Allan Fowler is the very definition of a self-made man.
Born in 1942 to the owners of a small dry cleaners in a Pelham, South Carolina mill town, Fowler left school in the 11th grade to find his fortune and help support his family.
Fowler went on to build nearly a dozen companies and become an innovator in the industrial laundry business. He patented a laundry bag still used today. He optimized the Compuprint 1000, revolutionizing the way laundries imprint rental uniforms and dramatically reducing handling time. It’s this eye for innovation and his big heart for small businesses—earned through a lifetime of operating them himself—that led Allan Fowler and his wife Gayle to invest the past two decades in helping independents succeed through Universal Unilink.
Plans are underway to celebrate this auspicious occasion at Leadership16 and with special 20th Anniversary Supplier offers in the third quarter of this year.
“I’m immensely proud of the way this company has grown, and it’s all thanks to the support and friendship of our Members,” Fowler says. “Back when we first started, it was just me and Gayle working out of one room of our house. Pretty soon, there were four of us in that room, and the trunk of our car and another room were packed with samples. We’ve been blessed to do well.
“To be honest, I think that’s really part of our success here—we’ve never forgotten what it’s like to be just the two of us, working all day and all night to keep everything going. We feel like we’re fighting for and with our Members, and honestly, that’s exciting for us.
“I’ve always looked for faster, easier, and less expensive ways for our Members to get those things done, to make their lives easier. It’s a great feeling to be in the business of giving those ‘lone rangers’ a leg up—because I’ll always consider myself right there in the trenches with them.”