The name conjures a variety of images, but it turns out House of Plastics isn't actually a house of plastics in the traditional sense.
House of Plastics, the retail arm of Cleveland-based HP Manufacturing Co. Inc., sells plastic stuff, from the humdrum to the exotic. And the price tags reflect that.
Shoppers pay $1 per pound for rigid cut-off plastic sheeting. For somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000, one can walk out with an elaborate chandelierlike plastic garden, made by an artist friend of HP officials.
The shop is frequented by local framers, artists and do-it-yourselfers looking for various plastic materials.
>From gorgeous glass-look-alike shelving made of acrylic to polycarbonate furniture to protective display cases, House of Plastics truly is an anything-you-need-that's-plastic store, as marketing manager Wendy Poltorek describes it.
HP's primary business is fabricating and machining plastic sheets, rods and tubes. About half of the company's sales come from its point-of-purchase display business, manufacturing display cases for products like watches or sunglasses.
The other half of the business is its original equipment manufacturing segment, where HP machines and fabricates intricate parts for medical equipment, like X-ray or CAT-scan machines, or pieces for banks' automated teller machines.
House of Plastics represents just a fraction of HP's sales. HP officials indicate House of Plastics is profitable, but said money is not the motivation behind that part of the business.
Some of the store's best customers might spend only $2,000 over an entire year, said HP owner Terry Poltorek, who is Wendy's father.
``You're usually able to get your margins on the smaller business, but we feel we have an obligation to serve these people,'' he said. ``We're going to keep that part of the business going.''
The store has undergone several changes since its start in 1939, when Wendy Poltorek said it was little more than a counter in a little shop where people would come to get plastics parts.
``Well, we built around that counter,'' she said.
Now, it's 1,000 square feet of plastic eye candy.
Cleveland sports paraphernalia is protected by plastic display cases. Bottles of wine reside in a plastic bottle rack. Antimicrobial high density polyethylene cutting boards wait for their turn in the kitchen. Color and art are everywhere.
If a customer needs something custom built out of plastic, HP officials said they can get the job done.
So what is House the Plastics? Well, it's not a plastic house.
But if you wanted to build one, this is where you'd start.