A Top-Notch Manufacturer of Guttering Materials
WHAT’S GOING ON?
IS DARLA STILL AT GUTTER SOURCE?
The answer is yes, I have stepped away from the customer service area to an office to take care of paperwork, insurance, and accounting for Gutter Source. I feel that Mike and Shay are capable and competent to take care of the front end of Gutter Source.
Mike, an employee of 18 years, is Operations Manager. As the Operations Manager he oversees orders, inventory, employees, manufacturing, deliveries, shipping, customer service, pricing, ordering, and the day to day operations of Gutter Source.
Shay, the Office Manager, handles invoicing, accounts receivable, billing and price issues, customer accounts, payments, etc.
I have really enjoyed my 27 years at Gutter Source and the 40 years I’ve been in the guttering industry. It has been inspiring and fulfilling to work from the ground up with many customers of the industry, I appreciate each of you. Gutter Source has grown into a remarkable manufacturing and wholesale supplier. My time at this point is best spent working closely with suppliers and the business as a whole. With the great staff of Gutter Source I am able to relax more and take a day off or two. With this being said, if you have any concerns or questions, Mike and Shay are always available to help you. Thank you so much!
Sincerely, Darla, “The Gutter Lady”
Spotlight on Mike Johnson
- Operations Manager
Mike Johnson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was raised by his mother and stepfather, while spending the summers with his dad and step mom. He has one stepbrother, 2 stepsisters, 1 half-brother and 1 half-sister.
Growing up, Mike spent his summers with his father around his grandfather’s family business, Johnson’s Mattress Company. It later burnt down in 1992. His father then moved to New York following the mattress industry. Mike continued to spend his summers and spring breaks with his father in New York. While spending time at the mattress company, Mike gained a lot of knowledge about business management. He spent much of his free time hunting and fishing with his father and grandfather. Then during his Junior Year in high school he joined the Army Reserves at the age of 17. He spent his junior summer at basic training. After graduating in 1996 from high school, he went on to AIT. Mike gained knowledge of working with others and his leadership skills in the Army. As a reservist, he found a job doing kitchen and bathroom remodeling plus doors and windows for Builders Square. Two years later, he joined the carpenters union. He continued that for a year and a half until he decided it was no longer for him, but he gained the perspective of the life of the contractor, which would later help him at Gutter Source.
Following that, he did temp jobs. One of his temp jobs landed him at Guyco Gutter Supply (which was renamed Gutter Source in 2008)in August of 2000. This is also the same time he met his future wife, Staci Johnson. After 2 days of working at Guyco, he was offered a full time position. He decided to take this offer until he figured out what he wanted to do with his life. He started out on the manufacturing floor. He moved up quickly in positions and discovered as well this was the career choice for him.
Mike is now going on his 19th year with what is now called, Gutter Source, as the Operations Manager. In his time not at Gutter Source, he enjoys time with his two young sons and wife, and his hobbies including hunting, fishing and his oldest boy in sports. He looks forward to teaching his two sons the same lessons his father and grandfather taught him in relation to hunting and fishing as well as growing up to be a good honest man.
He looks forward to the future growth of Gutter Source and what is in store for his next 25 years in the gutter industry.
Spotlight on Darla Morley
Darla Morley was born and raised in Indiana, growing up in a struggling family whose parents divorced when she was 10. Darla has two brothers, one sister, a half-brother, and a step brother. Darla became an entrepreneur at the age of 4 when she weaved potholders on a loom and sold them for 15 cents or 2 for a quarter. Over the years Darla sold vegetables from the family garden door-to-door, later Girl Scout cookies; beating all previous records for the state. As a teenager, Darla was a seamstress and continued with other financial endeavors selling aprons, toaster covers, and smock tops, when they were popular. Later, Darla would earn money babysitting for families in the apartment complex she lived in with her mother and siblings.
Darla studied business and home-economics in school majoring in both before marrying Jim Guy at a young age. Darla worked at a sewing factory that made suits for JC Penney and Sears, while Jim worked for his uncle who had just purchased the first seamless guttering machine in Indiana. Windbreaker the sewing factory, where Darla worked, closed within 7 months sending everyone to the unemployment lines in a city where the company was the major employer of women. Darla went back to sales starting her own Tupperware business, becoming a manager within a few months and receiving a car.
A few years passed, Jim and Darla decided to have a child, Greg; five years later along came another son, Brad. During this time, Jim had changed employers, giving them the opportunity to purchase their own gutter machine and truck. Jim and Darla both installed guttering. Winters were hard in Indiana; so when they were offered the opportunity to relocate to a more economic area, they decided to move to Norman, Oklahoma in 1984. They were frightened to see the 34 guttering companies listed in the telephone book. Their truck was their billboard; they found that there was a great need for guttering in the Norman area. Darla loved the sales aspect of guttering, the business end, and of course, customer service. Eventually Darla ran the entire guttering operation while Jim worked as a supervisor for a home builder in Norman.
