Work force: Uniplast
The best of a sticky situation
Hot melt adhesives are the bond that has kept the Maayeh family in business for two decades.
Five brothers and one cousin—all UTA graduates— have combined with others to run Uniplast, Inc., in east Arlington. The company, founded in 1983 as a plastics manufacturer, distributes its sticky products worldwide.
Hot melts come in stick, cartridge and chip forms and are used in packaging, woodworking, bookbinding, carpeting, carton sealing, electronics, product assembly and arts and crafts.
With financial support from their uncle, George Nazzal, who serves as president of the board of directors, brothers Bishara, George, Abraham, Elias and Fuad all are vice presidents along with their mother, Lilly, and cousins Peter and Chris. Aunt Ellen is the board’s secretary.
Bishara, vice president for administration and finance, graduated from UTA in 1978 with a degree in business administration and accounting. George, general manager of production, earned his degree in industrial engineering the same year.
Fuad, who oversees information strategies, completed his degree in computer science in 1987, and cousin Chris, production supervisor, gave the company six Maayehs with UTA diplomas when he earned a degree in business production and operations management in 1996.
“We started as a plastics manufacturer,” Bishara explained. “As with any new business, sales were slow so we took in contracting work, packaging different products for various companies. One of the products that we packaged was glue sticks for a company that distributed to crafts stores.”
After discovering that American companies had to wait sometimes weeks for imported glue sticks to pass through customs from Europe, the Maayehs decided to shift their focus to hot melt adhesives.
“We worked on different formulas for two years to try to come up with a quality product that we would be proud to put the Uniplast name on,” Bishara said.
In 1989 their first glue stick was produced, and in 1990 the company moved from its 6,000-square-foot facility in Grand Prairie to a 60,000-square-foot warehouse in the Great Southwest Industrial District.
After landing in the new location, the Maayehs invented a formula for a glue stick called Hi&LoTM, which revolutionized the crafts industry, Bishara said. Uniplast immediately applied for a patent.
Later came craft toys called GloobiesTM and Uniplast’s latest invention, the ONEder GunTM, a glue gun with interchangeable cartridges that allows users to work with different colors or types of glue.
They all represent just another way for the Maayeh family to stick together.
– Jim Patterson