FAST Fiberglass, in its current form, is really a culmination of five iterations of the business. While no one is exactly certain of the date or even year the business began, in the late 1960s or early 1970s Sculptured Advertising opened the doors providing primarily larger than life animals to businesses and roadside attractions. Sometime in the mid-1970s the name was changed—because of partnership and association adjustments—to Creative Display. Under the name Creative Display construction of the first FAST Fiberglass icon was completed in 1978, the 145 foot long Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame Musky in Hayward Wisconsin.
In 1983 Jerome Vettrus incorporated the company under the name Fiberglass Animals, Shapes, and Trademarks, AKA FAST Corporation. Jerry intended to grow the business providing much of the same type product—animals, business trademarks, and roadside attractions—but quickly recognized a unique opportunity. Marketing in those days was heavily concentrated on two annual trade show exhibits. At one of the larger exhibits Jerry simply parked a trailer with an 11 foot tall Viking affixed in the parking lot—money was tight. Jerry received many compliments on quality of workmanship along with a simple question, “What does it do?” The lack for an adequate answer motivated Jerry to come up with a product of the same workmanship that “does something,” paving the way for the current line of FAST kiddie delight themed water slides. With these new additions to the product line, the company began to experience a steady growth rate.
In 1999, the company had grown to a point in which Jerry figured his talents in design, sculpting, and painting were not effectively being used as he was spending too much time running the business. He turned to James Schauf, a golfing buddy and good friend, who had extensive experience in manufacturing. This meeting resulted in Jim buying Jerry out in January of 2000. The Schauf family owned and operated the business until 2020, expanding FAST Corp’s market share and product line.
In 2020 FAST Corporation was purchased by Ryan Lakowske and rebranded as FAST Fiberglass L.L.C. Ryan brings with him extensive technical and fabrication experience, and he looks forward to bringing us into a new modern era while delivering the same high quality products that FAST has always been known for.
The next time you see a life size elephant at a gas station, 8 foot high cheese mouse at the store, 6 foot frog water slide, 20 foot high flamingo, or 3-story eyeball you can bet the piece originated in Sparta Wisconsin at FAST Fiberglass.