Nine years after the birth of Greg they had a third son, Jeff. Their son Brad was diagnosed with Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy at the age of 6. Jim and Darla struggled with the diagnosis, having three boys with one being handicapped. They sold their guttering business shortly after Brad’s diagnosis and were out of the guttering industry for a few years.
In 1992, Jim and Darla decided to use a small investment to start Guyco Gutter Supply, Inc. after Custom Built Metals left the Oklahoma City area, leaving only one supplier in town. Darla wanted to create a supplier who was different, focused on the customer, someone to treat the customer like she thought she should have been treated as a guttering company. Darla was currently employed at an Oklahoma City home improvement company, as their Vice President in charge of business, sales, staff, payroll, etc. Jim was still working with the home builder. Guyco Gutter Supply started with the manager from Custom Built. Darla continued her employment at the home improvement company, helping them set sales records, while creating the software and item list for Guyco. Darla spent her weekends doing the invoicing, payroll, and other duties for Guyco. Sales were too low during the first two years for Jim or Darla to take a salary.
In 1994, Darla left the home improvement company to take over management of Guyco Gutter Supply. The business grew, moving from a 3,000 square-foot building to 6,000 and on to 10,000. It was at this time they decided to begin manufacturing downspouts and elbows, creating the first phase of the manufacturing division. With growth, Guyco needed to quit renting and own their property. Darla worked tirelessly for a SBA loan, filling out the piles of paperwork. That hard work granted Guyco with an SBA, allowing them to purchase their current property on North Ann Arbor.
In 1999, their son Brad with Muscular Dystrophy passed away. The marriage of Jim and Darla ended in 2000 after 23 1/2 years. Darla kept the business and continued to roll profits into inventory with the help of a banker who believed in her, while living on a modest salary. During 2008 Darla changed the name of the business from Guyco Gutter Suppy to Gutter Source to better describe brand. Darla met Bryan Markham in the summer of 2011, a nurse who grew up in Arkansas. Many of you may have met Bryan at Gutter Source when he worked a short time in the warehouse and office. Bryan was continuing his education while waiting for a day position to become available at Mercy the hospital where he is now employed.
Darla is an active member of an association that raises funds for local charities such as Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Shelter, American Cancer Society, Moore Activity Center, etc.
With the growth of Gutter Source, the manufacturing department needed more space for additional machinery. In late 2010 Gutter Source purchased a 40,000 square-foot building on NW 5th Street, moving manufacturing from the crowded Ann Arbor location. When the manufacturing location was purchased 18,000 square-feet was leased, Gutter Source used the remaining 22,000 square-feet for machinery and additional stock. With this additional space Gutter Source grew to 54,000 square-feet of just guttering products. In 2012 Gutter Source added machinery to manufacture 3” round, 4” round, and 6” half-round guttering, needing additional space they moved this equipment to a 3,000 square-foot area that was previously leased, increasing the size of the manufacturing and the overstock department to 25,000 square-feet.
Darla has felt that sticking to one product line, guttering, would make it possible to meet the needs of the guttering installers. Gutter Source is the largest supplier in Oklahoma and the only manufacturer of guttering products in the state. Currently Gutter Source offers Copper, Galvalume, and 31 colors of Aluminum coil for 5”, 6” and 6” half-round guttering.
Darla has seen the guttering industry change in the 40 plus years she has been in the business. She jokes that she was here before the wheel, the measuring wheel that is. Darla has seen the aluminum colors go from 2, to over 31, bay miters invented, specialized tools, along with great modifications to the guttering machine itself. The use of conductor heads, half-round guttering, round downspouts, rain chains, rain barrels, etc.
The name was changed in 2008 to Gutter Source, Inc. to better explain the business motto. “The Source for all of your guttering needs”. The name was changed but the customer service remains the highest among suppliers, giving the customers what Darla expected from her suppliers all those years ago. Darla feels your time is money and waiting for orders slows crews down when they could actually get another job done. Gutter Source is “Big Enough to Meet Your Needs – Small Enough to Know Your Needs”. Darla has been an installer and a guttering company owner. Having been there, she knows the needs of her customers. Being a woman in a male industry was difficult for Darla in 1984, but with time she feels she has earned the respect of those in the guttering industry.
With a fully dedicated, knowledgeable staff and the inventory to supply the gutter installers, Darla is anxiously awaiting for the next big hail storm. Darla is clearly the “Gutter Lady”. Darla still works behind the scenes at Gutter Source but has handed the day-to-day operations over to Mike Johnson the Operations Manager and his assistant Shay Thompson.