thomas foster

Thomas Foster, Founder & CEO, Strapworks
ROI Podcast Episode 143

In CEO Podcast Series by Brandt A. HandleyLeave a Comment

My name is Thomas Foster and my wife Donna, my son Douglas, and I own

Sewing straps began with a love for rafting. I founded the rafting program as a sophomore at UC Davis California in 1974. In 1975 Donna and I started Sierra Whitewater Expeditions Rafting Company, taking guests on river trips all over California, Oregon, and Washington.

In 1976 we started Strapworks as our rafting supply company, specializing in straps. We were the first company to truly offer any length and any color for any strap our customers needed. Unfortunately in 1991, our offices were broken into, checkbooks stolen, and bank accounts emptied. The person was caught, but the money was gone, and bankruptcy soon became a reality. We did our best to take care of our family, driving around at night putting flyers in mailboxes, offering to mow a lawn or fix a roof.

In 1999, during a family Christmas, I decided I wanted to sell straps again (much easier than roofing!) and asked Douglas to help me build a website. I put a sewing machine in a bedroom, a computer in one closet, and a few rolls of webbing in another. My first order was for one buckle that I didn’t even have and I had to drive to the local hardware store to get one to ship. We met with our vendors at our kitchen table and started to negotiate purchasing larger amounts of product.

In 2005 we moved into our first 3,000 square foot warehouse with 3 employees. In 2009 we bought an 8,000 square foot warehouse on 4 acres (for future expansion!). In 2013 we built our own 30,000 square foot warehouse… and we’re still growing! Now, in 2017, we’re adding another 22,000 square feet to our warehouse. We have over 60,000 square feet of warehouse and almost 75 employees. We are an American company utilizing American workers with American pride.

Strapworks truly is a family company. In 2015 my daughter and son-in-law joined the company and our daughter-in-law and grandchildren help out when needed. We treat all of our employees like family as well: We throw fun company parties for every holiday and take employees to social events such as University of Oregon football games. We also like to give back to the community with various fundraisers and donation events throughout the year.

Over the years we have worked with over 400,000 customers in every industry, on every continent, and even in space! Customers ranging from National Geographic, NASA, SeaWorld, Disney, Nike, Cabelas, CirqueDuSoleil, Warner Brothers Studios, Boston Red Sox, Superbowl XLII, Walgreens, Amazon, Target, “O” The Oprah Winfrey Network, FBI, NSA, CIA, thousands of State/County/Local Law Enforcement and Fire Agencies, and hundreds of State/County/Local Hospitals and Care Centers.

We pride ourselves in being the only US-based manufacturer truly offering strap customization from quantity 1 to over 100,000 and anything in between for everyone, business, or individual. Strapworks also offers the widest selection of webbing sizes and colors, all shipped to you faster than any other supplier.

Are you a business and looking for Wholesale Pricing? Email us at

Are you looking for a custom product you can’t find on our site? Email us at

Thank you for visiting from everyone at, the Worldwide Leader in Straps!

Thomas Foster

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