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Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a time of reflection for many of us. This week I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood and my Dad and about being a Dad. There have been many times during my adult years when I found myself saying or doing something my Dad did that I said I would never do. Guess what? We all end up saying and doing things just like our Dad’s. It’s in the genes (not jeans) as “they” say. I’ll leave the discussion of who “they” are for another time.

A few key words that always remind me of my Dad:

Hard Work – Dedication – Compassion – Fishing

I’m not an easy man to please. Just ask my wife, children and employees. I am confident they will agree. I am equally confident they will tell you I am passionate about my family and my business and dedicated to making sure both are successful. My definition of success may surprise you. I consider myself successful when I am able to give back to others. Donating to those in need has always been important to me. It is so important I’ve made it a cornerstone of my business which is where compassion comes into my story. I put my dreams of starting a new business on hold after Hurricane Katrina devastated my home and the homes of those around me. Rebuilding and helping others was the priority. It was a very difficult time for everyone in the area including my family and those closest to me.  Out of that devastation came a new day and a new appreciation for life.

I hope my children think of me as a strong and dependable Dad, but also a fun Dad. You see, I am passionate about boating and fishing. I’ve had the good fortune to share this passion with my family. This is a legacy passed down by my Grandfather to my Dad to me and now to my children. One day, too soon, they will share boating and fishing with their children and the legacy will continue.

So, what is Father’s Day to me? It is a day to remember how fortunate I am…

…to have grown up with a loving family who enjoyed boating and fishing.

…to have a family of my own; a beautiful wife and wonderful children.

…to have a business manufacturing a product I invented.

Here’s wishing all of you Dad’s out there a Happy Father’s Day!

Enjoy,

Bob

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Avoiding the Clogged Toilet

Wipes and Dispenser Samples_Green Only_Smaller

Let’s talk about clogged toilets. That’s right, clogged toilets. You may be thinking to yourself, “Really, why would I ever want to discuss clogged toilets?” Well, I am going to tell you why. How do you feel when the toilet is clogged? Frustrated? Annoyed? Angry? Of course you feel that way. We all do. So, how can clogs be prevented? The easiest answer to that question is – do not drop or throw anything in the toilet that does not belong there. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Let’s examine the evidence. A friend recently dropped her cell phone in the toilet. Someone else flushed a golf ball. Another person had to stop their small child from flushing a rubber duck. If you think about it, a rubber duck in the toilet could make sense to a child. After all, it is a bowl of water that swirls, right? Of course, those are some of the more unusual items that have been flushed. Did you know most baby wipes are not flushable? Actually, most wipes are not flushable. But, Bob’s Butt Wipes, BouDé Flushable Wipes and Lil Booty Adventure Wipes are all flushable. In addition to that they are all natural, fragrance-free, alcohol-free and paraben-free. To keep your toilet happy they are 100% biodegradable and disperse in 2 minutes.  They are also sewer and septic friendly. Why would you ever use anything else? For more information on my line of flushable wipes go to www.sterlingglobalproducts.com.   Bob

 

 

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Festival Season

Bobs Wipes

Living in South Louisiana is never dull. We enjoy celebrating everything and we have a festival for just about anything to prove it. You could attend the Strawberry Festival in Ponchatoula, International Rice Festival in Crowley, Louisiana Veterans’ Festival in Slidell or the Cajun Hot Sauce Festival in New Iberia to just name a few.

Or perhaps you would prefer a music festival. Well, we have a few of those as well. French Quarter Festival is April 7th-10th – and this is one of my favorite festivals. It is free and everywhere you walk in the French Quarter you hear fantastic music. Delicious food can be found at Jackson Square and throughout the Quarter.

Of course, one of our most well known festivals is The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, or Jazz Fest. Did you know it was founded in 1970 and only 350 people attended that first year? Mahalia Jackson and Duke Ellington were the featured performers and tickets cost $3. Fast forward to 2016, the ticket prices are $75 and it is estimated that over 400,000 will in attendance.  A few of this year’s headline performers include Steely Dan, Irma Thomas, Dr. John & The Nite Trippers along with Stevie Wonder and Bonnie Rait.

Festivals are just plain fun! Of course, let’s face it; festivals can also be very messy. After all they are held outside and in South Louisiana that means heat and humidity. When it comes to Jazz Fest, rain is often added to the mix. Now, we have heat, humidity, and mud. Oh, and then, you need to use the restroom. So, you head to the line of portable toilets and wait. I remember anxiously wondering if there would be toilet paper – but not anymore. Now, I bring Bob’s Butt Wipes with me. When preparing for your next festival, fair or event, remember to bring along Bob’s Butt Wipes, Boude Wipes, or even Lil’ Booty’s Adventure Wipes, and enjoy all the fun in comfort and confidence!

Enjoy!

Bob

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The secret of my success

Have you ever really thought about success?  What it means?

I think this is one of those things that means different things to different people.  I look at multi-millionaires and I see success.  I look at dads whose kids are happy and well-behaved, and I see success.  I look at smart young people who are making things happen in the business world – they might make $30,000, and I consider them successful.

