Wow, we’re almost six years old!
Way back in 2009, ARC was just an idea. It was the gloomiest, ugliest part of the great recession, and without question a poor time to start a business, especially one dedicated to pioneering a new concept in shower foundations to the ailing construction industry.
But optimists are born to make things happen. Right?
Despite challenging odds and formidable obstacles, in January of 2010 ARC began operation. It was fun and exciting; the thrill of a new adventure. We could see there was a need for level-entry showers and improved bathing safety. Locally, remodelers were struggling to satisfy the growing aging-in-place trend, and on a broader scale across the country, awareness of universal design was becoming a bigger thing. More and more, people were asking remodelers and builders to rid their homes of barriers–no shower curb, no thresholds, no steps, no narrow doorways–but products specific to some of these purposes weren’t readily available and adapting off-the-shelf materials required a bunch of jerry rigging. Once ARC opened, every week we had callers tell us, “I’m so glad I found you. I’ve been looking for stuff like this for years.”
It was like we caught the early wave of a movement.
Demand for stylish level-entry showers propelled ARC along a fast growth curve, and in early 2012 we expanded beyond the Midwest to reach customers on both coasts. It wasn’t always easy as we searched to find good distribution partners, but patience paid off. Fast forward to 2016 and ARC has grown a ton. With distributors and dealers in 30 states plus Canada, and many thousands of shower installations under our belts, the little idea that hatched in 2009 has become the real deal. Can you believe over a million of these shower foundations have been installed worldwide?
We do have to thank the big “mo”!
It doesn’t just happen to athletes and politicians. Momentum can propel a company and even a market. In ARC’s case, momentum grew because ready-for-tile, structural shower foundations, installed directly on joist systems, solve a bunch of problems for contractors, plumbers, and homeowners, and provide an alternative to the labor intensive, fussy mud bed method of construction. That’s what folks began to understand and want. Building a mud bed level-entry shower requires tricky cuts into joists and then reinforcing those compromised joints properly, which is time consuming and expensive, and often done incorrectly. ARC foundations eliminate much of that work and all of the risk, and deliver precise slopes that integrate with the drain perfectly every time, without hassle. Plus, while a mud bed can take a week to complete, including dry times and repeat trips to the jobsite, an ARC shower foundation can be installed and waterproofed in a day! That’s a big advantage.
So, what’s ahead?
The migration toward pre-sloped, ready-for-tile shower foundations is like so many other product innovations in the building industry–for one example, think about the huge changes in plumbing over the past 50 years, from threaded galvanized pipe to copper to PVC to PEX. In time, most tiled showers will be built on pre-fabricated bases and, because personal safety is an overriding priority, level-entry showers will become the standard. For style and for safety and to meet the needs of all ages and so many ability levels, it’s the right way to build a shower. The construction industry will inevitably take this step. Smart, high quality products that make building easier, faster, and more predictable, with real benefits to end users, always find their place in the mix of worthy options. Level-entry showers are the future.
Products, however, are only part of the story. What really matters is people.
ARC is a team of good folks trying to do good work. We’re privileged to have so many great business partners who unite us with contractors, developers, builders, and customers throughout much of North America. We strive to serve everyone well. Our growth and sustainability as a company depend on it, and it’s the right way to live. At the end of each day, we trust that we made a positive difference in the world, and helped someone, somewhere make progress on their plans and enjoy a better life.
Look to ARC for continuous innovation and improvement, and to make better living through better shower design the cornerstone of our mission.