Wholesale Tape & Supply (Expendable Essentials), Van Nuys, Calif., is celebrating 35 years in business in 2019.
The supplier to the special events, audiovisual, studio and packaging industries began as a distributor of shipping and packaging supplies to the Los Angeles area. Operating out of an 800-square-foot warehouse, owner J.R. Kliaman and his nephew would visit warehouses throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, selling cases of packaging tape out of their cars
As its client base grew, so did the variety of products the company offered. The company began by purchasing only products made in the USA. While many products are no longer available domestically due to high VOCs, Wholesale Tape has maintained its commitment to supporting domestically produced products wherever possible, Kliaman says.
Three years later, the company moved into a 14,000-square-foot building in Northridge, Calif., with an 18-foot racking system, two loading docks and a fork lift. “We were in paradise,” Kliaman says. “Our business continued to expand with many additional products including industrial items such as duct tape and cable ties, as well as a closeout division.”
Then came a major setback: the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. “We were near the epicenter, had lost our roof, product had all cascaded off the 18-foot racks, the rains were coming and barricades were set up around our area with warnings of gas leaks, blocking access to large trucks−our life’s blood to our inventory,” Kliaman says. “With the support and assistance of our vendors (we had developed relationships over 10 years), who all agreed to fulfill the delivery of our orders directly to our clients, we were able to meet our daily obligations for the three-month rebuilding process.”
This process opened the door to allowing the company’s vendor to drop ship its orders. “However, we were still limited to local distribution,” he says. “Our main commodities were packing materials that were mostly bulky and difficult to deliver or ship outside local distribution.”
Having success with duct tape and cable ties, the company began looking into industries that use these products regularly, discovering the party rental industry as a strong prospect.
Today, the company stocks more than 12 colors of duct tape along with an abundance of the “expendable” supplies its party rental clients require, including cable ties, convention taffeta, double-faced tapes, stretch film, protective poly and can liners. “Our vendor partners continue to support us with expanded warehouse distribution throughout the U.S. and internationally,” Kliaman says. “In this ever-changing global economy, we are proud of our commitment to meeting our clients’ needs for ‘just in time’ supplies.
“We are thankful for the opportunities we have had to serve our clients throughout the years and look forward to many more years of fulfillment,” he continues. “It has been a wonderful
adventure of learning, developing and meeting the varying needs of our amazing customers. The knowledge we have gained along the way has been a critical piece in our enduring the countless changes over these years and our ability to transform ourselves many times over to meet the daily challenges of the industries we serve. Our company remains steadfast and resilient and continues to prosper with the assistance of all who have embraced us. We acknowledge and thank our many clients, vendors, supporters and friends who have all made this possible.