I worked my way up from the very bottom in my life.  I started working for a family-owned restaurant when I was just a kid, washing dishes, taking out trash, doing whatever it takes to make sure the business was successful.  I learned some terrific life lessons throughout my career, and I want to share some of those with you.

  1.  Be Adaptable:  They say the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over, and over again, and expect a different result.  The thing is, if you are expecting a result and you don’t get it, you can’t give up.  Be adaptable.  Try something new.  Roll with the changes, and do not ever give up.  Be adaptable, try something new.  Eventually, you will find a way to get what you want.  Just remember to be adaptable.
  2. Think Ahead:  Planning.  Planning is the key to everything.  I am a huge believer in the power of a checklist.  Every time I or my staff has a new process that has to go into place, we document each step and create a checklist, making the process idiot-proof the next time we do it.  Before we start something, we start the checklist.  When it is over, we can review, learn from our mistakes, and improve the process for the next time.  This is something you learn in construction, and certainly, this is where we started developing this procedure but now we are using this all over the place.
  3. Kill the word “can’t”:  Can’t kills.  Kill it first.  The word can’t, to me, means “didn’t try hard enough.”  There is always, always a way.  Maybe not today, but sometime in the future.  No means not right now.  Can’t means “need to find a different way.”  In the same way, my team is great about not coming to me with problems.  They come to me with a potential solution.  There is no “can’t” in our vocabulary.
  4. Work hard:  I admit it.  I’m a workaholic.  I like to work, and I always have.  I like being around people who feel the same way, and I’ve made sure my staff is the same way.  We are motivated by success at work, and success is made by our motivation.  I have extremely high expectations for my team.  I expect them to work hard, 8 hours (at least) every day, and do what it takes to get the job done.  You know what?  They do.  They exceed my expectations by working harder (but not working more) and because of this, we are successful.
  5. Rest:  On the flip side, I make sure my staff takes a break every day.  I usher them out the door on Friday afternoons, telling them to go and enjoy their weekends and their family.  I don’t expect them to be on call 24/7, I want them to have time to rest.  That way, when they are at work, they are recharged, energized, and ready to make things happen.  Rest, so when you are at work, you are at your best.
  6. Do what you enjoy – I know, this is trite.  But here’s the thing…  it’s true.  I come to work raring to go, loving every new thing we encounter, enjoying every new relationship we build.  I am truly passionate about our company, about my products, and about being the best we can be.  If you don’t feel the same way about your job, it is time to find a new job.  I expect the same devotion, passion, and delight from my staff, and will not settle.  Fortunately, it shows in their diligence, their dedication and their drive, as well as in the energy and terrific attitudes that they bring to our work.

I would love to hear what you have to add to our list of secrets to success.  Don’t forget, of course, that the best secret to success comes from being prepared; clean, cool and under control… and nothing will help you achieve that better than our flushable wipes.

Wishing you a very successful week.

– Bob

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Mardi Gras and Trade Shows

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 8: Large crowds reach up for beads as the Jester float in the traditional Rex parade rolls down Canal Street on Mardi Gras March 8, 2011 in News Orleans, Louisiana. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday is the final day of Carnival, and the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. It's been celebrated in Louisiana since the late 17th century when it was under French colonial rule. (Photo by Cheryl Gerber/Getty Images)

In south Louisiana, it’s Carnival time.  That doesn’t mean a midway and rides, or cotton candy… well, I guess it could mean cotton candy, but that’s not what we think of!  Carnival season, to us, means what the rest of the world calls “Mardi Gras.”  Technically, Mardi Gras is one day – the day before Ash Wednesday – and the whole season is called Carnival.  During this season, we have parades (yes, the ones you’ve heard about) (but no, they aren’t like what you’ve heard… they are very family-oriented, and really a lot of fun!), we have balls with gorgeous tableaux, we have a blast.

Mardi Gras is a whole lot like being at a trade show.  I’m sure you’ve been to a trade show or expo at some point.  You walk around aisle after aisle, seeing a whole lot of stuff that can be overwhelming, even while you are interested in what is available to you.  It’s a lot to take in.  So is Mardi Gras.

I had the fortune of attending the PLMA trade show in Chicago in November of last year, and I have to say a few things.  One, I sure was grateful that it was in the 50s that week; while the natives were comfortable in shorts and t-shirts, I didn’t freeze to death.  Two, the people of Chicago in general could not have been nicer.  Three – what an absolute pleasure it is to be able to meet our customers, old and new, at trade shows.

The spring will bring a significant amount of exposure to our products through a variety of shows; distributors’ shows, in particular, seem to be happening nearly daily throughout the spring.  We will be back in Chicago in March, for the International Housewares Show.  And in the meantime, we will be at Carnival parades, eating king cake (rather than cotton candy), and taking in all the sights we can see.

I hope I see you at our upcoming trade shows.  Shout “throw me something, mister” and I guarantee you won’t go home empty handed.  Happy new year, everybody – and happy Mardi Gras.

-Bob