Stella Crewse started at the bottom in a male-dominated industry. She worked her way up from part-time bookkeeper, learning everything she could about the plumbing business in her 14 years at Morgan Miller Plumbing. Then in 2017, she bought it.
Crewse began the business transition by enlisting the expertise of the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC). Working with the business founder, management team and SBTDC, she added new inventory management software, rebranded the company with new marketing campaigns and positioned it for growth.
Morgan Miller Plumbing offers residential and commercial plumbing services in the Kansas City area. The team of master plumbers and service technicians have more than 100 years of combined plumbing experience. They offer drain cleaning, water and sewer line replacement, inspections and emergency services.
At the SBTDC, Crewse enrolled in the GROWTH VENTURE class to help with strategic planning, investing in technology, scheduling efficiencies and debt management. Since then, she has added three additional work vans and employees to achieve her growth plans.
“The GROWTH VENTURE program helped me understand where our business strategic plan was strong and realize areas where we needed to focus more effort,” Crewse said. “It also helped me expand my knowledge of different philosophies and tools that I can use in my own business.”
Crewse also sought the help of Jill Hathaway, SBTDC business development consultant, for ongoing support and advice.
“The SBTDC has helped me with mentoring first and foremost,” Crewse said. “Being able to meet regularly with someone who can give me advice and keep me on track with my business plan is invaluable.”
In 2018, Morgan Miller Plumbing was recognized with as a Thinking Bigger 25 under 25 award winner. In 2017, the company was recognized with a Grandview Chamber of Commerce BIGG Award and the Mid America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Allied Business of the Year.
Crewse and her team also believe in giving back to the community. She is on the board of the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, is an active member of Central Exchange and is a member of the Mid America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The company donates services and participates in food drives throughout the city and works with Plumbers Without Borders to build a hospital in Haiti. To see how this family-focused business creates employee comradery and has fun, check out their musical rendition of Goin’ to Kansas City.
Stella Crewse, owner
13911 Norby Road, Grandview, MO