MacKellar Associates of Rochester Hills Spans Four Generations

MacKellar Associates, Inc. of Rochester Hills has a distinction that few businesses have. It is one of the few, fourth generation family-owned businesses.

“Interesting enough, according to the Family Business Institute, only three percent of businesses make it into the 4th generation and beyond,” Karen Lemieux, Sales & Marketing Coordinator said. “To thrive beyond the founders’ generation takes special training, skill, integrity, diversity and vision.”

MacKellar Associates is a manufacturer’s representative company for promotional products and wearables, automotive printing and embroidery products. Malcolm MacKellar founded the company in 1923. He began by representing two woolen mills and selling woolen body cloth, upholstery and headliners to the automotive industry. Customers included Packard Motor Company, Studebaker, and the “Big Three.” The original office was located in the historic General Motors Building in Detroit. It continued as a one-man sales operation and secretary for 20 years. Then, Malcolm’s sons, Glenn and Don MacKellar joined the company and they expanded their product line with injection molded plastics and decorative metal parts.

As business continued to grow, they moved operations to Southfield. Then the third generation went to work. In the 1970’s, Stephen and David, joined the family business.MacKellar added offices in Grand Rapids and Columbus, Ohio and in 1988, built a new headquarters in Bloomfield Hills.The family purchased a small screen printing company that became the company’s promotional marketing division. In 1999, the MacKellar Automotive Division was formed, offering automotive embroidery and screen printing on seat backs, head rest, floor mats and door panels.

In 2010, MacKellar consolidated its corporate office and manufacturing facility into a state-of-the-art building at 1729 Northfield Drive, Rochester Hills. Andrew MacKellar represents the fourth generation to work at the company.