Quick Business Questions for Owner, Bill Tuttle

Bill, i’m constantly trying to work towards starting my own business, how did you get started?

I wish you the best with the improvements you are making in your life. Nothing stays the same, requiring us to keep up and make improvements. The biggest change in my life was retiring from a great company after spending almost 40 years in a successful career and a business I loved. I had to give up company credit cards, free travel, free meals, and lots of benefits. This meant remaking my life. I started volunteering to help people with disabilities to become independent. They needed activities or jobs to improve their lives.

I built a hobby shop to develop new ideas. As a result some kitchen ideas evolved that I received patents for. I formed a small company called The Hobbye Shoppe LLC to build and market the products.

Employees with Disabilities

Community outreach is important, how do you give back?

With some simple tools I setup a production line that allowed individuals with limited skill or with disabilities to manufacture the products. The quality was so good I decided to let them make the product and I will do the marketing. Money is raised from selling the products, the group earns an income, and some of the profit is donated back to the organization.I have to say my life has improved. I continue to look for new ideas to grow the company and help those who need it the most. You can see these products on my website: http://cleantowel.org/ I am having fun learning marketing and seeing these individuals become independent.

4th of July Dinner

The 4th of July, Independence Day, is a special day with our family. We have much to be thankful for. Our ancestors have played a role in all the wars in our country defending our freedom. We have the greatest country in the history of the world. All of us have been blessed thanks to those who sacrificed so much to give us a way of life that no other civilization ever had the opportunity to enjoy. We thank all of our vets who are serving today.

This year our dinner was hosted by The Hobbye Shoppe LLC with help from family members cooking their special recipes. The spare ribs, Marge’s delight, were awesome; fresh corn on the cob provided by a local farmer made summer come alive; green beans from our garden by Barb fixed the Kentucky way; delicious homemade cole slaw by Ernie; and to top it off we had key lime and butterscotch pies from Evelyn’s kitchen sent everyone away fill. We hope you had the opportunity to enjoy this time together with family and guest as we did.

BAWAC Charity Golf Outing

June 6 was the D Day anniversary, ten thousand young men lost their life during this invasion. I made it a special day at a charity golf outing helping raise money for those who need it the most, people with disability. We had Lewis Johnson, NBC sports commentator, as our MC. He did a great job entertaining and running the event.  I did not play golf. I set up a booth and sold product to the golfers and contributed the money to the cause. Many donated awards were presented to those who participated. It was touching to see all the volunteers giving their time catering and helping to make the BAWAC Charity Golf Outing a success. At the end of the day everyone felt rewarded knowing they made a difference. The day was beautiful, temperature in the 70’s, and lots of good food and drinks.

Clean Towel Charity Golf Clean Towel Charity Golf Outing

Memorial Day

USA

Today brings back many memories for me. As a 5 year old boy, I lost an uncle in WWII in the Battle of the Bulge. I made a special trip this weekend to the beautiful hills of Eastern Kentucky to visit family and walk the cemeteries where many of my ancestors are buried. I discovered a WWI vet grave marker, my uncle’s marker; Korean War vets markers, and others I grew up with. The place is called Sizemore Branch by those who live there now and those who have moved away. There is no name to identify the place. It is an unknown place to the rest of the world, but as I walked among the grave sites, I wondered if any of the neighbors ever thought about the number of men and women who served our country from that little branch, about one mile in length. May we never forget them for their contribution to our country and the freedoms we enjoy? I would like to hear from others who would like to see the place have a name and our vets, who served our country, recognized. If you have a family member who server in the military from that area, let me know.

Helping Others

Here are some pictures from giving back and helping others at the Ronald McDonald House.

Ronald McDonald House Ronald McDonald House Giving Back

Kentucky Proud

Clean Towel

To The Hobbye Shoppe LLC, this logo represents quality, entrepreneurship; creativity, courage, hard work, and customer satisfaction.

I am proud to put the Kentucky Proud label on my Paper Towel and napkin holder.

Napkin Holder

UK Paper Towel Holder

KENTUCKY PROUD NAPKIN HOLDER

Kentucky Proud Napkin Holder

This patented Napkin Holder is made in Kentucky using the wood from local wild cherry trees that have fallen or had insect infestation, making it a Kentucky Proud Product.

It is built using the help of people with disabilities.

It makes a perfect gift for newly-weds, someone deserving an achievement award, and individuals who want just one napkin when needed.

For more information go to cleantowel.org

KENTUCKY PROUD VIP GIFT

This Kentucky Proud Paper Towel Holder was selected by the Kentucky Proud committee of Kentucky to be the VIP gift for dignitaries attending the Bluegrass Ball in Washington DC for the presidential inauguration. To be a Kentucky Proud Product, it has to be manufactured in KY with materials from the state. It has two US patents, making it one-of-a-kind with benefits unmatched compared to other paper towels on the market. It is made of beautiful cherry wood and will last a life time. It makes a perfect gift for newly-weds, award winners, and individuals who want to save paper, avoid germs, and get a sheet with only one hand.

For more information go to cleantowel.org

VIP Gift

The 2017 Bluegrass Ball

The Kentucky Society of Washington’s 18th quadrennial celebration to honor Kentucky and the inauguration of the President of the United States will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington DC on January 18th 2017. One thousand guests are expected to attend. Five hundred to one thousand gifts will be given to guests at the Bluegrass Ball. Ten will be given to VIPs, such as the governor and other dignitaries. The Paper Towel Holder has been selected by the Kentucky Proud product group as a VIP gift made by The Hobby Shoppe, Burlington, KY, employing the help of people with disabilities (BAWAC).

How Manufacturing Products with Disabled Individuals Makes a Difference

Manufacturing products by disabled individuals send a clear message to the community that the company values social responsibility. It also shows that management looks beyond disabilities and physical limitations when hiring people for their team. They focus, instead, on the applicant’s ability and potential to contribute to the workplace. granitepic_x

For individuals with disabilities looking for work, getting pass the hiring process is crucial. While the company sees this as a way to expand work opportunities. for the disabled individual, landing a job is a step toward economic inclusion and independence.

The wide array of quality and functional products show the skills and workmanship put into the manufacturing process by the employees. While quality is important, consumers purchasing a product are also assured that their money supports a good cause. Their investment goes back to the community and creates more jobs and opportunities for disabled individuals. In turn, regular employment contributes to the uplifting of the quality of life of disabled individuals.

Companies that manufacture products by individuals with disabilities are contributing to the local economy. This is important since employment of people with disabilities across industry sectors have been historically low. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics only 17.5 percent of persons with a disability were employed in 2015, in comparison to 65 percent of persons without disability. A BLS survey also noted that when respondents were asked to identify the barriers or challenges that they encountered in landing a job, approximately 80 percent said that their own disability was a barrier to employment.

Bringing employment numbers up for this group entails changing employer perceptions on what individuals with disabilities can and cannot do. The good news is, there are companies that are changing these perceptions. While some fail to see the potentials of individuals with disabilities to productively contribute in the workplace, these companies are stepping up, expanding their recruitment, and encouraging their employees to create quality products.

bengalsWhile addressing the call for social responsibility, these companies are also tapping into a labor pool with vast skill sets and abilities. These untapped talents may have what it takes to provide that much needed labor boost in a company seeking to expand employment numbers. Having individuals with disabilities in the team also helps the company improve by adding a new perspective to human resource or customer relations.

Manufacturing products made by individuals with disabilities also boosts employee morale and productivity, It also sends the message to the community that the company supports diversity in the workplace.

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