Aaron Morrill has paint flowing through his veins. His grandfather took over Dick Blick paints 73 years ago and Blick took over Utrecht one-and-a-half years ago.
“Utrecht has the fantastic storied history in New York. We always had our eyes on paint in particular and we knew they had a passionate following for their paint and when Utrecht became available we jumped at the chance to make it part of the Blick family,” said Aaron Morrill, Chairman of the Board at Blick.
It was a surprise to the Blick guys when they first heard about the Brooklyn Made certification, which is awarded to businesses that create, employ and market from Brooklyn.
“One of our own employees Claudia thought of this. She was reading the news one night and heard about this program,” said Morrill. “This is what you want your employees to do, have a sense of ownership and pride and Claudia was like I love Brooklyn, I love this Company and I want them to know about it.”
Utrecht received its gold standard certification after a review by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. According to details, 125 certifications have been awarded to business across the borough.
“We want people to understand that even though we’re a ‘big’ company we’re employing people here in Brooklyn, we’re making what’s really an artisanal paint. We’re making a very high quality paint; we’re not just a company that’s buying stuff made in other parts of the world that we don’t anything about, we’re making a product that’s super high quality,” said Morrill.
Utrecht has 72 stores in 21 states across the country. But with recognition, comes higher demand for quality and sustained product deliverables.
“After we acquired Utrecht and brought it into the Blick family we immediately setup on modernization and improvement program with this plan because we are a company that likes to invest in what we do.”
The company has invested more than a million dollars in procuring new equipment and creating a better work environment for its employees.
And when it comes to managing stiff competition, Morrill isn’t too worried.
“There are always going to be companies that startup. Right now it’s not a big factor for us and we have traditionally sold paints from smaller companies and start-ups,” Morrill said.
As Brooklyn continues to burgeon with more businesses moving operations locally, the fact that Brooklyn is a booming business hub paints the complete picture.
“I think its going to be a growth story for our company because Brooklyn is growing as a creative center the creative class is moving here, if they haven’t already so the marketing base is huge in Brooklyn,” said Morrill.
Read the first installment of the story here.