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Social Media and Boat Building

On February 4, 2011, in News From Gayle, by Gayle Brantuk

building a plywood boat

Mom and I around 1960 observing Dad’s first S&G experiment

I have to confess to you that I’m not really sure how to integrate this blog and Facebook and Twitter into the Glen-L business. Growing up in this company, we always kept business and personal life very separate. In fact, we rarely let on that we were a small company and family owned.

I understand that when you’re building a business, to appear larger would maybe give people confidence in your products. At some point when my brother and I had been pretty much running things for a while, we “unveiled” the company, so to speak. That’s when we came clean that we’re a family business. And, you all really relate to that.

I guess I’m not even sure how to use things like Facebook in my personal life either. I like to read what others are doing and I think it’s amazing that I’m in contact with friends I had in elementary school that I never thought I’d hear from again. And, without Facebook I wouldn’t. That’s pretty powerful.

I’m not always comfortable telling people what I’m doing or where I am because I’m a little concerned about security issues. Thanks to my son who’s in the Air Force.

Plus, I’m often afraid I might say something really stupid and then it’s just out there forever.  I do love the idea that you can make comments and let me know what you think. That’s by the far the best part about social media. The whole reason I set up this blog, Facebook and Twitter is for you folks. I really want to make sure we keep up to date (as much as possible) and keep connected with as many of you as we can.

When setting up this blog, one of the categories for posts is “Random Thoughts”. I figured that would be a good place to talk about stuff other than boatbuilding. And, I have once or twice. The post I wrote for Thanksgiving got the most comments of any and I did bear my heart and my faith. It seemed to resonate with many of you.

When I post on the Glen-L Facebook page, I’ll get “likes” or short comments but not a lot of dialog. I’m not complaining, just stating my observation. I know I need to make it more interactive because that’s my job… but any suggestions are gladly accepted :)

Are you aware that most of my day is spent answering questions about building boats? Hmmm, maybe that’s why integrating personal issues doesn’t come up because I’m immersed in this hobby all day!

We had a man come in our office today that was full of energy and so upbeat. He built the Super Spartan a few years ago and absolutely loves the boat and had a tremendous amount of fun building it. So, he bought the plans for the Squirt for his next project. He talked about how people would drive by and stop when he was building in his garage and some even took pictures.

He’s completely sold on the idea of building boats. Another man came in that is brand new to boat building and had a whole lot of questions. He enjoys building things and the creative process of working with his hands so thinks that a boat would be a ton of fun. After talking a while, he said I made it seem like something he could do. He bought a catalog and will probably be back.

Another guy emailed today who wants to start a business with his buddy building boats using our designs. He’s ready to quit his job and just do it. Sounds like fun. I can’t tell you how many people have called or emailed wanting to do the same thing. Not sure if many do. But to have a dream… that’s awesome.

Bottom line… I enjoy talking with you guys–that’s the best part of this business.  If there’s anything you’d like to talk about please let me know. This is definitely one of those “random thoughts” posts… :)


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