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More space, more jobs for Eugene strap making plant

More space, more jobs for Eugene strap making plant »Play Video

EUGENE, Ore.-- A fast-growing Eugene strap-making company has a new factory and plans to double their employees. Appropriately enough, the business is called Strapworks.

Co-owners Tom and Donna Foster have come a long way.  From starting their strap business in their Springfield house 14 years ago, they're celebrating the move to a new space as Strapworks put the finishing touches on a new 30,000-square-foot factory.

"It's almost 4 times the size of our last factory and yet we're managing to fill it up pretty quickly," explains Tom Foster.

He says they make straps for about anything you can think of, and can be considered a true cradle-to-grave operation.

"We will make child-restraint straps for shopping carts, and we actually make straps that are used in lowering caskets," said Foster.

Their crews make motor sport tie-downs, guitar instrument straps, sports-themed products (authorized by the University of Oregon and Oregon State), suspenders and even stuff for Fido.

Holding up a small dog harness, Foster says, "You put the 2 front legs in the openings, come over the shoulders, boom--you're in."

One of Foster's business bedrock policies is trying not to say "no" to any customer proposal. It seems to be working, as the new factory has opened up more jobs to add to their current staff of 47.

"We'll be adding at least 6 people before the end of the year, and within 2 years we expect to be at 100 people," explained Foster.

That includes more staff dedicated to the company's web page. 2-year employee John Tartaglione (aka "Brooklyn John") is heading up that effort.

"Hopefully by November we're going to be launching a brand new Strapworks.com that's going to be much more user friendly, much more interactive," said Tartaglione.

Foster forecasts the company 2 years from now will be on track to ring up sales topping $10 million.