As a teen, Darren LaPorte spent his summers at LaPorte’s Upholstery. His father M.J. LaPorte, founded the company in 1976 after retiring from the Air Force. At the time, LaPorte’s Upholstery was handling mostly automotive and furniture upholstery while Darren’s grandfather was fabricating boat seats from scratch. It wasn’t until Darren began working with his grandfather that he really developed a passion for marine upholstery.
Laporte has always been rooted in a family heritage of craftsmanship, a love of learning and an enjoyment for life. Working alongside his father, CEO Darren LaPorte learned at a young age the value and importance of innovation, perseverance and the wellbeing of people.
Darren’s passion for a relaxed lifestyle and the marine industry inspires him and his talented team every day to engineer products that not only define spaces, but that are customized to fit the unique needs of their customers. LaPorte is founded on the principle of providing quality service and products so that time spent on the water is focused on one thing - enjoyment. LaPorte measures success by the people and the lives that have been touched throughout the journey.
Relax, you’re covered by LaPorte.
Not only do we strive to create a culture of unity within our own company, we also seek out partnership and opportunities with our competitors. We firmly believe that no one succeeds alone, and the best way to truly be successful is to always actively look for ways to serve others.
We are passionate about what we do, why we do it, and who we do it for. We find excitement in creating such quality, unrivaled products; we find joy in meeting the needs of our customers; we find purpose in giving back to our communities.
We push past the temptation to settle for “good enough.” We are committed to providing the best possible work environment for our team, the greatest quality product on the market, and a premier customer service experience.
We stand by what we say.
Mission Statement: LaPorte Products is dedicated to producing the highest quality products in the marine accessories industry while always providing an unmatched customer service experience.
Vision Statement: We will choose to be forward-thinking, community-minded individuals who seek to produce solely American made products that compete on a global level and provide skilled jobs in the United States.
Upon retiring from the military, Maynard LaPorte “MJ” started his furniture upholstery business from the garage of his home.
Four years have passed and MJ has acquired a building and transitioned from furniture upholstery to auto upholstery. His two sons, Darren and Clayton, joined him to learn the upholstery business.
After four years of working for his father, Darren left the company and moved to Virginia.
As the coast called him home, Darren returned to South Carolina and to work for his father. Upon his return, he noticed a need in the market for marine upholstery and brought the idea to MJ. And, just like that, MJ added boat upholstery as a new branch of the company under the leadership and direction of Darren.
After years of dreaming, development, and hard work, The T-Top Boat Cover was born.
After over 20 years in the business, the legend MJ LaPorte decided to retire and pass ownership of the company onto Darren and his wife Camille. The success of the T-Top Boat Cover allowed LaPorte’s Upholstery to begin exclusively producing custom marine upholstery at a local marina.
The tragic events of September 11th rocked the nation and brought the marine upholstery industry to a standstill. To stay afloat, Darren and his team worked hard at expanding their pattern library in order to cover more boats and prepare themselves for an uncertain future.
Things began to settle down and the marine upholstery industry slowly returned to normal. The extensive pattern library built during the downtime brought on more customers and paved the way for the original T-Top Boat Cover website to be launched.
After years of operating out of a local marina, the new website took LaPorte’s to a new level and allowed for the purchase of a new building, which is the same building they operate out of today in Industrial Park.
The recession hit, and again the marine upholstery industry faced an unprecedented slowdown.
The industry remained unstable throughout the recession but Darren held onto hope for the future and continued innovating. The team worked tirelessly to add to their already extensive pattern library and even created two new products: the Boat Shade Kit and the Center Console Curtain.
The recession was finally over and LaPorte’s Upholstery made it through with new products, an extended pattern library, and hearts full of gratitude.
It was time for an update: LaPorte’s Upholstery launched a new and improved e-commerce site.
Family ties continue to run strong at LaPorte’s Upholstery with Darren’s oldest daughter coming on board to learn the family business.
With both the market for marine upholstery as well as LaPorte’s Upholstery’s product line growing, it was time for a building expansion.
Darren’s son in-law joins the company.
Looking to the future and different possibilities, LaPorte’s Upholstery becomes LaPorte’s Products. Having the same passion for marine products, Darren’s brother and 2nd son in-law joined the company.
LaPorte’s new E-commerce site launched. Family ties continue to run strong at LaPorte Products with Darren’s youngest daughter coming on board to learn the family business.