JOBS AND VETERAN BENEFITS TO BOOT
Since Waterstone moved into its new home, the company has created 76 new jobs, including machinists, assemblers, quality control inspectors, plating operators and production supervisors and managers. The company now employs over 160 people and recently won a national Diamond Award for the best veteran-owned business using SBA financing. In buying his current manufacturing facility, Chris qualified for CDC’s VetLoan Advantage program, which saved him $3,000 in loan costs.
FAUCETS FOR AMERICA’S BRAVEST
Because of his devotion to the military, Chris has consistently found ways to give back to U.S. veterans. Most noteworthy is his ongoing commitment to donate Waterstone faucets and accessories for every mortgage-free “smart” home built by The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation in partnership with the Gary Sinise Foundation. The goal of the Building for America’s Bravest program is to build 200 homes for the most catastrophically wounded U.S. veterans; they’re at 56 and counting.
With Veterans Day around the corner, it’s a good time to express gratitude to veterans like Chris and celebrate stories of small businesses like his that continue to contribute to our country via job creation and giving. Read more about Chris and Waterstone.
To learn more about discounts for veteran-owned small businesses, check out CDC’s Mission: Small Business Finance program or connect with us at email@example.com or (619) 243-8667.