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Copyright © 1999 Southwest School & Office Supply
Last modified: June 1, 2016.
In 1976, Southwest School Supply opened for business, in Culver City, California,
out of a walk-in closet; large enough for a desk, a typewriter, and a telephone. Our
secretary was Sande Stickler, who answered the phones, helped our customers and
wrote, "Thank you" notes for every order that we received. Brent Stickler was our
sales representative, purchasing agent, order puller, and many times delivery
person. Together, they raised three children in the mix of all this.
Unfortunately, we didn't have the luxury of many things; such as, company
buildings, delivery trucks, inventory, or name brand products. We diligently tried to
find companies that had products unknown to most of our customers because the
competitors already sold name brands, and who were we? Most reputable companies
already had enough coverage in the California School market, and that we probably
would not be in business long enough anyway, or so the vendors thought.
So we shopped even harder to find other Quality Products at quality prices to allow
the school market to have different choices, something they had little of because
our competition was already selling name brands.
As we were growing our home was too small for us and we decided to find a
warehouse, where we could bring in inventory, and now we hired our first employee
with a hopped up van to make deliveries for us in the afternoons. We continued in
the Los Angeles area for another 10 years. Wow, we had another person we had
added to our business family, we were on our way! Little did we know our first
employee would remain with us for 28 years.
After spending 10 years in the Los Angeles area, our business was really starting to
grow, so it was time to move to a bigger facility, although, after searching, Los
Angeles was too expensive to be able to expand to what we could afford, so we found
our next facility and moved our business to Ontario, California.
In Ontario, we added 5 more people to our staff. Our first accountant, who has been
with us for 25 years now, a customer service rep, 2 in our warehouse, a manager
who was with us for 22 years, and a driver, who has been with us for over 20 years.
Wow, how times have changed in so many ways, since opening our doors. Today we
have two facilities in the state of California, one in Jurupa Valley, California, to
service our southern school base of customers and one in Tracy, California, to
service our northern California school base of customers. We have over 30 trucks
on the road daily.
The only goals we set back in 1976 were to be the “Best we could be,” and the
largest privately owned school supplier in the State of California. We have far
exceeded our goals, thanks to the many, many years of service from our dedicated
employees and satisfied customers we have continued to remain close through all
Brent and Sande Stickler