Manny’s Recycled Tire Products LLC in Fulton, a manufacturer of floor mats made from old tires, is now offering more products to its clients. It recently started producing recycled compost bins, picture frames and work belts.
In May the business celebrated 24 years of operations.
Steve Mansfield began his recycled tire business in May of 1988 after years of helping his parents with home businesses. As a child, Mansfield helped his mother with her home bakery, which he says is where his work ethic came from. “When they retired from that, they still liked going to markets. A gentleman from downstate was selling doormats at the Syracuse Regional Market one morning, and we got talking. He was looking for someone to sell them up here for him, so we decided we would try it,” Mansfield says. He focused his efforts in helping his parents with the floor mat sales and became engrossed in the trade after he saw the public interest.
“I discovered, just like anything, that if you make it yourself you can make more money,” Mansfield says. So after working for the gentleman, Mansfield decided to purchase his own manufacturing equipment for a modest start-up fee and go into business.
Since then, business has had its ups and downs for Mansfield. “I had to shut down for a while in the mid-‘90s. But for the last seven years I’ve been fine,” he says.
The green movement helped business for Mansfield, as all of his products are made from recycled materials. “The recycling issue was becoming more [prevalent] than what I anticipated. I thought it would probably die off as a fad,” he says.
Mansfield has always been concerned about the environment, so his company puts effort into reusing as much raw material as it can.
“Almost everything can and should be recycled,” Mansfield says. “I see garbage and tires along the side of the road every day, and there’s no reason for it.”
His passion for the environment pushes Mansfield to expand his business and share his recycled products with the masses. “We cover 30 shows during the summer and fall. We’re doing more car and craft shows, trying to get the product out there more,” he says.
He is a distributor for local stores such as Cortini’s Shoe Zipper Canvas Repair in Fulton, and Dubben Brothers, Inc. in Delhi.
However, shows are where Mansfield makes the majority of his sales. He participates in Maplefest in Marathon and Franklinville, Corn Hill Arts Festival in Rochester, Pageant of Steam in Canandaigua as well as other craft shows around New York.
“Locally, I don’t get a lot of business because most people who want them have already bought them from me. They last so long, that you very seldom need another one,” Mansfield says. Despite the lack of market locally, he says business has been picking up, and he is just as zealous about it as ever.
“Twenty-four years later, I’m still excited about it. I still love doing it,” he said.