DiscountFilters.com Owner Todd Anthony Talks Unique Path to Success
Writer / Jon Shoulders
Photography Provided by City of Greenwood
For most of his professional life, Todd Anthony has been an innovator.
In the mid-1990s, Anthony had taken notice of the dot-com industry and the potential for growth and success therein and launched his own job-posting website. After selling the business to a publicly traded company in 1999 he took a sales manager position with an HVAC supplier and soon began noticing a dearth of online businesses offering quality water and air filter products nationwide.
“The internet world back then was like the Wild West,” says Anthony, whose family moved to Greenwood in the mid-1960s when he was just a few years old. “I was an internet guy pretty early on, and then when I went to work for an HVAC supplier I just kind of put the two together. It gave me an advantage in that I was an internet guy getting into the HVAC world instead of vice versa. So that came as a good head start.”
Anthony officially founded DiscountFilters.com in 2003 and has grown from working out of his house with one employee to overseeing a staff of 120 at his Greenwood shipping and manufacturing facility. The company offers refrigerator filters for water and ice, as well as furnace and air conditioning filters, directly to consumers.
The biggest production, sales and staffing leap in the company’s 15-year history came in 2013 when Anthony decided to begin manufacturing his own filter products right here in Greenwood.
“We were selling other people’s products online and were starting to outpace some of our suppliers, so we started manufacturing our own,” he recalls. “A big advantage is that we were the first American manufacturer of some of these products. A lot of water filters used in the U.S. come from China and the same with air filters from Mexico. So having an American brand was a big boost. Now we make our stuff in the same building that we ship from.”
National Trade Supply, Anthony’s umbrella company under which his filter business operates, was named one of the top 25 fastest-growing Indianapolis area private companies by the Indiana Business Journal in 2007 and 2010.
With such steady growth and success, just what is Anthony’s biggest professional challenge as his company continues to thrive?
“Not messing it up,” he says with a laugh. “We’ve grown so fast with our core group of people and none of us have had the experience of running a manufacturing facility or managing well over 100 employees. None of us expected the business to grow like it did.”
He adds that the City of Greenwood’s supportive business community has also helped to facilitate his professional success.
“There’s such a great workforce here,” Anthony says. “Greenwood is just a great place to have a business. Anybody here will tell you that.”
Technology and business aren’t the only arenas in which Anthony likes to innovate. Five years ago he purchased a plot of land on State Road 37 that he’s singlehandedly converted into a vineyard, and he expects his first grape harvest this year. Anthony plans to invite charity groups to pick grapes, sell them to Hoosier wineries and keep all of the proceeds.
After spotting a couple boxcars on the property from the 1890s that he discovered was part of the White Line railroad, he decided to dub the operation White Line Vineyard and hopes the idea will strike a chord with charitable organizations locally and throughout the state.
“I just thought it would be a cool charity idea, and I love working outside, especially since I’ve spent way too many years in front of a keyboard,” Anthony says. “I’ve trained the vines myself for the past five years. It’s a really nice break from being behind a desk. And hopefully, it’ll be for a good cause.”
DiscountFilters.com is located at 2011 Southtech Drive, Suite 100 in Greenwood.