Business is so good at Supersilk, a company producing silk floral arrangements, that owners Po and Beatrice Chang are purchasing their building at 1967 S. 300 West so they can expand it.
Expansion of the building, to be completed next spring, will more than double the existing 30,000 square-feet of space. Architect Eduard Dreier is designing the addition.Financing for the purchase and expansion project was arranged by Deseret Certified Development Co., the authorized distributor of Small Business Administration 504 loans.
Although the company has achieved success, it actually was started by accident. The Changs were involved in the import-export business 15 years ago with a variety of products ranging from lingerie and cast-iron goods to sports equipment.
At the request of some local florists, the Changs started importing silk flowers from the Far East. "We didn't really pay any attention to that part of the business," Beatrice said. Yet, as requests for the flowers increased and soon dominated the business, the Changs recognized a need in the marketplace.
In 1982, they changed the emphasis of the business and began to manufacture silk floral arrangements and trees. Po, a former University of Utah engineering professor in fluid mechanics, developed the silk botanicals that are different from any other in the world, his wife said.
Supersilk started with the Changs and a secretary and now employs 70 people in Salt Lake City in addition to 100 sales representatives across the country.
Earlier this year, Supersilk was named company of the year by the International Silk Flower Industry.