SOLID FOUNDATION: Jim Moon, president of Moonworks, shows off his company’s gutter products. Two decades after its founding, his company ranks as one of the fastest-growing businesses in Rhode Island, according to Inc. Mazagine.
Moonworks President Jim Moon found business opportunity in the gutter.
The University of Rhode Island business-school graduate had been running a kitchen-remodeling company in Boston for five years when his father in Rhode Island introduced him to a new set of leaf guards he had installed on his house.
They were called Gutter Helmets, a brand of solid-aluminum gutter guards that channel rainwater off a roof while blocking leaves and debris.
A Gutter Helmet salesman had left a 10-minute video about the product that Moon watched and was so impressed with he decided to take his career in a whole new direction.
“It was so short and sweet – I loved the enthusiasm,” Moon said about the Gutter Helmet pitch. “It was 1993. I sold the kitchen business and got straight into the gutter business. I had just one product, Gutter Helmets.”
Two decades later Moonworks, the gutter business Moon launched in response to his father’s home-improvement project, is one of the fastest-growing companies in Rhode Island.
Last year, Moonworks ranked 2,307th on Inc. Magazine’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies list.
According to Inc., Moonworks’ revenue more than doubled from 2007 to 2010, when it made $12.8 million.
Since then the company has continued to grow, expanding from 60 employees in 2010 to 90 this year.
Reflective of that kind of growth, Moonworks is no longer just a one-product enterprise.
From Gutter Helmets, Moonworks has expanded into several home-improvement markets, including roofs, replacement windows and, most recently, energy-efficiency retrofits.
“The idea to branch out really came from our customer base,” Moon said. “We have 50,000 customers and they kept telling us ‘you guys are great, you should do roofs, windows and decks.’ We thought it was silly if we didn’t diversify.”
In all areas, Moonworks does evaluations, product sales and installations.
Workers in the different segments of the company – gutters, roofs, windows and energy efficiency – specialize in their particular area, with only limited crossover to the other segments.
Although gutters still represent Moonworks’ main revenue stream, with roughly half of current sales, Moon said the other segments are catching up quickly.