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It's In Every Can!

At 24-years old my daughter Buck Wheat is lamenting her failure to achieve the American dream of home ownership.

Some research on Tik Tok convincing THE Buck that she’s even further behind than she had originally thought.

The prospects of buying a home on Buck’s mind as she joined me, my fiancéeic and mother for a weekend visiting my nephew in Orlando.

“You to work to own a home?“ I asked the girl who seems to spend more time out of towns than in them.

THE daughter making the point that despite all appearances she works “full-time!” And that it was the remote nature of modern life which made her hard work seem like leisure.

Despite the thousands of words her pictures were speaking, the Buck insisted that she's putting in the lots of hours insisting that some other force was responsible for her lack of homeownership.

Agreeing that math does not lie, we divided her weekly earnings by the hourly rate she charges for her writing, photography and creative services.

The quotient of that equation giving me the average length of the Buck's weekly grind.

Which ironically enough, leaves plenty of time for house shopping!

With the nation’s unemployment rate of 3.6% keeping most paint dealers I know working Buck's week each day, many smaller retailers share that they are forced to spend more hours behind the counter costing them crucial executive time. Larger retailers share that they are spending more hours and resources on recruitment than at any time in their histories.

At a time when dealers want to focus their attention on procurement!

Yes, STILL Shortages

Like the labor shortages, material shortages remain a constant theme running through my conversations with paint retailers. Excessive demand for coatings and continuing supply chain woe's conspire to keep dealers working extra hours just to procure enough paint to keep the shelves full.

But dealers looking for relief from their shortages-related hypertension had better call their cardiologist.

From Russia with Love

Before being invaded by a murderous dictator, Ukraine accounted for more than 6% of the world’s titanium mining capacity.

THE chemical element Titanium, putting the “Ti” in TiO2.

For more than 100-years Titanium dioxide, known by its chemical formula TiO2, has been the pigment of choice for paint manufacturer’s looking to make white paints, white. The opaque pigment so crucial to the paint making process that paint manufacturers alone consume more than 55% of the world’s yearly TiO2 consumption.

Destruction of Ukraine’s ability to mine, process and deliver TiO2 was a blow to the long supply chains of the $20 billion per-year TiO2 market. But it was just the first casualty the paint industry would suffer in Putin’s war.

At the start of the war, Russia represented nearly 20% of the earth’s yearly Titanium production. With government sanctions and morality removing Russian TiO2 from the market, manufacturers dependent on the inorganic compound are going to learn that you can’t make more, with less At least until the TiO2 market normalizes.

Which will take time, but will happen.

Titanium is the planet’s 9th most abundant element found in most rocks and sediment. But with no real estimates available yet regarding how long market normalization will take, dealers can expect shortages and inflation to be with us for the foreseeable future.

On THE Air

On my podcast this week I’m joined John Lahey, the owner of uber-niche paint manufacturer Fine Paints of Europe. The story of his family’s business similar to many multi-generational paint dealers.

John’s story of his father using him as cheap labor through the high school and college years, feeling familiar.

Before I record a podcast, I send my guests a few suggestions to ensure THE episode meets my standards, one of which is “camera at eye level.”

Thinking “no one wants to look up your nose to the part of your house most likely to need a paint job!”

But in John’s case, he makes it work!

The End

Note: While writing this blog, Word allowed the chemical symbol for TiO2 to properly show with the numeral in a smaller font. An affect which Wix was not capable of, leaving it awkward looking enough to want to mention it.


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