History of MBS CommunicationsAugust 29, 2018
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw
As we mark our 25th year in business, we’re feeling a bit nostalgic! MBS has seen its share of changes; and a recent update to the office building’s appearance to better express our creativity has us reminiscing about our start.
Back in the day when it was feast or famine for co-founders Mary, Becky, and Steve (the “M”, “B”, and “S” in MBS Communications), they took Steve’s “innovate or die” slogan and ran with it. Strategy, a little bit of luck, and a whole lot of industriousness helped the company to grow from its humble beginnings to where it is now. As you’ll see in the photos below, the company’s come a long way in terms of product offerings, building expansions, and hairstyles.
MBS first set up shop in Becky’s basement. Stuffing, addressing, and mailing 5,000 envelopes containing one-page product flyers to a handful of potential customers across the United States was the order of the day.
Obviously, the hard work paid off and in 1994, MBS found its first official home in an old building that once housed a video store in tiny Stewardson, Illinois.
Just a couple of years later, a hop across the street to an even older, but larger former bank brought more opportunity to the owners of the fledgling company. That’s where they really got to know their products inside and out as they created, sold, loaded, unloaded, and shipped the products themselves on hot summer days and frigid winter days alike. It was there that the first MBS employees, Matt and Ann, came on board. Matt’s still with the company today, serving as general manager.
A Sunday drive to Becky’s Mom and Dad’s house brought MBS to its current location when she glimpsed a for sale sign off to her right. A newly built loading dock on the side of the building was, literally, a site for sore eyes and frozen hair from those days of unloading trucks in the freezing cold. A match made in heaven, you might say. We’re not sure when the building was constructed, but its history of creative uses foretold its current embodiment. It once housed a steakhouse, and, for a short time, a medical equipment refurbishing company. A small wine and cheese shop was even located out front, where the parking lot is now.
The loading dock that enticed MBS to come and make its home in Altamont, Illinois, has seen a great many semi-trailers over the years, and several changes to the building, too. Updates and additions have been welcome necessities as MBS has expanded its product lines and employee roster. The refurbishing company’s paint booths met a quick demise, and the fireplace that once looked so cozy during the steakhouse period eventually had to go, too, to make room for more desks, chairs, tables, computers, and people! The current office space was last expanded in 2010 and is a home away from home for our 23 employees. Two additions to the warehouse, in 2002 and 2008, made room for tons more products and work space. The old buildings were quaint and cozy, but shipping nowadays is a breeze!
And speaking of breezes, climate control for paper was the impetus for the most recent expansion of our print room which took place in 2018. This is the third addition for the printing area as we’ve grown and increased our printing capabilities. We’re now able to offer our customers a 24-hour ship time on a majority of our products which brings us to where, and who we are, today. In choosing paint for the main building this past summer, we opted for a color scheme we hope expresses the creativity housed inside. We feel like MBS Communications has indeed “found” itself in the home it created!