The year was 1913…

Most long-time successful businesses start in a very similar way.

Back in the day, Bellingham Sash & Door was the “Cats Meow!” Founders Frank Pickel, Louis Miller, Auther Kuney, Carl Miller, A. Meenk incorporated Bellingham Sash & Door in 1913.  Like most new business people, John had more passion then he did resources but was relentless in his pursuit to build something very special. The company’s activities consisted primarily of operating a sawmill and manufacturing millwork doors, windows and trim. During the next four decades the company grew in employees and community stature. At the beginning of the sixties, Sash & Door switched their focus from manufacturing to building supply distributor - a move that fueled substantial growth over the next twenty years.

Bellingham Sash & Door, 1950's store front photo

In the late seventies, interest rates increased and so did the inventory of homes in Whatcom County providing Sash & Door new opportunities to grow their business with home owners. It didn’t take long for Bellingham Sash & Door to become Whatcom County’s leading retail home improvement center. A big part of the long term success of Sash & Door has been the ability to adapt to market changes. Those big changes came in the form of Box Stores in the late eighties. Once again it became time to re-design the direction of the company. This time however, decisions were prioritized more on what the owners and employees wanted from their careers, rather than what they could sell.

Bellingham Sash & Door Historic Yard Photo

The Birth of Builders Alliance…

After decades of successful growth, it became apparent to the owners that there should be more purpose in business other than to sell and grow. A lot of soul searching among the group brought forward a new direction and purpose that is the basis of how Builders Alliance operates today.

In the early nineties, Bellingham Sash & Door became Builders Alliance. A company focused on mutually beneficial relationships through helping their customers achieve more success. It began with the choices of vendor relationships. We chose companies not only for their product quality, but placed great importance on their service quality as well. Companies who backed what they provided and followed through to their word. Finding and keeping the right employees was essential. Those who embraced the idea of “more purpose” in their career blossomed. For those who had other priorities, it didn’t take long where they no longer felt comfortable in such a “service” oriented environment and eventually left the company.

This same relationship pursuit stretched to the local pro building community. It quickly became evident that not every builder is right for Builders Alliance, and Builders Alliance is not right for every builder. Just like vendors and employees, those who understand the benefits of mutual rewarding relationships, have found Builders Alliance to be a rewarding business partner.

Builders Alliance is not a hardware store. Builders Alliance is not a general home improvement store. Builders Alliance is a store for the above-average pro builder who is known for quality and integrity, and the consumer who takes on projects with desired “better than average” outcomes.

Since the beginning of this new concept, Builders Alliance has become a strong resource for quality materials, service and advice for professional builders and home owners who like to be treated like one.

Today Builders Alliance is researching and developing new ways to help their customers, both pro and consumer alike achieve more success. So at the end of the day, the success of Builders Alliance is tied directly to the success of their customers. Looking back nearly a hundred years to 1913, that’s exactly what we think our founder had in mind.