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Florida Man

News anchors reporting a story about the ill-advised actions of a male member of our species, who happen to reside in the Sunshine State, often start their reporting by saying “A Florida Man” before then telling the details of their laughable act.

A Florida Man was arrested for running around his apartment complex naked, while threatening his neighbors with a sword.

Both types you thought of!

So uncommon is common sense in the state where Gatorade was invented that the word’s “Florida Man” have spawned one of the internet’s most prolific memes. An inside joke! Among the other 49 states!

An American Shingolo

There are likely only a few people who know more independent paint dealers than I do. One of those few though, is my friend John Shingledecker.

A paint dealer by age 27, John spent only 13-years behind the counter. At 40-years old, John sold his three stores, Accent Paint and Decorating in Columbus, Ohio, with no plans beyond a long drive in his new Saab convertible.

John has spent the 22-years since selling his stores, testing maps for Google! Traveling the country working in support of independent paint dealers. After a year working for Genesis; one of the first providers of POS software to the independent dealer channel, John became a Business Development Manager for Allpro. A job he still enjoys today.

A paint-geek and Buckeye, John graduated from the same School of Journalism at THE Ohio State University which would diploma my daughter Buck Wheat in 2020. An avid baseball fan, I took John to his first-ever game at The Stadium, what Bronx calls Yankee Stadium. We met at my stores in the Bronx as he supporting me over three days of hard work and fun nights as I transitioned my business from pen and paper to digital in 1997.

There’s Only One Tampa

On a lazy Sunday five years ago, John was anything but lazy.

With a Midwesterner’s stubborn ethic, John spent the heat working to fell an unwanted cactus from the yard in his Tampa home.

With a swing of his hatchet John dislodged the last of the cacti’s trunk. He took a step back to form his plan on how to break up the carcass.

Two steps would have been the better math.

“Florida Man springs a leak!”

In a new episode of THE Mark, My Words pod and vlogcast, I speak with another of my oldest friends in the paint industry, Frank Cohen.

Frank’s two stores in Poughkeepsie, New York were the first stores I saw up close which had a different business model from Tremont Paint; my stores in the Bronx, New York. While I was selling pallets of Regal Off-White’s in deuces and trying to make 14% mark-up from cost (a 12% GP!) Frank was selling decor making 40%!

Unable to get Benjamin Moore in a metropolitan area and era where the brand was required for a paint store to achieve scale, Frank focused his energies on learning the décor And filling a niche in the market which for him to succeed in for 35-years.

When Frank sold Sun Paint and Wallpaper in 2011, they were one of the largest dealers in wallpaper and window treatments in the New York metropolitan area.

Though he’s sold his stores, Frank remains in the independent dealer channel. Having successfully spent seven-years starting and then building the décor department at Ring’s End, the Connecticut-based independent lumber and paint dealer, Frank now works as a consultant to paint dealers on all topics decor.

Whether you are already a décor dealer looking for more sales and higher profitability, or a paint dealer looking to expand in the profitable décor space, you’ll benefit from listening to my 30-minute conversation with former AllPro President Frank Cohen.

If you’re a listener, you can catch my conversation with Frank in all the usual places: Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts or here on my own site.

If you have not watched an episode yet please do! You can see how long my beard is getting and learn how to advance your décor business here on my site or here on my YouTube channel.


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