Passion runs deep in Patrick Roach ? it doesn?t take very long to learn how deeply Roach feels when it comes to his family and his business partnership. In fact, one might say that his passions are responsible for bringing this proud Aussie to America and Roach is mighty glad that his life turned out as it did.
Life began for him in Sydney, Australia, where he attended Catholic schools. He picked up the sport of rugby and developed such proficiency that he turned professional at age 16, and played professionally for 16 years. In those days, rugby did not pay as handsomely as it does today, and Roach found himself working with his father in the carpet business, selling and laying carpets.
This gave him time to train three nights each week. On a trip to the United States, Roach met a woman while visiting the Grand Canyon. They dated, and she returned with him to Australia, where they married and had two children, Bess and Samuel. After several years, the marriage wasn?t going too well, and she returned to the U.S. In 1980, after a period of separation, Roach decided to come to America to try and save his marriage. But he also needed to work. His brother Phillip (also a professional rugby player) introduced him to a man named Richard Eggleton. They quickly became ?mates? and Roach learned that Eggleton had invented a machine that would lay a concrete curb to create individualized landscaped areas. Cognizant of the fact that employment problems existed in the U.S., he didn?t want to come here to take a job an American could do, such as selling and laying carpet. When he told Eggleton that he wanted to market his curb machine in the U.S., Eggleton told him to ?Go for it.? And he has. Unfortunately, his marriage failed, and Roach took Horace Greeley?s advice to ?Move West, young man.? He met his current wife, Kymbelene, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and married her in Las Vegas (her home town) in 1984, and ?she is still gorgeous and is the sweetheart of my life.? They currently live in the Phoenix area and have two children Bayley, 17, and Ian, 15. It?s refreshing to learn that Roach still is passionate about his wife. When asked what he does for fun and recreation, Roach replied: ?I love being around my family. In Australia, I had some great mates. But after moving to another country, I found out that your greatest mate is your wife. I have a date night with my sweetheart wife every Friday night. We go out for dinner or to a movie or something like that.? Roach runs Borderline Stamp, Inc., which is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. They manufacture and sell a curb machine that lays free-form concrete edging. He and Eggleton are still partners after 26 years. ?The beautiful thing about this partnership,? says Roach, ?is that nothing is written down; it is all based on a handshake.?
To this day, the handshake remains, and Roach is quick to credit his partner with ongoing innovations such as developing new concepts using borders. Roach is really excited about a new area: concrete resurfacing. Now one can use eye-catching colors to renovate concrete with a product called CobbleCoat, a non-slip resurfacing compound to be sprayed on existing concrete surfaces. He says it?s ideal for either indoor or outdoor renovation work, or as a new application. It was Roach?s passion for business that propelled him from a rugby player to businessman. ?My philosophy of work is: If I don?t enjoy what I?m doing, then I?m not going to do it. I?ll find something else to do. Fortunately, I love what I?m doing.? Equally fortunate is that his family is involved. Kym, as Roach calls his wife, works in the office.
His two grown children from his first marriage have caught the ?curb? bug as well: His ?beautiful baby daughter,? Bess, 22, and her husband have a curbing business in Texas; Samuel 20, who narrowly escaped injury when a grenade exploded near him (close enough to shred his clothes), recently returned to the U.S. after serving with the 101st Airborne in Iraq, and will be joining the business. ?We are indeed blessed,? is Roach?s passionate observation of these events.
Roach thinks Bayley might also one day join the business. Meanwhile, his youngest son, Ian, 15, is riding bikes and isn?t spending much time thinking about his future. Given his philosophy that one should enjoy his work, Roach is sponsoring a second Olympic games for ?curbers.? This competition is open to any curber who wants to come and challenge their skills, regardless of which company manufactured the equipment. The judging is done by their peers, and the grand prize is a trip for two to Australia. What a great way of getting people back for in-service training and having the opportunity to see how well these independent businessmen are performing! Roach observes:
?This gives us a chance to help them brush up on some of their technical skills, as well as their marketing.? Being the astute businessman, Roach knows that he is building good will as well as a potential market for his products.
What he loves about the business has been the opportunity to help others get into business for themselves. ?It?s an entrepreneurial thing I enjoy, and I don?t think I?ll ever lose my love for this business. It?s something I find very interesting. I can design a yard, and come back 20 years later and the curb is still down.
I feel I?m helping someone design a yard, and making it cosmetically pleasing to the eye.? Says Roach, ?It took me a long time to find out who I am and what sort of a person I am.
I?m very proud to be Australian, but I was taught to be proud by living here in the United States. After 9/11, I watched the American people band together like I have never seen any country do in my life. That made me very proud to be here.?