Sixty-Six Thousand Square Feet

It’s not easy finding a building that big that’s just right. But “supersized” is what Teacher Created Resources, based in southern California, needed. “The past few years have been very exciting for us in terms of product development, and we wanted to be able to expand on that,” explains company founder Mary Smith. “To make that possible, having more space was crucial.”

The search for more room took more than a year. “We really wanted something large enough to have staff offices and distribution under one roof,” she told us in a recent interview. “We also wanted to make sure the move wouldn’t be too difficult on our 75 employees. The new location not only has the space we wanted, it is also only three miles from our former location. It was worth the wait.”

In November, TCR began shipping products from its new address: 12621 Western Avenue, Garden Grove, California 92841. “We wanted to get the distribution center up and running first, so that we were ready when business picked up in the beginning of the year. Luckily, that part of the move went very smoothly. We were operational within a day,” Mary says.

“Customers will not notice any change in terms of shipping times, but they will notice we are better able to meet fulfillment needs, and that we will be adding even more innovative products to our lineup. This expansion really means that we can do a lot of things we wanted to do in terms of product development that we couldn’t do before – just because we didn’t have the space. It’s simply no longer the case.”

Work to upgrade the office space was still taking place in January, with the move there scheduled for February.

After spending 10 years as a classroom teacher and learning coordinator for grades K through 3, Mary founded TCR in 1977 with the goal of giving teachers the best ideas to enhance classroom learning. Today, the nearly 40-year-old “created by teachers for teachers and parents” company offers 6,000-plus SKUs for preK through middle school classrooms: resource books covering all aspects of the curriculum, bulletin boards and classroom decor, stickers, awards, notepads, postcards, name tags, incentive charts and more. It originated in a garage, moved to a small office and then an entire building in Huntington Beach, where it operated for 26 years. “We expanded to a total of 44,000 square feet by adding a second building, but we realized about two years ago that we were quickly running out of space again,” Mary notes.

“All of the new space is great – everything here is so fresh and new!” she told us. “The best part is that I get to embark on this next big chapter of our company’s history with my kids, Darin and Sarah, who have played such a big role in growing the business over the last several years.”

by Tina Manzer

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