Taylor Made for Success, Locally Grown Entrepreneur Continues to Build
Want to own your own island? Billboards for Taylor Made Cabinets have been a fixture in Southern Ocean County for decades, just as the man behind the business that bears his name has – Stafford Township Councilman David Taylor
David, or Dave to those who know him, grew up on the beaches of Long Beach Island. He was a Class of 1979 Southern Regional High School graduate who then went on the Johnson & Wales to study to become a chef. After marrying Lynn, working long nights was no longer an option. In search of a better opportunity, he landed at a local cabinet shop. Dave started from the ground up, sweeping floors, to building drawers, to putting hinges on doors, to building cabinets and countertops. The owners of the shop could not successfully keep the doors open. The landlord of the building, E.R. Dunphy, suggested that Dave give it a whirl. He rented him the building, lent him a table saw and Dave set off to start his own cabinet company. The Gulf War put a halt to much of the local construction, and many competitors had difficulty staying in business. Mr Dunphy became instrumental in the success of Taylor Made at this point when he assisted Dave by postponing the mortgage for a year. Dave took side work as a bouncer and worked seven nights a week to keep the money coming in. When construction picked back up, Taylor Made Cabinets was the last company standing and business began to take off again.
During the course of 33 years, this Stafford Township business has grown from a two man shop to a twenty person operation. Taylor reflects “We made it through the recession in 2007-2010, that was rough. I had to lay off my family members; including my brother, sister and sister-in-law. We had to go bare bones but we got through it!” Which seems to be the theme for Taylor Made.
Building a business, raising a family and contributing to the community is what has kept Dave busy. In 2000, he served as President of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce. Being a first generation family business is a source of great pride for Mr. Taylor. Taylor Made employs many family members: Dave’s brother, Chris, who is also his business partner, his brother, Bob, his wife, Lynn, and his sister-in-law, Cindy all currently work for the family business. Over the years a lot of family have worked there, brothers, sons, daughters, nephews, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, friends and anyone within the family circle that needed a good job. Once they had an opportunity to move on, it was welcomed with excitement from the team. There have been quite a few who have come back time and time again, it is a family place!
The secret to success is knowing the area you are in! The big push to get houses ready for the summer comes in September since no one wants to be in the midst of construction over the holidays. Taylor Made is built on a solid reputation based on the years of experience of Dave and his staff. “We have something for everyone, from rock bottom to high end- we have something at every price point!” Dave revealed, “You can’t beat our price, quality and service! You may be able to beat one of them but not all three!” In addition to cabinets, countertop and installation, Taylor Made has a fulltime service department. “We probably fix 1-2 drawers a week, broken cabinets, and sell tons of hinges. Even if we didn’t sell it, we fix it!” Dave added. Developing good relationships is the key to success.
Taylor Made Cabinets doesn’t just do kitchens. They do bathroom cabinets, countertops- granite, quartz, cement, laminate; remodels, medical offices, and car dealerships. Mr. Taylor used to pride himself in being the company that built everything but the market has changed. Most people have a budget that doesn’t support the custom kitchen. With the wide range of cabinetry lines, Taylor Made can sell kitchens to any price point. They work hard to stay within the customer’s budget.
If I can leave off with a quote, Taylor reflected “I will do today what other men won’t, so that I can do tomorrow what other men can’t!” “You have to keep working,” Dave further said, “I figure I am going to live to be 85-90, if I retire at 65, what am I going to do with myself? I’m going to be working in some capacity, so I might as well make it count!” Dave’s children and his brother’s children are employed in other work fields-but they have all worked under the roof of Taylor Made. “It is important for our kids to know what hard work is,” Dave said. “I can design kitchens, quickly solve problems, and build anything. No is not an answer. I love my job- as long as I am coming to work, I can make a difference in this community!”
Article written by Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce – Founded in Family Program with interview by John Dunlap, Winter Intern – Syracuse University Class of 2019