Blog posts tagged with 'Stenten Story'

Introducing the newest member of our team!

We are happy to announce we have added a new member to our team here at Stenten's Ashley Widmer

Ashley started her career in customer service in 2004 and since has been dedicated to the highest quality of service possible for all of her clients. Having started at a small company with a large client base in Southern California, ashley is familiar with your need to speak with someone who knows you and is familiar with your account.  She promises to strive to be that person for you.


The Stenten Story - Chapter Three

Last issue I introduced Ernie, my first paid employee. We were already growing, so now I needed a place other than my one bedroom condo.  It was a nice place on the third floor but they frowned on any trucks or such.  I found the perfect place right on the bay with a dock, a one bedroom cottage that had been a guest house and now was a rental.  My landlords were great.  There was a carriage house on the property and I asked if I could store some stuff in there.  They hadn’t anticipated that it was going to be a whole truck full of coolers.  When George (my landlord) saw that he said “no can do.”  I moved them all to my cottage.  I had six pack coolers in cardboard boxes from floor to ceiling on the walls of my bedroom.  In the living room I used them as end tables and coffee table, just put a towel or table cloth over them to disguise is the odor of cardboard boxes in a small place.  Everything you have starts to smell like slightly damp cardboard.  Not very sexy.

George suggested that I needed to move my business venture out of the cottage… here we go again.  A couple of blocks away there was a small strip center and I rented the back room of an insurance agency.  It had its own door off the alley and one light bulb.  No phone, no problem… I could run back and forth to the cottage and I had an answering machine.  That didn’t last long as I was moving on up.  Rented a 12 by 12 room in the front of a mini warehouse and it came with two mini bins in the back.  At this point I put in a phone line and I was off and running.  I had an employee, Ernie, and a room and a phone, WOW!  As we packed things we put them out in front of the building for UPS to pick up.  Stenten’s was on its way.

~M. Stenten

 


The Stenten Story - Chapter Two

Stenten People

Over the next several months we are going to try and introduce you to some of our folks.  Since we are running with the Stenten story I’ll try to introduce as they came to be part of our story.

Ernie Williford is an original.  He was my very first paid employee.  Big money too, $5.00 an hour.  Ernie is a musician and wasn’t working days at the time so he agreed to help out.  He was packing and shipping and sweeping the floor.  I agreed that his music always came first and I still honor that if he has an important gig come up.  He’s never taken advantage of our agreement.

Ernie went on the road with his electric guitar and his voice when he was 17 and pretty much played all over the country.  When anyone mentions a small town Ernie can tell you where it is and where he played.  He did some big towns too, towns like New Orleans. One summer he played at Otesaga in Cooperstown.

He went from electric guitar to bass some 20 or so years ago and has performed all over Florida.  He is well respected in the music industry.  He plays a mean bass and has a great voice.  Jazz and Dixieland would be his favorite but his repertoire is far greater… Just doesn’t give him as much pleasure.  During the boom years he was working for me during the day and playing every night.  He’s a decent tennis player and a better than average golfer.

 

 Did I mention that he’s married to my sister?

 

~M. Stenten


The Stenten Story - Chapter One

Chapter One

Beginnings - December 1985

I was introduced to the golf car industry while acting as a rep for a company that sold Bimini tops for boats and enclosures for golf cars.  I couldn't imagine how you could enclose a golf car, coming from Ohio I had never seen a golf car with a top on it.  I was covering the state of Florida calling on golf car dealers.  What a nice bunch of guys they were.  I remember making a call one day to Wonder Golf Car in Orlando.  I spent some time speaking with Jerry who was Wonder’s parts guy and he asked me where they might find that mirror that went from one side of the car frame to the other.  I suggested he contact his accessory provider.  That got a big laugh and I was informed that there was no such thing.  I asked Jerry where they purchased the accessories their customers requested and his reply was Western Auto.  At that point I understood Jerry’s frustration because, in truth, he didn’t have a good supplier and often could not fulfill customer requests.  Jerry was actually the last person I spoke with as a rep for that Bimini company, because that December afternoon I was let go.  Turns out they didn’t need me anymore.  But my conversation with Jerry sparked the best idea I’ve had to date.  When I lost my job I found an opportunity.  Of course, I had no money, but I certainly had a lot of determination.

Belief – January 1986

Even though I had no money, my determination got the best of me and I started Stenten's in January 1986.  My one bedroom condo on the third floor offered little room for storage, but my lack of money made that easy – no money, no stockpile, no problem.  With some creative thinking and a dear friend, I was able to purchase coolers at wholesale pricing.  Aleda Tush, who I came to know through my love of fishing, owns Mr. CB's (my favorite store) and she agreed to let me order my coolers with her and pay the same price she did.  It was actually a win-win situation because the increase in Aleda’s order allowed for free freight.  But it was still a leap of faith for Aleda.  She allowed me to pick up my coolers the day they were delivered and only asked that I pay for them by the end of that day.  But I was a savvy business woman because when I placed my order, the coolers were already sold.  So as soon as I picked them up from Aleda’s I would deliver them to my customers and collect their payment.  I would then rush back and give Aleda a check to pay for my order.  To this day I know that without her faith in me, this business of mine may have floundered.  It was a humble start to the great business I enjoy today.

M. Stenten