Spokane Journal of Business

True Seals plans move to former Nott-Atwater space in Valley

Gasket maker to occupy former Nott-Atwater building by year's end

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Custom gasket manufacturer True Seals LLC, the company co-founded by a former Nott-Atwater Co. executive after that company was sold and moved, has agreed to lease the former Nott-Atwater building, at 1309 N. Bradley, in Spokane Valley.

Cody Irons, outside sales representative of True Seals, says the new location is about twice the size of the company's current 12,000-square-foot facility, at 18101 E. Euclid.

The company expects to move into the larger space on Nov. 1.

"It's fun to say we're going back to that building," Irons says. "For our employees who used to be with Nott-Atwater, it's like going home."

Like True Seals, Nott-Atwater manufactured custom gaskets out of foam, rubber, and other materials. Nott-Atwater was sold to LTI Boyd of Modesto, Calif. in 2007 and its Spokane location was closed in late 2011. The company employed about 50 people at its peak.

True Seals minority owner Jim Hemingway co-owned the building on Bradley Road when he was president of Nott-Atwater. True Seals has a four-year lease on the new space, with six one-year options to follow, says Craig Dolsby, True Seals majority owner. The company also has the option to buy the building during that period.

Irons says Hemingway's prior knowledge of the building helped the company make the decision to move.

"Jim knew the building and he knew the setup," he says. "He knew a lot of our machines would work well in that space."

Dolsby didn't work at Nott-Atwater, but he also is enthusiastic about the move.

"I'm just excited for the extra space," says Dolsby, who came to True Seals from Spokane's Berg Cos. "We're bursting at the seams here."

True Seals manufactures custom-cut gaskets and seals from a variety of materials such as foam, rubber, cork, and silicone. The company also has machines for laminating. True Seals' customers are mainly other Spokane-area manufacturers.

Dolsby says that demand for True Seal's products has been high enough that it's better for the company to move now than to wait until it gets any higher. Currently the company is on track to exceed its revenue goal of $1.2 million for the year, he says, which will more than double its revenue from 2012.

With the new space, the company's next revenue goal is to reach the $3 million-to-$5 million range, Dolsby says.

As it grows into the new building, True Seals also will be looking to add two or three employees in the next year, Irons says. Currently, the company has about 12 employees. Irons and Dolsby say their ideal future number of employees is 16.

True Seals also will be adding new machines after the move, including a computerized press, which presses out gasket shapes like a cookie cutter, and a slitting machine, which can take a thick slab of raw material and cut it into a thinner piece, says Irons. Dolsby says it also is considering adding a second water-jet cutting machine, for cutting shapes out of foam, neoprene, and rubber. The current building, Irons says, doesn't have the space to accommodate those new machines. Other than the machines, the only alteration True Seals will be making at its new location is remodeling to add about 2,200 square feet of office space within the existing building, Dolsby says.

Another advantage to the new location, Irons says, is that the building is across the street from a UPS Customer Center.

After the move, True Seals aims to expand its services further into the Pacific Northwest.

"Our target customers have initially been companies here in Spokane," says Irons. "Once we get into the new building and we have the capacity to do more business, we can expand outward to places like Seattle, Idaho and Montana."

Katie Ross
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Reporter Katie Ross covers manufacturing, hospitality, and government at the Journal of Business. An outdoor enthusiast and snowboard fanatic, Katie is a recent graduate of Gonzaga University.  

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