Initially founded in September 1977, Pyramid Fasteners, now owned and operated by Theresa Pickard, formed when another company, operating in Lakeland, decided they were no longer interested in selling fasteners. From part-time shop girl to Owner and President, Pickard shared the story behind her rise to the top and how Pyramid’s unique niche and commitment to treating customers like family has contributed to its longevity and outstanding track record.
“Pyramid Fasteners started with a husband-and-wife duo, a warehouse guy and a part-time high school senior,” Pickard said. “That high school senior was a friend of mine. When she was offered another opportunity elsewhere, she offered me her job. In 1988, the original owners sold the company to Bill Diehl. He knew nothing of the industry and asked if I would stay and run the company and then he would sell it to me.”
Pickard, who had no prior experience before working with Pyramid Fasteners, was quick and eager to establish her value. Despite being a young female, in a predominantly male business, she took every opportunity to learn about new products and the industry as a whole. Along the way, she also learned a lot from Bill Diehl, the previous owner. Beyond the product, Pickard learned the importance of exceptional customer service.
“We treat people like we want to be treated,” she said. “For us, it comes down to providing good customer service, a quality product and staying humble. I often tell my employees that what makes us different from our competitors is that we have to do it better. As a result, most of our business comes from word-of-mouth referrals.”
There are not too many businesses in Central Florida that sell just fasteners. For that reason, Pyramid Fasteners has certainly developed its own niche. In addition to selling fasteners, they’ll also set up fastener-bins in people’s shops and refill those bins on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on what is needed. With their in-house machine shop, they even have the ability to fabricate custom studs, anchor bolts and special threaded fasteners to offer their customers exactly what they need.
We asked Pickard what she enjoys most about owning and running Pyramid Fasteners and what her goals are for the future. “The sense of accomplishment in running a successful business has been a great joy,” she said. “I also love to solve people’s fasteners issues. I have made a lot of lifelong friendships from the customers that we take care of. Looking ahead, my personal goal is to cut back and eventually retire. I have a succession plan in place to sell the company to my son and godson.”
What advice does Pickard have for aspiring entrepreneurs? “Your workday does not always end at 5 pm,” she said. “Don’t spend every dime you make, reinvest in your company and your employees. Your company is only as good as your worst employee. Stay humble and kind and treat others as you want to be treated. Lastly, prepare for the future and take time to keep up with the changing world.”