STERLING, Ill. (KWQC) – In 1911, a Sterling High School student became fascinated with vibrating electromagnetic motors.
Leo Wahl began visiting barber shops to sell them the technology in the form of medical massagers.
Eventually, he figured out what barbers really needed was a faster way to cut hair, so he went back to the drawing board and redesigned his messager into an electric hair clipper.
It was a million dollar idea.
Today, Wahl Clippers employs more than a thousand people at its sprawling world headquarters and factory in Sterling – just a stone’s throw from where Leo started the business more than a century ago.
Wahl products are now sold in 165 countries around the world from Australia to Japan to Holland.
“Business has been going very well not only here in the U.S. but really with our sales across the world, and that’s allowed us to make one of our biggest expansions here in Sterling,” said Kevin Wahl, vice president of Wahl Clippers North America operations and a descendant of Leo Wahl.
Four generations of the Wahl family have worked for the company over the years, including nine family members at present.
Wahl’s recently updated world headquarters building is the sparkling and sleek gem stone of its Sterling campus, which now spans 400,000 square feet.
Click the video to go inside Wahl Clippers, a company Made in the QCA.