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From Russia with Love!

Each time a reader opens my blog, my phone sends me a notification. It’s a lot of buzzing in my pocket, which I guess I could mute.

If your cash drawer had a mute button, would you use it?

I am always fascinated when I see how far my words of paint store living can travel. While the overwhelming majority of you (98%+) are in the United States and Canada, I do get the occasional reader from off the continent. Last week I noticed these three readers from France, the Philippines and Russia.

Considering the timing right before the election, I’m sure the Russian was a bot looking to influence my vote.

But I still appreciate the read. Spasibo!

More than 100-years before the Russians meddled in their first election, my great-grandparents Isaac and Esther Lipton, arrived in the United States from THE motherland, Russia. It was Esther, Ettle to the family, who worked behind the counter building a customer base at Tremont Paint that lasted for 112 years!

Thirteen-years before THE suffragettes earned Ettle the right to vote, she chose to spend six-days a week at the counter of her Bronx paint store. I suspect that when a paint salesman from Brooklyn, Mr. Benjamin Moore, walked into Tremont Paint for the first time he said something along the lines of “I’m here to see MISTER Lipton!”

Likely the first female paint dealer, Ettle was not the last Lipton lady to spend time behind the counter; my mother managed the wallpaper department at Tremont Paint for over 20-years.

They would have said of a Bronx paint store in 1980 that it was "no place for a woman."

"They" didn't know my mother.

But typical Lipton does not mean typical. Among the ranks of dealers nationwide, female paint dealers are less than ubiquitous. I have never seen any data on the number of paint dealers who are women, but having spent more than 30-years attending trade shows and other dealer events I’ll estimate that number at less than 10%.

THE Revolutionaries

I continue to push the final pegs into the few remaining holes of THE Revolution; the web and e-commerce platform I designed and developed for independent paint dealers. With the first site planing to launch before our November 11th promise, there is enough developed at this point that I have been able to show it off to a few dealers.

Who were obviously impressed!

This week, THE Revolution got two more Minutemen: my sobriquet for the early adopters!

Only these Minutemen are Minutewomen!

Color Wheel is a two-store retailer in Fairfax county Virginia, in the suburbs of our nation's capital. Owned by Renate (pronounced Renat-ta) Boswell Eschmann and her brother Charlie Boswell, Color Wheel is in its third generation. A Benjamin Moore dealer with a heavy decor component, Color Wheel is an Allpro member who sells paint, wallpaper, picture frames, window treatments and chocolates from a local chocolatier!

VERY independent.

When I asked for a head shot to put up with this blog, Renate sent me this picture of her and her father (and doll) standing in front of a Color Wheel truck circa 1965.

The Lipton’s are far from the only family to have committed to generations behind the counter!

Ready for the fourth generation, Charlie's daughter Kimberleigh spends her days in the decor department.

While Renate and I are just getting to know each other, the other Minutewoman, Anne Dages and I go way back! I met Anne more than 20-years ago over a conversation about the process behind MicroBlend, a paint which can be manufactured at the point-of-sale.

With three stores in the Louisville, Kentucky metropolitan area, Dages Hikes Point Paint is also paint and decor. Also a member of Allpro, Dages Hikes Point Paint sells Benjamin Moore, wallpaper, bedding and rugs.

Over the years, I have written often about how valuable it was for me to go to the Allpro shows and listen to some of the country's best dealers speak about their tips and tricks of running a paint store.

It was often Anne I was talking about.

I’m excited to get started on this next group of sites. But not so excited that I forget about the three sites I’m building now! just days to launch now.


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