Taylor’s Do it Centers announced the milestone celebration of hardware veteran Dawson Taylor’s 100th birthday, along with his 70-year long career in the home improvement industry.
He will celebrate his 100th birthday on Sunday, April 2, 2023.
Taylor is a Naval Academy graduate and World War II veteran. In 1950, he joined a single-store hardware and building materials company that his father had started along with several partners.
“Fifteen years later, he split off to start a sister operation,” said the company, “and converted a 35,000-square-foot former steel fabrication plant into one of the first home centers on the East Coast, including indoor displays of lumber and building materials, and a full assortment of hardlines.”
Taylor has been both a business and civic entrepreneur and leader and has engaged in numerous activities to strengthen his community.
The enjoyment Taylor received from running the business and experiencing the success he achieved encouraged all his children – sons Bob, Russ and Joe, and daughter Buff, who passed away in 1997 – to get involved in the business.
Bob Taylor served as company president, as well as chairman of the board directors for Do it Best, their company’s co-op partner. He later stepped away from the family business to lead the co-op as its president and CEO.
Russ Taylor serves as the company’s vice president and COO. Youngest son Joe Taylor is now the president of Taylor’s Do it Centers and Pleasants Hardware and serves as the current chairman of the board of directors for Do it Best.
“My father was a great mentor in every aspect of my life: My faith, my family and our business,” said Bob Taylor.
“In the business, I benefited greatly from his willingness to share responsibility with me early on for key projects,” he said. “Yes, I made a few mistakes, but I learned so very much from those opportunities.”
Joe Taylor said, “having a dad who’s a wonderfully loving role model has been a blessing. It’s even more special that I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy growing the business alongside him for all these years.”
The business has flourished during the past 60 years, growing into a 21-store independent hardware store chain that stretches from Richmond, Virginia to northeastern North Carolina.
Today, Dawson Taylor has five members of the family’s fourth generation engaged in the stores’ operations.