Fairy Floss!?

Hi friends,

What child doesn’t love “Fairy Floss”?

Known today as Cotton Candy!

In 1899 Thomas Morton and John C Wharton of Nashville, Tennessee patented the first electric cotton candy machine.

Cotton Candy became a big hit when it was introduced to the public at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and at the Ringling Brothers Circus.


Rome, Italy and Sports in the USA

Hi friends, What is the connection many schools, religious figures, the NFL, MLB, and the state of Kentucky have to Rome, Italy? The Northern Cardinal.

When early settlers from England to North America saw a bird with bright red feathers they were reminded of the scarlet outfits worn by Roman Catholic officials.

The St. Louis baseball team was founded in 1875 and named after the Cardinal in 1900.

On February 26, 1926 the “Cardinal” was chosen to be Kentucky’s State Bird.

The “Cardinal” is the mascot for the Arizona football team which started in 1922 as the Chicago Cardinals named after a team in Racine, Wisconsin.

It is easy to understand why the bird has become a popular mascot for so many schools, teams and a State. The bird is simply beautiful.


Paint, Hairspray & Christmas

Hi friends,

What does paint, hairspray and Christmas Snow have in common?

Carl Svendsen founder Chase Products Co. used his knowledge of pressurized containers to develop the first spray paint can

and the first hair spray.

They were the second company to develop Christmas Snow in a spray can.

The Chase Product Co. is still going strong in Broadview, Illinois.


Another legal immigrant entrepreneur who added to our lives in America

Hi friends,
I’ll bet you didn’t know you probably have something in common with a German immigrant named Ignaz. Ignaz Schwinn was the founder of the world-famous Schwinn bicycle. He started his company in 1895. But, did you know he also made motorcycles? From 1917-1931 he owned the Henderson Motorcycle Company. At that time Henderson was known as one of the big three along with Indian and Harley-Davidson. in 1931 he stopped producing motorcycles to concentrate on his bicycles.

You may not know who he is, but he lit up your life!

Hi friends,
At the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department located in Livermore, California, you can see the World’s Longest Burning Light Bulb.

It was first installed in 1901 and with the exception of a few days has been lit since then. You can view it live at www.centennialbulb.org. This would not be possible if not for a man born on September 4, 1848 in Chelsea, Massachusetts named Lewis Latimer.

Mr. Latimer, who became an employee of Thomas Edison in 1890, was the inventor of the method to cause the long lasting carbon filament. Before his invention light bulbs would burn out in just a few days. His invention helped the carbon filament to last month’s thus making the light bulb less expensive and more efficient. We can thank him for contributing greatly to electrical lighting in all of our homes.

Mr. Latimer is one of the unknown men who has had a large impact on the daily life of people all over the world for the past 100 years.


How did the Los Angeles Lakers get their name?

Hi friends,

Have you ever wondered how the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team got its name.

Before coming to Los Angeles, the Lakers were located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Minnesota’s motto is “The land of 10,000 lakes.” A cargo ship used on the Great Lakes was known as “Lake Freighters” or  “Lakers”.


A 49er started Macy Department Store

Hi friends,

Did you know a 49er started Macy Department Store.

In 1849 Rowland Hussey Macy went to California as part of the gold rush from the east coast.

When he arrived on the west coast instead of pursuing gold, he and two partners opened Macy & Company in Marysville, California, which at the time was one of the biggest gold rush cities because of its location where the Feather and Yuba Rivers join together. Macy moved back to the east coast in 1858, where in New York City he opened the small eleven foot store front which has grown to the grand department store we know today.


Why the name Bluetooth?

Hi friends,

Who would have imagined the name of a Christian Viking King born in 940 A.D. would have been so popular today.

Daily, his name is spoken all over the world by men and women, old and young, the wealthy and the poor and of all races. The funny thing about this, almost all do not even know it!

When Ericsson, Intel and Nokia created a Special Interest group (SIG) to unite their companies to advance a single technology, they needed a code name. Intel’s Jim Kerdach came up with the name. Since he was a history buff he remembered a king who had united Denmark and Norway. Since three large companies where uniting to work on one project it only seemed right to apply the kings name to their technology.

The kings name was Harold Bluetooth. The logo is designed by combining the Nordic symbols of the first letter of the kings first and last name.


