Sydnie Starkey and Cynthia Coyle decided they were tired of working for a boss. They had worked for a custom injection molder in the Denver area, where Sydnie started as a press operator 12 years ago and most recently worked as quality manager. Cynthia was in office management.
On Aug. 1, the women incorporated Premier Plastics Corp. in Fort Collins, Colo., and within five weeks had the molding plant running.
At first, Starkey wanted to buy an injection molding facility. Then her husband saw an advertisement from Associated Mold-ing, which was selling three injection molding presses. The firm also owned the 7,100-square-foot building where the presses stood, still hooked up.
``It was perfect,'' Coyle said.
The women bought the presses and leased the building from Associated. Douglas Gothier, who has 20 years experience in injection molding, was hired to run the plant. After painting the building and presses, adding a new cooling tower, and renovating the offices, Premier was in business.
``Presentation means a lot,'' said Starkey, company president.
Premier operates presses ranging from 75-300 tons clamping force. Besides Gothier, the company employs two press operators and a set-up technician. They also hired Vince Sciortino as a salesman.
In addition to molding, Premier offers secondary operations and has plans to install in-house mold maintenance and repair capabilities as business grows.
Starkey said the company has gotten some overflow work from Associated Molding, and several more molding projects are being negotiated with potential original equipment manufacturer customers.
Starkey said being a female in the injection molding business can be a tough row to hoe. She takes Gothier along when she visits banks.
``Doug has more credibility when dealing with other business matters,'' said Starkey. ``It's a shame, but I think we [women] still have a long way to go to obtain credibility.''
Although Starkey and Coyle realize that they can qualify for certain contracts as a minority-owned business, Starkey said she does not want any special treatment.
``Unless we deliver a quality product on time, it doesn't matter that we're a woman-owned company,'' she said. ``We don't want work because we're women. We want it because were the best.''