Western States Envelope & Label is 100 Years Strong
In an age of trendy start-ups and massive corporate mergers, few companies today can tout a century-long history that’s still a success in the making. Western States Envelope & Label, Butler, Wis., is one of those proud companies celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
Founder George French Moss left the paper selling business in 1908 and opened the company’s first location on Water Street in downtown Milwaukee. An ambitious entrepreneur and visionary, Moss wanted to create an enterprise for producing unique, reliable envelopes. In fact, Western States was a pioneer in developing a system for printing envelopes flat before folding. “That commitment to innovation still holds strong today. It’s our progressive spirit combined with exceptional service that sets us apart in the industry,” noted Mark Lemberger, president and COO.
Growth ever since the company’s early days has been continuous and significant. By 1922, Western States Envelope Company had grown substantially within the U.S. and housed one of the world’s largest inventories that year. As Western States kept growing into the 1960s and 1970s, it continued to emphasize customer service and make production technology a priority. Beginning in the 1990s, Western States became a sort of “industry Mecca” for the latest envelope printing and production equipment, doubling its size and expanding its product lines. By 2002, Western States became the country’s sixth largest envelope producer, creating 14 million envelopes each day.
By its 95th anniversary in 2003, Western States was one of the world’s first test sites for Mark Andy’s DT Series digitally automated label printing and laser die-cutting system. “Dedication to technology and increased product value has kept us ahead of the curve in recent years,” added Lemberger. “Being a beta site for the newest technology in our industry is a source of pride for our employees. It’s also a promise to customers that we are committed to the highest quality and most efficient methods of manufacturing.”