Our HistoryA lifetime commitment to making the worlds finest fiberglass shelters
Shelter Works was founded in 1995 by Tracy Switzer and has grown into the industry's leading manufacturer of fiberglass equipment shelters. Here is his story.
Growing up in the Fiberglass Business
Tracy grew up in the fiberglass business. His dad and dad's brother had a boat company in the ’50s that made wooden boats. In the early ’60s, they transitioned into fiberglass boats. In the early ’70s, someone walked into the business and asked, “Can you make a building out of fiberglass, a small shed-type building?"
His dad looked at his brother, and the brother looked back at his dad and they said, “Why not?” They had capacity and plenty of free time in the winter months when they weren’t making boats. So, they tried it and the customer loved the first building. He said, “Keep making them, and we’ll keep buying them.”
Thanks to this, Tracy grew up in the fiberglass business and developed a love for it.
Tracy Joins the Company
After college, Tracy went to work for that same company that his father and uncle had started and within a year or so became the plant manager. He redesigned everything and was very much involved in product development. In fact, he loved designing, engineering and continually making the process better. Fiberglass shelters were his entire focus for those 5 years.
Shelter Works is Born
Eventually, Tracy decided it was time to start his own company. He solicited his brother Peter, who owned some fiberglass manufacturing equipment and had a facility he was already using to make small parts for another industry. The two brothers partnered up and created Shelter Works. They bootstrapped it by doing everything themselves. They did sales. They did marketing. They sprayed fiberglass, cut, trimmed, assembled, and even delivered the shelters to their clients. It was a very humble beginning and Tracy does not recall taking salaries for two, or maybe three years.
Shelter Works Evolves
In time, their dedication to making great shelters started to pay off. As the owner, Tracy was able to experiment when he wanted to experiment, make changes and improvements whenever the inspiration came to him.
It allowed him to build products that would last a long time and function correctly for the client. Basically, he learned how to manufacture fiberglass shelters that were built for life so it just seemed natural that become our company's motto and tagline.