My Kind of Town, Chicago Is – ISSA Here we come

The ISSA Show returns to the Windy City, the City of Broad Shoulders, the Third Coast, Chi-Town, the Paris of the Prairies.  Whatever you call it, Chicago is a great city to do business, and that’s why we will be there for the 2016 ISSA Show at McCormick Place.



Chicago may not be as warm as Orlando (in October), and it doesn’t have the glitz of Las Vegas, but it does have amazing architecture, great food and shopping, and is in the center of everything!

We invite you to visit our booth 3242, to view our complete line up of dusters, floor care products, WindowPro sleeves and squeegeesand handles, and maintenance accessories, like the amazing Multi Flex.  And don’t forget to ask us about our amazing Show Specials.  

I will be writing more specifically about products and features in the next editions of The Dirt on Dusters.  issa-booth-2015

Lambskin Specialties will be there.  The question is…will you?

The 2016 ISSA Show runs from October 26-28th.  See you there!                                                             Booth 3242

The Dust Wand Brand: More than just a name

Good day, and welcome back.

It was a busy spring – we often refer to it as the season of the buying group shows! It always follows winter and preceeds summer.

These shows are an exceptional opportunity to get close with our customers and prospective customers.  Each of the 5 shows that we participate in has its own personality; all of them deliver results.

One of the organizations offered an excellent presentation by marketing and branding guru Scott Demming.  But make no mistake, he was not talking about clever slogans, eye catching graphics, and cute logos.  No, this was a far more in depth discussion about not only what and how we do business, but more importantly, why.  (Remember “Start with Why” by Simon Senak)

What Demming effectively communicated during his presentation was the importance of creating an emotional bond…brand…to connect with customers and achieve sustainable success.  Awareness may create familiarity, discount prices may generate opening sales,  and catchy jingles and cute logos may help us remember a company, but none of these hard wire the connection that we need.   And the real point is that this is a connection that our customers need for their sustainable success too.

However  – and this is the key  – it is imcumbent on us as the supplier to communicate, both through words and actions, why we do what we do, and why our customers and prospective customers should engage in a business relationship with us.

I’m sure we can all think of companies that we purchase goods and services from (whether for our business or personally) that we have no loyalty to, and often hold our nose while each interaction. Who loves the airline we fly? Not me.  Do we have an emotional attachment to a gas station? Not me.  Does any drug store or office supply company provide us with an emotional bond?  None that I can think of.  Yet we use them all regularly and repeatedly.

But we all love our sports teams, even though most of them do not win the league championship (can you say Chicago Cubs, or Winnipeg Jets).  And we even where the team colors to show our loyalty.

So the million dollar question is how do we translate that kind of fandom…fanatisicism…to create the undying bond with our customer base.  The question is particularly difficult given that most of us are selling commodities, and exist in a hyper competitive market that exists both at ground level and cyber space.

I had a great conversation with Scott Demming a couple of weeks after his presentation.  I spoke to him about a customer that was not showing the kind of loyalty that I thought we deserved.  And the fact is, as we agreed, there is no magic bullet.  But, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do everything in our power to build that brand, and build those connections, and create the fans and ‘evangelists’ to help tell our story.  We can never forget to tell our prospects and customers why we are here.

Stay tuned!



Independent Sales Representatives: The Critical Link

Where would we be without you?

Maintaining close contact with nearly a thousand distributors spread throughout the 50 states would be impossible if not for the often Herculean efforts of our team of Sales Representatives.

Over the years Lambskin Specialties has been blessed with an amazing team of independent organizations that have introduced our products to the market.  Since our first representatives like Irv Goldstein, Mark Reimers, Jim Hankenson and Walt Kolterman, these individuals and organizations have shown a great deal of faith in our company and products.  Today we are proud to be represented by among the industry’s finest, in 17 territories, covering all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Independent reps offer a variety of complimentary lines that provides buyers with the trifecta of effeciency, economy, and education.  It is a perfect synergy that benefits us, the distributor buyer and the end users. 

A little trivia anyone?

Now here’s a bit of trivia; Tom Kolterman, has the distinction of being our longest serving representative.  He started with Kolterman Associates, joing his father Walt, in 1980, and later continued the company on his own.  In  1997 he joined forces with Northstar Sales.  Working with Tom has been an honor and pleasure. I am also proud to call him a friend. 

Our longest serving rep organization is the Chicago based RTF Group.  Lead by the estimable, energetic and unstoppable Dick Friedman, RTF has represented Lambskin Specialties since 1985!  Dick has assembled an exceptional team, inside and out, that has achieved numerous sales awards recognizing their success and commitment.  

