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Solid Stone wins resilience award
One of five winners statewide
Luke Harris (left) and David Stone of Solid Stone Fabrics show the 2010 Tayloe Murphy Resilience Award, which their company won in the wholesale category.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
By GINNY WRAY - Bulletin Staff Writer
Solid Stone Fabrics Inc. of Martinsville has received the 2010 Tayloe Murphy Resilience Award in the wholesale category.
The Tayloe Murphy Resilience Awards Competition, sponsored by the University of Virginia Darden School of Business' Tayloe Murphy Center, spotlights successful businesses that are beating the odds in Virginia, according to a release from the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.
The competition focused on businesses that, though located in economically challenged communities, have demonstrated economic growth, job creation and community leadership during the past five years, the release stated.
Five Virginia businesses - BandyWorks, Morgan Lumber Co. Inc., ParknPool Corp., Solid Stone Fabrics Inc. and Marstel-Day LLC - won the inaugural Tayloe Murphy Resilience Awards from a field of 106 applicants.
"We were very flattered and very honored to be a finalist out of 106 companies that applied," said David Stone, owner and president of the Solid Stone Fabrics. "To win meant even more to us."�
From 2005 through 2008, winners demonstrated an average annual profit growth rate of 122 percent, compared with the state average of 22 percent, and average annual employment growth rates of 114 percent, compared with Virginia's 1.6 percent, the releases stated.
Stone started the business from his home, moved into the West Piedmont Business Development Center during the startup phase and bought and renovated an 18,000-square-foot facility at 26 Fayette St. where the company has been located since 2008.
Solid Stone Fabrics manufactures in the United States and sources stretch fabrics from all over the world. It operates a cut-and-sew department as well as a custom digital printing facility in Martinsville.
It sells many types of fabrics, including holographic, glitter, lace fishnet, mesh, velvet and chiffon. Fabrics are used for dancers, performing artists and athletes, such as gymnasts. Solid Stone Fabrics annually donates funds to the local high school to make sure every young man who graduates has a dress shirt and tie to wear for the occasion.
The award will help Solid Stone and other winners network, and it will expose them to different groups that work with businesses, such as the U.S. Small Business Administration, Stone said.
Also, he said the Tayloe Murphy Center plans to continue promoting entrepreneurs in the state and probably will have the finalists and winners become case studies for Darden School of Business students. Company representatives may be brought in to speak to students on their experiences and other subjects, he added.
Winning companies also will receive a scholarship to one of the center's programs each year, Stone said.
Stone said he was encouraged to apply for the award by Lisa Wilson of the EDC and Tiffani Underwood, who was executive director of the West Piedmont Business Development Center at the time. Underwood attended the Sept. 1 awards ceremony at the University of Virginia's Rotunda with Stone and Luke Harris, vice president of manufacturing at Solid Stone.