Pitched 10 times before first order
mohawk industries walmart suppliers
Company: Mohawk Home, Calhoun, Ga.
What it sells: Area rugs, bath mats, doormats

Bill Kilbride knew Wal-Mart was going to be big even when the retailer had fewer than 1,000 stores nationwide. As president of Mohawk, Kilbride wanted his company to have a piece of that growth.

So he visited Wal-Mart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., roughly 10 times in the 1980s to convince the retailer to sell his area rugs and bath mats. His persistence paid off when Wal-Mart placed its first order in 1989.

"It was the beginning of a lot of work and a lot of building," Kilbride said. "We were in the big leagues."

Mohawk employed about 115 people when it signed on with Wal-Mart. Today, he has about 1,600 employees and ships hundreds of thousands of rugs to nearly 4,000 Wal-Mart stores each day.


-- Have you ever been a Wal-Mart supplier? Send your story to emily.fox@cnn.com
  @emilyjanefox - Last updated March 19 2013 05:00 PM ET
Join the Conversation
Made in America. Stayed in America.

These 5 small businesses make their products in the U.S. and are committed to keeping things that way.

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.