RTF Showroom

An inside look at the RTF Group demonstration room at their offices in Lake Bluff, IL.


By contrast, our youngest group joined us in October 2011. With the retirement of Bob McClung, we welcomed Access Partners in Southern California.  Bob was an industry veteran, perennial sales leader, and is possibly the nicest man in the world.  The folks at Access have continued where Bob left off, building on our sales successes, establishing new distributor relationships while building on our existing relationships.

May we announce….

And now, on Friday March 1st, we will officially welcome the newest team to our sales force, as we proudly introduce Robert George Sales in Upstate New York. Robert George takes over from Stockdale Co.  – previously Norsen Sales.   We will miss Terry Norsen, who has personally represented Lambskin Specialties in the region for nearly 20 years, and wish him the best in retirement.

Dan Koplinka and Terry Doherty

Dan Koplinka (Left) and Terry Doherty; The Principals of Robert George Sales

Robert George Sales is based in the Rochester area and is lead by Terry Doherty and Dan Koplinka.  They are joined by Robbie Sampson in Eastern NY State and  Marcia Fitzpatrick in the Western region .  Inside support is provided by Susan Habberfield  and Ann Thomas.  With their broad coverage and market expertise, we expect great things from this organization. 

So as we welcome this new group, we are left to ponder a very important question, ‘where would we be without our representatives’?  The answer is pretty simple – no-where!  They represent an essential link between us as the manufacturer, the distributor, and the end user.  They disseminate information, demonstrate products, and maintain critical relationships. 

The next time you see one of our representatives, welcome them with open arms and an open mind. 

Have a great day.

Lambskin Specialties: Nature at Work

Nature at Work

 Where did the time go?

It’s a new year. February is coming to a close, and spring is just around the corner. Ah, spring, in these parts, at least, it means the return to green – green grass and green leaves, the flowers bloom and the rivers flow. The Cycle of nature is remarkable, and it never fails to amaze me how we can emerge from the the cold, white blanket we live under for 4 months to a world of color, warmth, life and energy.  This brings me inevitably to this simple phrase: “Nature at Work”.

At the 2012 ISSA Show we introduced this important message; Nature at Work describes the perfect system of growth, regeneration, reuse and reapplication that we know as nature.  Three words – nature at work; the message is simple and to the point.  It describes the world around us, and captures the essence and value of the core of the Lambskin Specialties/DUST WAND line.  Natural products work, and they are environmentally sustainable. 

Nature at Work

Nature at Work by Lambskin Specialties

For over 40 years, Lambskin Specialties has focussed on products that are manufactured from natural materials – not because it was in style or because of a green doctrine, but because they really work.  Both our wool dusters and our feather dusters are manufactured with raw materials that come from nature, not factories. 

Triple threat!

Wool dusters are a triple threat (no they don’t sing, dance and act).  The combination of static electricity, a web of fibers, and lanolin does work together harmoniously to gently and effectively attract and hold dust. It really is amazing that nature could invent such a valuable and versatil raw material. Beyond cleaning, wool has many properies that make it ideal for other applications (more on that in a future post).


Close up an personal with the wool used on our dusters.

The much maligned feather!

As I wrote in an earlier post, feather dusters have long been maligned as a product that just moves dust around, making working for cleaning staff.  But this simply isn’t the case.  Feathers gently reach in and grab dust from tough to reach spots, while protecting the most delicate and fragile surfaces.

Now don’t get me wrong, mirco fibers and synthetics do work, and they have their place in the arsenal of front line cleaning personnel.  But there is a reason why wool and feather dusters have been around for decades, and are still an industry staple – they work!  They do the job.  And now the secret is finally out – they are natural!

Put nature to work with the DUST WAND line of wool dusters and feather dusters.

Lambskin Specialties – “Nature at Work”.

Start with Why

As I have written previously, I love questions.  I love asking them, and I love when they are posed to me.  Who, what, where, why, and when are probably the foundation of all knowledge, and are no less critical in the world of sales.

So you can imagine how intrigued I was when I learned of a book called “Start with Why”, by Simon Sinek.

Start with Why

Simon Sinek: Start with Why

The book was recommended by Terry O’Reilly, the host of the amazing CBC radio program “Under the Influence“, (formally The Age of Pursuasion).  The program deals with marketing, and messaging, and is a must-listen for anyone interested in these important topics.

Interestingly though, Start with Why is not about asking questions to others, but rather focussing inward, and asking ourselves as business owners a critical, and often difficult question: why do we exist?

