In 1981, after the Bunker Hill Mine announced the shut down of the mine, smelter, and zinc plants in the Silver Valley of Idaho, many people were forced to leave and relocate to other parts of the country. The Bunker Hill Mine had a workforce of over 2,700 employees and was the largest industry in the Silver Valley. The repercussions from the closure were not only recognized in the Silver Valley, but also throughout Coeur d' Alene, Spokane, Washington, and as far West as Seattle. The Valley had become a sad and depressed place after the loss of friends and families who had lived here for generations.
Brenda and Larry Stinson had both worked at the smelter associated with the mining industry here. Brenda for 11 years and Larry for 12 years. Brenda had sewn the high heat coats and coveralls used by the company to protect workers who faced the hot furnaces needed to melt down the raw products at the smelter. Larry worked throughout the plant not only as a labor pool supervisor, but also underground and in the garage. He was able to develop a good knowledge base of how the plant operated and this background would prove invaluable for the future business Brenda and Larry would eventually create together.
With Brenda and a friend, Jean Miles, initially started the business in 1979 with the idea they would be able to eventually stay at home and make bags for the local mines. They hoped this would allow them to be housewives and to raise their children while also subsidizing the family's income. But this dream would take a different turn when those changes in the early 1980's began to occur.
Because of the pollution being emitted by the smelter and zinc plant operations, the EPA decided to shut them down. After the closure of the plant, Jean and her husband Glen moved to a job in Nevada. Brenda and her husband Larry decided to stay in the Silver Valley to try to make a go of the new business, now known as Silver Needle Inc.™
Life was extremely difficult for the first six years of the business. Learning to run and manage a business was all new to them. To help make ends meet they lived off the farm by selling vegetables and hay, and by raising their own animals. This would have all been fun if it hadn’t been so stressful (for example, occasionally their "operating system" was compromised because they shared a party line with an old woman with a very foul mouth, and once in a while the rooster would crow while they were talking on the phone; explain that to someone in New York!). They worked out of the house for three years, as though they were a factory. When the telephone rang, the oldest daughter would take the youngest upstairs and read to her while Brenda answered the phone as the secretary, and would then pass the call on to Larry. Brenda found some of the companies appeared to communicate better with Larry, rather than a woman. When Brenda and Larry got an order they worked from early morning until midnight to get it out on time and to keep the customer happy. Their commitment to quality and service served them and their customers well.
Things have certainly changed since those early years and with a lot of very hard work and many arduous hours, the woman many did not care to talk to earned an outstanding reputation for knowing exactly what clothing is needed for each particular application. Through perseverance and education Brenda and Larry have developed a working knowledge of Personal Protective Equipment expectations as they apply to specific industry standards. Together with Larry's own expertise they now have a thriving business and are determined to serve their customers safety needs to the best of their ability.
Today, Silver Needle Inc.™ employs 25 plus employees and has been in business for over 45 years, and as the company steadily grew they were able to purchase a large steel building in October of 2006 on three acres in Kellogg, Idaho. The building was completely remodeled and turned into a sophisticated high-production facility that makes Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and many other safety items offering many different custom options available to their clients. Silver Needle Inc.™ has focused their goals toward protection of workers in the electrical and molten metals industries, natural gas flash suits, and many other industries requiring PPE. They make vests, coveralls, pants, shirts, hoods, gloves, boot covers, coats, and so much more. They make their own patterns and designs, and market, cut and sew all of it here in their factory in Kellogg. They are famous for their quality, honesty, and spectacular customer service. Purchasing straight from the manufacturer has opened new avenues for the development of Personal Protective Equipment based on a companies own needs.
Silver Needle Inc.™ has a proven track record of accomplishing anything an industry needs to keep their workers safe!
You now know the reason why Silver Needle Inc.™ takes such pride in their accomplishments... they literally know what it’s like to be hungry for your business!
Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to read this.
Safest Regards from everyone at Silver Needle Inc.™