Putting Plastics To Work For You
It’s all about plastics for brothers Fulton and Goodwin Seto
Brothers Fulton and Goodwin Seto help customers solve problems with plastic. With about 300 lines of plastic products available, Hawaii Plastics Corp. distributes products for construction companies, businesses, homes, restaurants, boats and other places.
To demonstrate what they can do, the St. Louis grads whip out a display case which holds a small-scale model of Goodwin’s classic car, 1970 blue Chevelle. Besides display cases, they also make sleek table tops that protect tablecloths at Chinese restaurants. In addition, they have cutting boards for preparing food that can be as thick as three-quarters of an inch. And with their laser machine that cuts and engraves, they create awards. You may find their work when you’re reading a sign in the elevator as they may have made the sign holder. Custom orders are a bulk of their business.
“Once customers start coming, they start thinking about different projects they can do,” says Goodwin.
Fulton adds, “We can teach customers how to glue and polish.”
Since the brothers were very young they have gone to the store on Saturdays to help out their dad, Frank, who opened the business in 1948. Dad moved on to many other things such being a Realtor, a pilot, and a Rotary Club member while their mom, Violet, ran the business. Both parents now have passed away and the two siblings have been full time with the company since the mid-70s and early 1980s. While both are eager to help clients, Goodwin handles operations, inventory, and accounts payable. Fulton manages research, marketing, and administration. Fulton’s daughter, Sherri, rolls up her sleeves each Saturday to handle the bookkeeping. With eight employees in their 11,000-square-foot shop, the family business has grown through word of mouth and its listing in the phone book.
“Every call gets answered and responded to,” says Fulton, a Nuuanu resident.
“Taking care of your customers is so important,” explains Goodwin, a Wilhemina Rise resident. “That’s what Mom instilled in us.”
A part of catering to patrons means predicting what inventory is needed. Goodwin says a computerized tracking system he put in two years ago has helped tremendously.
Other products the company is called on for include skylights, and plastics to cover outdoor trellises. For recreational boaters, they carry the CPG Seaboard product, which can be used for remodeling boats on the steps, shelves, flooring, platforms, hatch covers or counter tops.
“Seaboard doesn’t chip, rot or need paint,” Fulton says. “And it doesn’t deteriorate after five years.”
Besides selling plastic, Fulton says they also carry the Novus cleaning solutions which can be used to shine car taillights. He says the Novus solution also can clean the iPod Nano screens.
One of the challenges is being highly taxed, explains Fulton.
“That’s why we came up with the idea to generate more money and open a UPS store in our building.”
The 1,200-square-foot UPS store opened Thanksgiving last year, and a grand opening celebration is expected later this month. Fulton’s son Ryan, a former Aloha Airlines employee, is at the helm as the UPS store manager.
Also lending their support in spirit are Fulton’s daughter Christi, and Goodwin’s wife, Joanna, and children Kayla, and Jared.
Hawaii Plastics Corp. is located at 570 Dillingham Blvd. The shop is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. For more information, call 841-3358.
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