It’s actually pretty elementary; afterall, how can we presume to sell something, if we don’t know why we make it and sell it in the first place! Sales is a tough profession.  And while technology and our shrinking world opens up the opportunities exponentially, at the same time our competitive challenges increase at least at the same rate.   As Sinek writes:

“There’s barely a product or service on the market today that customers can’t buy from someone else, for about the same price, about the same quality, about the same level of service, and about the same features.  If you truly have a first movers adavntage, it is probably lost in a matter of months. If you offer something truly novel, someone else will soon come up with something similar and maybe even better.”

Sinek suggests that the only chance that we have is ensure that what we do (the products we make and the services we provide) is alligned with why we do it.  He uses Apple, Harley Davidson, and Southwest Airlines that have found this center.  Walmart, United Airlines (launchin TED), even Dell and HP…not so much…at least as of late.  And not only must we identify the why, we must successfully communicate it.  Then our actions…what we do, and how we do it, must be consistent with our why.

We spent some time at our Sales Meeting in Chicago discussing this very question. I felt that it was (and is) important for our representatives understand our why…our purpose, if you will.  It is equally important for them to ask the same question of themselves, as it relates to their own rep organization.

So is it  an accident that after introducing the wool duster to the cleaning industry over 43 years ago, the DUST WAND remains the category leader?  Is it surprising that the DUST WAND is the only wool duster manufactured in North America? 

312FH Big Pro Duster

The DUST WAND “Big Pro” wool duster: 44 years and going strong!

Our purpose has been to make things…and particularly to make things that work.  We are also committed to making the process of doing business not only easy, but actually enjoyable.

Yes, we offer the finest quality wool dusters in the industry.  And yes, we offer one of the deepest selections of dusting products – feathers, synthetics, microfibers and wool.  And yes, we offer a great selection of products that are for floor care, and window care, and auto care, and general clean-up.

But the point is that we are committed to building our relationships with our distributors, built on trust, and performance. 

So why do we do this? Because we have a strong belief in the industry; we believe in the North American manufacturing sector; we love to make stuff, and we love to serve our customers.  That’s why.  Next chapter…How do we do it?

Have a great day.



ISSA 2012 – The Show of Shows!


Its all over but the shouting…and a lot of follow-up.

We had a good show this year, meeting many interesting (and interested) distributors, end users, visitors and fellow exhibitors.  I have personally attended shows, without interruption since 1985 in Atlanta.  And while I have been observing a decrease in the number of distributor attendees  – not surprising considering the number of consolidations in the industry – the quality of attendees and the depth of discussion remains at a very high standard.

For Lambskin Specialties, the ISSA Show offers a number of great benefits.  It is the best opportunity to show our full line, and introduce new products to the industry.  With our line growing exponentially over the years, there is no better stage to show our stuff.  It is a rare opportunity to speak to hundreds of industry professionals in 2 and half short days.

In recent years, products like the MultifFlex, our Hi-Dusters, and Micro Fibers, have generated loads of attention from distributor and end-user alike.  I will talk more specifically about some of these products in upcoming entries. And we will certainly be continue to introduce new,  innovative and effective products for our industry.

National Sales Meeting

Award to Mark Presho of access Partners

Mark Presho of Access Partners receives Top Sales Award from Myron Schultz at the 2012 ISSA Show

ISSA is also the only opportunity we have to meet with all our representatives.  During our National Sales Meeting, we reviewed a number of important issues as we move forward.  Look out for future posts on some of these topics. Our meeting is also an important occasion to recognize our representatives that demonstrated outstanding commitment and performance during the year.  Southsan Sales received the award for largest sales growth, with Alternative Sales and TRC Marketing runners up.  Our Sales Leader for the year was Access Partners (Southern California).

 We also recognized Debby Wadeof Access Partners as the recipient of the Walt Kolterman Award for Sales Leadership.  In just her first year representing Lambskin Specialties, Debby stood out, stepping front and center as a leader for our company.

The awards were officially handed out during our annual ‘class photo’.

Group Photo

Lambskin Specialties Sales Team meets at the booth at 2012 ISSA Show for Class Photo

Now it is time to get back to the important job of following up on all the discussions from the show.

Have a great week everyone.


Feathers Dusters are NOT Obsolete!

One of the most common questions I am asked when I sit down with a distributor is  – “given all the technology, why would anyone still use a feather duster?”

Questions are a great starting point for a conversation, and this is truly one of my favorites.  So why indeed?

As I wrote in my last post, there is no single duster that is ideal for every dusting job.  Similarly, with all the different types of dusters – and the materials used to manufacture them – there are advantages to them all.  The Feather Duster is a great example.

