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
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