Working For Dealers, All DAY!


Starting a column from a blank page is a daunting challenge for many writers.  Blank pages have a tendency to stare back at you, taunt you, and make you feel like the words have left you and won’t be coming back!

Thankfully, I have a 21 year-old daughter and so my bigger problem when I stare at the blank page is: will people believe this?  With Miranda Lipton in your life, there’s no such thing as writer’s block!

With her “study” abroad semester in Barcelona finishing up well before her friends on campus in Ohio finished, the youngest Lipton is looking at two straight weeks of watching her friends take finals while she parties.  Seems that the four months of partying she just had in Barcelona were not enough!


Just for fun it seems, we have been spending time speaking about her getting back into some sort of routine: maybe accomplishing a thing or two this summer (a father can dream)!  She’s a budding journalist so she needs to be creating content all the time.  And, unless she wants to spend the summer slinging cans of Regal across the counter like I did, she also needs a job!

I asked her yesterday if she had gotten to any of the things on the long list we had developed.


Crickets.

It’s important to stay calm when parenting.  I remember reading that somewhere.  But since I can’t remember where….I didn’t feel need to heed that advice.


“WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO ALL DAY?” I thought.  My lips were smart enough to rephrase that thought as it transitioned into a sentence.


“I was very busy, I ran out of time!”


Like the man who gets killed in a horror movie because he cannot resist the urge to check the basement, I went one step further:  “Doing what; specifically?”


“Well, I got up 4!”


“You got up at FOUR O’CLOCK??!! What have you been doing all day?” was halfway out of my mouth when it hit me:


She meant PM!


“One thing at a time!” she often says.  I guess she counts waking up as “one thing”??


Anyway, none of this has anything to do with the paint business and I won’t be impressing you with my segueing skills today!  I just thought you’d find that story entertaining while waiting for me to get to the paint part of this post. Hard stop: On to paint!


At the same time I hit “publish” on this blog post, I uploaded another episode of the “Mark, My Words” podcast.  In this episode, I sit down with LeAnn Day.  LeAnn is the CEO of the Paint and Decorating Retailers Association, or PDRA.


The PDRA is the industry trade association that represents independent paint retailers in the United States and Canada.


Over the years, I have written about the PDRA a number of times, and those pieces have not always been so flattering.  The PDRA went through a time where even they would have to admit: their accomplishments were meager.  In my writing on the topic, I always implored them to do more for dealers.


In an attempt to do exactly that, about three years ago the PDRA board hired LeAnn Day.    


I’ll leave it to LeAnn to share with you exactly what the PDRA is up to but I’m happy to say that in my view, under LeAnn’s and the current board’s leadership, the PDRA seems to be heading in the right direction.  


They advocate for dealers when needed and where possible, partner with others who do similar advocacy work; they provide education and support, and they collect data about our stores.  That data gets shared with dealers and manufacturers so that anyone who needs to understand independent paint retailers can do exactly that.   The PDRA is involved in putting on the paint portion of The National Hardware Show and of course they publish a magazine:  “Paint and Decorating Retailer”, which comes to all of us for free each month.