First, let’s keep in mind that feathers are a natural product, and are an important component of the ecosystem.  They come in many different grades and sizes, which make them suitable and favored for different applications.

Second,  with many natural products, and with particular reference to ostrich feathers, they have proven themselves for decades, if not centuries, for being effective for cleaning. We sometimes look for the next, best thing for cleaning, when the best is staring us right in the face.

Why do feather dusters really work?

But what specifically does the feather duster offer, and what sets it apart from other dusting products?  There are two elements to the feather to discuss here: the properties of the feather plume itself, and the quill.

If you look closely at the plume you will see tiny hairs, or barbs, that effectively grab dust and hold it till shaken free.  The feathers are also exceptionally soft so they will not damage surfaces.  The feathers generally are available in three different qualities; Black – male feathers, that are exceptionally soft; Grey (or Drab) – female, that are also very soft; and Chick  – immature feathers – brownish in color, and not quite as soft or as consistent in quality.  All are effective, though as a general rule, the softer and more consistent the better.

A close look at an ostrich feather duster.

A really close look at an ostrich feather. Notice the tiny barbs on the ends of the feather.

The quill is the real secret behind the value of an ostrich feather for dusting. It is long, and flexible, which permits the cleaner to reach into tight spots, and to dust and dust around delicate objects without handling them.  This makes them perfect for home cleaners (why risk breaking glass and other valuable objects), as well as for gift shops, supermarkets, liquor stores, convenience stores…well you get the idea.There is simply no other product that offers this advantage.

Now, a final word on how to dust.

An ostrich feather duster doing what it does best!

I am  amused (and a little annoyed) by the commercials for Swiffer (the product that encourages you to throw your money away).  For the record, that is not how to use a feather duster (and I dare say that if you used a Swiffer like that, it would scatter dust around as well).

The technique is quite simple;use controlled movements without waving the feathers about with exaggerated motions. Use a smooth, swiping movement, as if you were painting (or putting barbeque sauce on your spare ribs). And always dust from top to bottom.  When a surface has been dusted, gently release the dust by tapping on the side of a garbage bin.

One last thought; ostrich feather dusters can be a little fragile, particularly if moths get in them and lay eggs.  We do recommend storing your feather duster with moth balls.  They can be washed with sudsy water to keep them clean between uses.  Treat it kindly, and it will last for years.

Visit Lambskin Specialties at the ISSA Show in Chicago, October 17-19th,  Booth 1248, to see our complete selection of dusters and cleaning accessories.

See you next time.



What Else?

After ‘What’s new?’…  ‘What else do you have?’ is probably the most commonly asked question of manufacturer.   And it is a great question!  I should know, I have heard it often enough.  In fact, we even created an ad campaign around that very question!

At Lambskin Specialties, we were always known for the Big Pro 312FH wool duster.  It was the industry standard.  We quickly learned that not every dusting job is the same…and they require different tools.  That is why we created extension dusters, and flex dusters, and wall dusters, and corner dusters…you get the idea. These products were created to address the different dusting applications faced by the front line cleaning staff – making their job easier, safer, and more economical.

What Else do you have?

No single duster will do every dusting job.


But the interesting thing I have learned about sales (and it applies equally to children!), the more you have, the more your customers want…and expect of you. So we didn’t stop there.  Over the years, we have broadened the line to include feather dusters and synthetic dusters, cob web dusters and microfibers.

Beyond the Duster

And beyond the duster category, other products such as buffing pads, applicator pads and wash mitts have been mainstays from early on.  Floor dusters, chamois, utility handles, carpet bonnets, window scrubbers and squeegees and auto squeegee are among the many products that have entered the Lambskin Specialties line over the years, and answer that question…’What else’?

All This and More

We are more than just a duster!

We have been committed to building the bundle of products that we offer; not just scratching the surface, but ensuring that we bring solutions, not simply products.  And we will continue to do that for as long as we exist.

‘What else’ isn’t just a question, it is a call to action!  Never stop asking the question, and never lower your expectations of the response.

Have a great summer.

Welcome to my Blog – The Dirt on Dusters

The Big Pro 312FH Duster

The 312FH “Big Pro” was our first DUST WAND lambswool duster model. It is still an industry standard.

Greetings to you all.

It’s not that I am that old (because I’m not), but when I was in University, I would have assumed a ‘Blog’ was some creature in horror movie from the ’60’s .  How times have changed.

