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Meet Kevin Moore, Otis Gillaspie, Wendy Dermott, and Mark Mitchell of Texas Drinking Water Systems in Burleson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kevin Moore, Otis Gillaspie, Wendy Dermott, and Mark Mitchell.

Kevin, Otis, Wendy, and Mark, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
TDWS has been in business since 1989. The most recent owner before me, Otis Gillaspie, was owner for about 10 years and has been in the water business for over 20 years. He had a water store/retail location for many years, but due to health related and other issues, he had to close it down and was working out of a small shop without the retail presence. In June of 2016, he came up to me, Kevin Moore (current owner) at church and told me “God told me to abandon my water business and go into full-time ministry. He continued, “God told me I can trust you.” Since I had aspirations to work in atmospheric water generation (water out of the air for drinking–in remote, poor areas) and I had been looking to start my own business, I entertained the idea. I came to work with him for a couple of months for next to no pay. By October he had started to work for the church, but was trying to keep both plates spinning. It didn’t work. He ended up having kidney surgery for the cancer and by November, we had set up a new corporation. At the beginning of 2017, Otis turned the entire company over to me. I am almost (next week probably) finished building out the new storefront location where we will dispense purified and alkaline water as well as purified, alkaline ice. We sell and service residential, commercial, and industrial water systems, including a private island down in Rockport. We were given extremely favorable terms by our new landlord and she even agreed to owner finance the extra build out costs.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No. Transitioning any business requires setting up new systems, changing contact/billing, vendors, location, etc. While we offer the same services as before, we also have new inventory and products that have added to our learning curve. In addition, Otis originally wanted to give me 25% ownership and co-run the business with another gentleman. Over time, we realized that wasn’t going to work. To get to the 100% ownership took several long, challenging meetings, but we did it 🙂 We needed a lot of money to set up the new location and right at the exact time we needed it, some large unexpected money showed up, including payment for a new install for a custom home that had taken almost 18 months.

So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Texas Drinking Water Systems story. Tell us more about the business.
We are most proud of our integrity. We always try to do the right thing, even when we are not obligated. We want every person to feel extremely valued and that they got much better service than they were anticipating. We don’t cut corners. We don’t oversell product. We aren’t the cheapest, but we don’t price gouge. We are courteous and we have an automated reminder system to help our customers remember when their service is due.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Most people assume that good circumstances are just luck. I believe that God is behind everything when you let him be in charge of your life. I know that turns some people off, but it’s the truth. He has set me up for success all along the way. He sent me through some very difficult experiences that have trained me to be able to move forward and be successful in this business. I was wrongfully accused at my last place of employment. It was very difficult to deal with because I knew I didn’t do it. I didn’t defend myself along the way. But, God was faithful and brought this business into my life in a very redemptive way.

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