I suspect that the majority of you reading this know me, but since many may not, I thought I’d start with an introduction (and explanation).
My name is Mark Lipton. I’m an independent paint retailer and own two paint stores in the Bronx, New York. My great-grandfather Isaac started Tremont Paint Supply, in 1907 and I’m the 4thgeneration of Lipton’s to make my living off it.
I’m proud of my family’s accomplishment: lasting 111 years as a paint retailer! But most of you though know me as a writer, mostly as a columnist for The Paint Dealer magazine.
For almost 30 years, I have provided The Paint Dealer magazine with editorial content with a decidedly “independent paint retailer” point of view. In my column, “Mark, My Words” I’ve covered more topics than I can recall, ranging from day-to-day operational tips to my views on the politics of being an independent and the health of the very channel itself.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, after a 40 or so year run, The Paint Dealer magazine is closing at the end of this year: December will be it’s final issue! It makes me sad to think of the presses at TPD going quiet but sadder still is my fear that independent paint retailers may lose their voice.
We are generally a disparate group. Some of us are large enough to have a voice and some are members of a buying group that can give voice but the vast majority of us are, at least politically, alone in the world of paint. That cannot be if we are going to continue to prosper (as most of us are now)! In fact, the disparate nature of our segment of the industry and our inability to speak as one is the very weapon that those who are not aligned (and even some who are) use against us to advance their own agenda.
So to further that goal of giving voice to independent paint retailers, as well as to create a place where I can continue to do what I do: provide advice and commentary, I’ve created this blog.
If you’re not a geek, the word blog may scare you. Don’t let it! Following a blog is as hard as reading this email! So with that fear overcome, I am going to continue to write and post what I write here: the first blog for independent paint retailers. Topics will continue to be all things independent paint retailer! They’ll come right to your inbox or you can go to MarkLiptonPaint.com/blog rather than wait for the email or to read previous postings.
Here’s where I get excited thinking about this opportunity: What MORE can we do here without the restraints of a printed magazine? For now, this is just the written words and just mine but I expect that to change soon! Without the restrictions, I can add pictures, post files to illustrate a point, spreadsheets, links to additional information--I could go in. You can also comment on what I’ve written and we are free to have a discussion about it! Those are all nice upgrades, but not all that I have planned.
I can also do podcasts (and plan on it), video presentations, guest writers, point/counterpoint to show two sides of the same coin and who knows what else once we really get this thing up and running. I’m hopeful that one day I can do live broadcasts-Town Halls- with major industry players and smartphone based Q & A.
My goal will be to make this space a true voice of independent paint retailers! While many of my columns come strictly from my own head (and heart), many more still come from YOU, as the written expressions of the countless conversations I have with other independents. So lets have those conversations HERE, where you can use your voice directly and ADD it to mine!
So that’s my plan for now, we’ll see how it goes. But I can’t shine light into the corners of the industry if I’m all alone here. To accomplish what I envision, I’ll need numbers. The power that bloggers or other “influencers” have is in the numbers! So if you’re thinking: “I already get enough emails”, don’t unsubscribe just yet! Give me a few months and lets see what together we can do here. I believe that I can deliver content that you look forward to receiving.
Feel free to start the journey by commenting on this story: no rules other than: be polite. And come back as I post more. Tell your industry friends about this. The more subscribers we get here, the louder it makes our voice when we use it. As always, thank you for reading.