Commercial Goliath’s, Local gyms and Community Harmony

This is our first blog on health and fitness. So, I thought it would be fun to include the local business community in our discussion. We’re going to look at what is happening within the fitness industry across many communities around the country and how you as a business owner, trainer, or member are impacted and what to consider.

You can look at almost any community across the country and start to see the commercialization of the health and fitness industry working its way in and setting up shop. It might be a new supplement store, colossal commercial fitness facility or anything in-between. What most people don’t realize is that the fitness industry is now a +30-billion-dollar industry with revenues increasing more than 2% year-over-year for the last 10 years, and total market penetration averaging only just over 17%. This leaves ample room for growth! When any industry has this type of growth and opportunity it is natural for larger companies to start investing more money, building more facilities, and creating more products and services in hopes of gaining more revenue. Within the health and fitness industry it is becoming common to see larger companies not only investing in large cities, but also small cities and towns all across the country. This leaves the mom-and-pop gym, local yoga studio, the Pilates lady, and the one health food store that has been around for years suddenly struggling to stay in business. It is not unusual for a business owner to worry when a competing business opens in town, and that feeling is no different for small gym owners, independent health and fitness trainers, and coaches. We can all relate to the impact such events can have on a community and why things can feel unsettling. But there are opportunities to be really excited about when new commercial fitness businesses begin to open and come to your town.

New businesses are a great sign that your local economy is beginning to prosper. The median income and median house values have begun to increase. Normally it also indicates that your population is increasing. Large companies have already done massive research that projects growth and thousands, possibly millions, of dollars have been spent to build and move into your community. These are just a few reasons why many businesses want to move to new areas and attempt to prosper with their new ventures. More directly related to your business is the amount of fitness marketing dollars new competitors will spend to recruit new memberships. At first this may sound odd, but it does help you. It allows you insight on how to better position your business and services, and provides potential new strategies that may help you. Competitive advertising also brings refreshing awareness to those in the community who aren’t yet involved in fitness at all to start considering new activities. These potential customers could soon be stopping by your location!


With the growing trend in health and fitness, more and more people are beginning to understand its value and importance in their personal health, life’s longevity, and the potential to lower health care costs. But, in almost any community across the country, the average gym membership doesn’t exceed 3% of the population. This means there are many opportunities for everyone to bring in new members and clients. As a business owner, it is important to view this as an opportunity for you to learn and improve your processes. Take a close and earnest look at your own business and ensure that you’re truly doing the best you can and not resting on your laurels simply because you haven’t had any competition in a long time. Competition can be good! Sometimes when you look at Goliath you might not think of yourself as David, but it’s important to remember that you can make a great impact. You can’t be complacent! Ensure you are focused on your customers. Identify strengths, weaknesses, and potential threats, and start making way for creative and innovative thinking that can bring new ideas to your business. This is an opportunity for you to look closely at your business procedures. Are your price points appropriate? How are you staffing your facility? Do you enrich your community? Is your facility meeting the member’s needs? Is your staff educated? Is your facility clean and welcoming? Are your members referring your facility? These are all things that should routinely be addressed, but often go unnoticed when you are the only show in town. So, don’t let that be you and your business.

Remember — due to commercialization, lower monthly dues, and membership price points, it’s becoming more commonplace for gym goers to have multiple gym memberships. Not every gym is going to offer them everything they want. They may enjoy Cross Fit, but also want the luxuries of a commercial health and fitness facility, such as cardio equipment, spa, showers and locker rooms, that are often not part of Cross Fit facilities. Their children may need sports training at a sports complex that does not offer a traditional weight-training environment. Maybe there’s a powerlifting gym in town that someone loves to attend, but there’s no way their significant other is going to even step inside, much less attempt to do that style of training. The message here is that there are many different fitness styles, needs, and desires, and no facility is going to be able to fulfill them all. But because of the growing industry, technology, and commercialization price points of each of these locations in today’s marketplace are much more affordable than in years past. Your members can now have two or more memberships at different facilities offering varying experiences and enjoyment without looking at these as expenses, but rather as investments in their personal health, wellbeing, and lifestyle.

So, as a small business owner, trainer, or coach in the health and fitness industry it is vital to not get discouraged. I ask you to be encouraged when competition comes to town and look at it as an opportunity. Befriend them! Get to know them! If possible, try to understand the company’s model and mission statement. Yes, you’re competing, but there is space in this industry for massive growth. We all want to help our communities and if we can work together, versus working against each other, I truly believe that we all prevail and prosper