How did your business begin?
We began as a small kiln operation on the banks of the Broad River in 1919. Over the past 96 years, we’ve grown our business to be North America’s largest brick manufacturer with a total capacity of over 1.7 billion bricks a year. Our homegrown Columbia operations boast a dedicated architectural plant with a diverse array of colors and sizes to meet light commercial and heavy industrial supply needs. Also on our Columbia site, we host a residential production plant with the widely sought-after Vista Series products.
What do you like best about your line of work?
The South Carolina markets continue to evolve and grow. I love the diversity of the S.C. markets in that we can service the architectural customer as well as the production and custom builder from our products made right here in the Capital City.
What inspires you daily?
I’m inspired by relationships. Our business is built on building new relationships and fostering old ones. I want to have partners in the Columbia community and to grow our businesses together.
What is your business’s biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge is also our largest growth opportunity. We need all consumers to understand the benefits of brick versus alternative cladding systems. I would encourage our first-time homebuyers to ride through neighborhoods built with brick and compare the experience to that with alternative cladding. The aesthetics of a brick home are incomparable, and the long-term savings are measurable. There’s a financial benefit for choosing brick!
What are the latest developments/innovations in your field?
Our VersaThin® brand thin brick is taking advantage of a growing trend in the residential market. Builders are using real clay thin brick to add quality and value to both the interior and exterior of their homes. From fireplace surrounds and backsplashes to entire walls, thin brick is becoming more popular as a versatile building product.
How has the Columbia community benefitted from your business?
Every home, hospital, school and church built in Columbia over the past 96 years likely used Hanson brick products. We are literally a physical part of the Columbia community!