Bob’s decision to start a business…
Bob and his wife Sharon live with their four children and four grandsons in a small hamlet in upstate New York. His original cane was strictly for personal use. Bob didn’t have any thoughts about marketing canes even though he was very aware that they brought a lot of attention. More and more people encouraged him to go into business. One day he was approached by a customer at a local diner. After hearing that Bob made the cane, he asked him if he would carve one for him. After some discussion and a lot of begging, Bob agreed to make one for him within a year. Bob kept his word and charged him $200.00. Approximately two weeks later Bob was checking out of a hotel when a lady approached him and asked to see his cane. She asked me if I was in business and I told her I wasn’t. She then asked if I had a patent. I told her “no”. She told me she is a medical model maker and gets patents for people all the time. To my surprise she said, “Would you allow me to get you a patent”? I told he I would appreciate it, if she would. During the years following, I carved and sold 137 hand carved canes. In 2005 I decided to retire from teaching and to go into business selling canes. Hand carving canes was too time consuming, so I looked into other ways of producing canes. I went to New York City to attend a manufacturing convention. There I met several people who offered to make an injection mold for me. Prices ranged from $16,000.00 for off shore (China) to $37,560.00 if it were made in the United States. In spite of the difference in cost, I chose the USA. Being able to say “Made in America is important to me. I chose to remain as a small business. I treat it more like a hobby than a business. This way I do not have the stress of big business and I can enjoy my wife and family. I do not advertise, but allow the cane to sell itself.
“America has always been a country of entrepreneurs, builders, and creators. As we work to restore our economy, it is important to stand behind the American companies that make good products, maximize U.S. employment, and earn the loyalty of their workers and the communities of which they’re a part.”
– President Bill Clinton
Being a small business person has opened Bob’s eyes to a simple truth. American small businesses struggle to keep their head above water. To keep from losing their investment, entrepreneurs have to keep working hard. They have to believe in their product and stay encouraged by thinking positive. Bob does have what it takes, and he is determined to make his business grow. It is his dream. It is disheartening to see other Americans buying products that have been produced in countries other than the USA. In many cases these products are inexpensive but they are also inferior in quality and fail within a short period of time. Each of us has to understand and care enough about one another and our communities to buy products that are made in the USA. The benefits will come back to us in ways we never imagined. Thank you for supporting this business, our troops, and for buying American goods.