So today I am pleased to welcome you to my Blog,  ‘The Dirt on Dusters’ (not a horror movie).  This is my opportunity to connect with you – our distributors, representatives and the people on the front lines that use our products. I am reaching you on your computer at work, or at home, or at the beach, or on your smart phone wherever you may be.  That’s a pretty exciting prospect.

Indeed, it is this remarkable ability to gain instant reach that takes me back over 4 decades when we launched the DUST WAND lambswool dusters in the late ’60’s.

Communicating with distributors was pretty restricted; you either made phone calls (over real phones – not skype), wrote letters (real ones…on paper, typed, and put in envelopes with stamps), or you made face to face calls.  The process was slow to say the least.  The obstacles immense.  But that was the way to do business.  No one knew differently.  No Linkedin; no texting; no Facebook; no websites; no cell phones; and no Blogs.

The Journey of a Lifetime

I was 8 and my brother Victor was 10 when our father took us on the sales journey of a lifetime.  I promise to share some of the amazing details in future entries – it’s a fun story.  But the real point is that being able to share my message with thousands of readers at the same time is such a long way from what my father was required/able to do when he introduced the wool duster to the industry so long ago.

While the face to face contact that my father engaged in allowed him to build personal connections with the companies he did business with, modern communication technology such as Blogs, gives me the opportunity to increase those connections exponentially.  And when I do get out there to make calls and visit trade shows, hopefully we will have already established some connections.

So here I am afforded the luxury of sharing my thoughts with you from the comfort of…well just about anywhere…at just about any time…and about almost any subject. Powerful and fun.

A chance for us all to learn

The main purpose is to give you the opportunity to learn more about  Lambskin Specialties and our products. Hopefully you will learn a little more about me and the people here at Lambskin Specialties in the process.

At the same time, we hope to learn more about you.  So please take a few minutes to offer your comments.  If you have used our products, tell us about your experience.  Your questions and input are always welcomed.  I want this to be a shared experience.

Have a great day.



Effective Dust Removal in Easy Reach with Dust Wand®

You’ve put it off for days, maybe even weeks…. that long reach to dust the skylight in the conference room.  The prospect of climbing a ladder to reach it wouldn’t seem as daunting if you had the right tools.

While dust may sound like a small maintenance matter, it can add up to some big labor costs and appearance issues.  The key is using products that quickly and effectively eliminate dust.  Otherwise, you are wasting time and money.

Lambskin Specialties has spent over 60 years perfecting the manufacturing of quality products for cleaning and dusting, specializing in its line of Dust Wand lambswool dusters, floor finish applicators and polishing bonnets.

Since Lambskin Specialties introduced the wool duster to the maintenance industry over 40 years ago, it has accumulated decades of experience in creating the highest quality dusting products.  The Dust Wand line has models designed to attack every dusting job; from floor moldings to desk tops; from high walls to sky-high light fixtures.

Line Variety
From the original Dust Wand to the recently unveiled MultiFlex Pad Holder (designed for cleaning difficult contoured surfaces such as bathtubs and Jacuzzis), Lambskin Specialties offers more dusting and surface cleaning equipment solutions than you can shake a dust pom at!

There are dusters ranging from premium ostrich feathers to economy turkey feather dusters.  The super-sized Big Red, a 36″ lambswool duster is designed for restoration clean-up. A full line of window washing cleaning tools is available including microfiber window strip washers, natural and synthetic chamois, window squeegees and automotive windshield squeegees.

“Over the years we have diversified our line of products to meet just about any dusting or flat surface cleaning need,” points out Myron Schultz, director of sales and marketing for Lambskin Specialties.  “To give you an idea of how deep our product categories are, we have over 22 dusters in our feather duster line alone. Our commitment to our customers is to provide the right tools for their various needs.”

Attention to Quality
When you wrap your fingers around a Dust Wand handle, you immediately feel the attention to quality.  The sturdy handle construction allows for long reaches with no bowing, cracking, breaking, or sliding.

You’ll also notice the quality of the dusting pom.  There is a consistency in the length and density of the wool fibers to deliver more effective dust removal and a longer product life.

Lambskin Specialties applies the same quality in the manufacture of its WindowPro line of scrub sleeves and t-bars.  The sleeves are manufactured with a specially designed fabric – both standard and microfiber – and are built to last with the inside seems reinforced to prevent the T-Bar from breaking through.  And speaking of T-Bars, each unit is designed to convert to a 6” T-Bar – that is two for the price of one!

If you are wondering about the best product for your needs, visit the Lambskin Specialties website at and click on the “Dusting 101” training module.  Or, call the experts at Lambskin Specialties at 1.800.665.0202,