Mike Sledge (the founder and owner of Coastal Industrial Supply) was born and raised in Lakeland, Florida. When he was a teenager, he and his family moved to Georgia to be near his grandparents. He got his start in the industrial supply division in a hardware store in Georgia when he was seventeen. He said he had always found it "amazing to see people building machines from nothing". The manager of the hardware store retired when Sledge was twenty and asked him to work at the counter. He worked there for eight years before joining Fastenal, where he traveled and managed stores across the southeast. He eventually wound up in Robertsdale, AL, where he has lived with his family since 2004. They opened Coastal Industrial in 2010.