We are Mike & Lori Wester, creators of the Guttermaster Waterfed Poles. We live in beautiful British Columbia’s Fraser Valley surrounded by mountains and lush farmlands. Also known as the Lower Mainland, locals sometimes call it the Lower, “Rainland”. With rain/drizzle falling an average of 174 days per year, Abbotsford has the distinction of being the wettest city in Canada with approximately 1538mm (about 5 feet!) of precipitation falling annually!
As such, it was a dark and stormy evening back in 1994. The rain was pelting and the wind was blowing the remaining fall leaves off the trees. At the time, we lived in a 3 storey house on a greenbelt. So when we heard the unmistakable torrent of water gushing from the gutter onto our balcony, we knew what that meant. They were clogged with twigs and leaves from the storm and needed to be cleaned out. But how were we to clean the highest gutters – which were 3 storeys up? Climbing up a slippery ladder in miserable weather was not an option – especially since our house was built on a slope and it was a very long ways down to the bottom. It was then that Mike – always the problem solver – joined a long piece of conduit with a flexible copper pipe (carefully bent to curve on one end), fashioned a nozzle and a hose connector to each end and attached a garden hose. It looked really weird but… voila! It actually worked! The gutters were flowing freely again and he didn’t even have to pull out a ladder!
The idea for Guttermaster was born.
We knew we had created something very unique because there was no other gutter cleaning tool out there like it at the time. So with the encouragement from our friends and neighbors, we decided to move forward and market it, even though we had no business experience. Nil. Nada. None. We worked out of our basement, bought a pipe bender, boiled the plastic nozzles so they would be malleable and slide onto the aluminum poles easier, and applied every label by hand. We then boxed them up and Mike took them to retail stores in hopes of convincing them to take our product. It was both tedious and hard work but it was eventually starting to pay off. But we were also exhausted. We both had full time jobs plus 2 young boys to tend to, and quickly realized we couldn’t keep this up. One of our customers suggested we look for a manufacturer overseas. We found a factory who helped us bring our vision to life and we still work with them to this day.
Over the years, we have researched, developed, and perfected what we think is one of the best – if not the best – gutter cleaning tools on the market. It certainly has come a long ways since that first prototype. We have proudly expanded our product line to include 3 more types of Guttermaster poles for different applications – as well as a line of fine brush attachments. We’ve always believed we had a great product and despite many trials and tribulations, refused to give up when the going got tough. Our success is a testament of that because we still believe in it. And so do thousands of our happy customers.