Edgerton, Minnesota is home to many small businesses, and one of them is beginning to become recognized worldwide for their creations. Dave Hulstein bought the company six years ago thinking it would be a great side business to help out in the winter. Little did he know, the manufacturing company has expanded greatly and become known as one of the top brands for dog boxes and kennels in the world.
Hulstein’s father owned an excavating company and he bought NorthStar Plastics & Manufacturing to give the employees of the excavation company somewhere to work in the winter. Over the last few years the business has expanded greatly and is actually growing faster than his father’s excavation company.
NorthStar Plastics & Manufacturing produces and distributes standard and custom ordered kennels, dog boxes, kennel runs, crates, trailers, whelping boxes, holding units, and many other items. They also repair all of these types of dog products as well.
The majority of their business comes from making dog boxes and trailers for trainers and hunters. Holding units for groomers and pet stores are also one of their most popular items. Breeders turn to the company for custom made whelping boxers for their mothers to have pups in.
Surprisingly to Hulstein, a few of his products have been shipped overseas for delivery; however most of his sales are from here in the U.S. The company has a number of clients in Mexico and Canada, and they recently shipped things as far as Trinidad and Israel.
The newest product in the NorthStar line up is called the Grate Dog Crate, and it was designed to be the strongest dog crate on the market. Every model of dog crate they sell is white so they stay cooler than any other product available, and they are made with removable flooring and drip trays under the floor for easy cleanup and so no bacteria is transmitted to the dogs.
Likewise, the holding units that they make are designed with removable center dividers, raised floors, and drip trays for easier cleaning. Every product is made out of plastic and welded together with high-density polyethylene plastic (HDPE), which Hulstein says is unique in the world of welding.
The company has five employees right now and it can take each one up to three days to finish a project. About 75 percent of their business is custom orders. Many of these are for custom size and dimensions, but the company is pushing for more custom aesthetic orders as well.