The purchase of the window screen company C.R. Mickle from his uncle in 1971 would signal the beginning of a dream realized and in 1972 it was renamed Barefoot & Company, however, the timing of the purchase would pose a threat to the company’s survival. Specializing in only window screens and faced with the Energy Crisis of 1973, Bob knew that in order to feed his family he needed to expand the business or watch it fold. Seeing the challenge as an opportunity he launched the storm windows business. Response from local builders was overwhelming and Barefoot & Company raced to meet the growing demand.
With the administrative support and encouragement from his devoted wife Johnsie, Bob grew Barefoot & Company hoping to one day leave an inheritance to his children as his family was his top priority. His ideology was demonstrated in his work ethic and he was dedicated to providing superior products and services. Believing his employees to be his greatest asset, he created a company culture rich with a sense of community.
Many described Bob as a just and gentle man. Whether going above and beyond the call of duty to assist an employee or a customer, Bob’s generosity knew no limits. Today his legacy lives on through three generations. The company mission statement reflects Bob’s core values and the family continues the Barefoot tradition by exercising integrity, employing and empowering quality people and promoting a family-oriented, customer-focused atmosphere.
Now the leading supplier of specialty products to contractors, builders and remodelers across several counties in North and South Carolina, the NHQ certified company continues to prosper. Evidence of the Barefoot brand can be seen on many homes throughout the Charlotte area. What began in 1971 with a few thousand dollars and a dream in an office of a small home emerged into a 60,000 square foot facility with over 50 dedicated employees just 38 years later. Accounting for the longevity is Barefoot & Company commitment to the founding principles. Whether participating in a Habitat for Humanity project or donating windows and door hardware to underprivileged villages in Sierra Leone, the impact of Bob’s values are far reaching. A dream born out of a means of survival would be credited to the firm beliefs of one man. A family-owned operation with quality products, processes and people is the legacy of its visionary, Bob Barefoot.