“It changed everything,” Mr. Taylor said in 2000. “We went from 6,000 units a year to 25,000. That was huge.”
Not content with limiting their success to making air-purifying machines, the Taylors branched out into high-end fashion retail, which Austin Air initially helped subsidize.
In 1998, the Taylors sought to turn the company’s vacant Adam, Meldrum & Anderson department store at 377 Main Street into Buffalo’s premier address for high-end fashion, as well as a restaurant. The couple ended up shutting down those businesses in 1999 and once again dedicated themselves to expanding their already successful air purifier business.
“We are currently in the process of supplying all Ontario school districts in Toronto and throughout Ontario, as well as all provincial government offices,” said Lauren McMillan, president of Austin Air Systems.
The systems have only increased consumer demand since the pandemic began, she said.
“Additionally, many schools in the United States throughout the pandemic have purchased units to install in classrooms for Covid-19 safety protocols,” McMillan added.
Mr. Taylor has also invested in another Buffalo company, Austin Research Labs. This group has developed antimicrobial substances, creating a more effective, cheaper and more humane alternative to disinfectants, according to company officials.