Friday, May 22, 2015

Support Your Local Hardware Store: Study Shows Big Benefits for Your Community

By: Tara Mazzarella, Account Coordinator, Independent We Stand

Independent We Stand partnered with the North American Hardware Retailing Association (NRHA) to develop the “Home Sweet Home” study, which examined the economic impact of supporting independent hardware, outdoor power equipment, paint and lumber retailers as opposed to national home center chains. The results of this groundbreaking industry research were presented at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nev., on May 6, 2015. Our co-founder, Bill Brunelle, presented the findings, alongside Dan Trantensek, Vice President of NRHA, and Roger Phelps, Promotional Communications Manager at STIHL Inc.

The Home Sweet Home study; which was conducted by Civic Economics, found that purchasing home improvement products from locally-owned retailers generates twice as much local economic activity than purchases made at big box chain stores. These results prove that when a consumer spends their money on home improvement products, at an independent business more of their money will be re-circulated into their local economy; providing more funding for roads, schools, fire and rescue departments, and wages for their neighbors.

The study also found that purchasing STIHL products from an independent dealer results in a 71% increase in economic activity compare to purchasing comparable outdoor power equipment products at the major chains.
Brunelle says, “There’s no doubt that supporting local businesses is beneficial to a community. Previous research has shown that independently owned businesses provide substantial, quantifiable economic benefits. Our work with NRHA has produced some exciting results which illustrate the impact specifically within the hardware, outdoor power equipment, paint, and lumber industry. We are thrilled to share the findings of the Home Sweet Home Study and their potential impact on locally owned hardware stores.”
To demonstrate the results of the study, we also teamed up with STIHL Inc to create a “Home Sweet Home” economic impact calculator. How does it work? Just enter in your zip code to determine how much money you could re-circulate into your local economy if you trusted locally-owned retailers with your home-improvement product purchases.

Together, the two largest national home center chains sold more than $114 billion in goods in 2013 (excluding installation services). If just 10% of that business had gone instead to independents, hometowns around the country would enjoy the benefits of an additional $1.3 billion in economic activity.

This new research sheds light on the importance of independent locally-owned businesses and further illustrates the importance and economic benefits of supporting them. See for yourself and calculate your impact:
To see the full “Home Sweet Home” research study, click here.
For more information on Civic Economics, visit
For more information on the North American Retail Hardware Association, visit

Friday, May 8, 2015

An Introduction to the Sport of Dock Jumping

by Tom Dropik

Dock Jumping is a fun activity that has been around as long as there have been docks and lakes. Dogs have always had a love for the water, and a dock has always been a great way to get in that water just little quicker. It wasn't until recent years that Dock Jumping became a worldwide sport where dogs can compete to see who can jump the farthest, the highest, and who can get to their toy the fastest. It includes dogs of all sizes, breeds, genders, and all levels of abilities. The most exciting thing about this great sport is anyone can participate. 

 5 things to know if you’re interested in getting started

1 Know if your dog is a candidate for the sport – Does your dog love to swim and play in the water? Does your dog love to play with his/her toy? If you answered yes to both of the questions, congratulations, your dog is a candidate for the sport. The sport of Dock Jumping is all about going after the toy in the water.

2 Go to an Event – Dock Jumping events are open to anyone who wants to participate. The folks at the events are very welcoming and very willing to help you get started. Go to for events near you.

3 Practice – Dock jumping isn’t rocket science, but there are a few things you can do to help make the experience for you and your dog just that much better.  SportMutt has some great articles to read that will help you prepare. Click on the Training tab.

4 Essentials for the Game – Dock Jumping events are usually 2 to 3 day events. To help make that time more enjoyable be sure to bring a few essentials. Items such as kennels, towels, food and water, folding chairs,  and maybe some snacks and a cooler of drinks for you as well!

5 Have fun – a Dock Jumping event is a very exciting environment with lots of jumping dogs and lots of people watching and participating. It can be a bit overwhelming. Remember to relax and have fun. After all it is simply dogs jumping off a dock.

About Team STIHL – Dock Jumping enthusiasts – we started out just like everyone else. We heard about this fun game, we knew our dogs had a love for the water so we simply went to an event and had fun. After that we were hooked. That was 15 years ago. Team STIHL continues to travel around the US and Canada competing and educating people on what it takes to learn through interaction, behavior, and positive reinforcement. And we enjoy to passing on that experience to others so they enjoy the sport for many years to come.   


Learn more about Team STIHL Dock Dogs on their STIHL USA Team page or on their Facebook page

Friday, May 1, 2015

Gifts Mom Would Love for Mother's Day

Want to really make an impression on mom this Mother’s Day? Flowers are nice (and we hope you are using an independent local florist) but why not get her a gift that will keep flowers and landscape stunning for seasons to come….a STIHL!  Here are just a few of the products we think Mom would love!

STIHL Precision Series™ Hand Tools

STIHL has a variety of hand tools and accessories. If your mom enjoys fine pruning, but with the ability to handle larger stems, we recommend the PP 60. This hand pruner is extremely versatile and has top-quality blades.   When she’s not able to make the cuts she needs with hand pruners, the PS 10 Folding Saw will allow Mom to easily cut smaller branches and limbs.

STIHL Battery KombiSystem
Moms don’t like messy.  With the STIHL BatteryKombiSystem Lithium-Ion product line there is no fuel to pour, oil to mix, and no exhaust fumes. And there has never been a better time to buy with STIHL's $100 rebate on battery powered power tools.

With instant startups, long run times and powerful performance, mom will be have what she needs to do what she loves.  And because the STIHL Lithium-Ion batteries are interchangeable and work in any product in the line, including a chainsaw, blower, hedge trimmermower and grasstrimmer you have your gift list covered for the next few years.

STIHL Gloves
Take care of the hands that take care of so much.  The STIHL HomeScaper Series gloves are made from surprisingly soft and durable goat leather which lasts twice as long as common leathers and the innovative keyed thumb stitching provides super comfort and gripping ability.  Perfect to wear while creating that award winning garden.

Looking Good.
When Mom is out in the garden you want her looking good, so check out the STIHL Outfitters apparel designed especially for the ladies which offers a great selection of styles, materials and sizes. Choose from women's t-shirts, hats, polos and a wide range of accessories, including wallet and earrings. Now Mom can show her STIHL pride in her own unique style. 

Best of all Mom will know you care because you are giving her STIHL quality and dependability backed up by a local STIHL dealer who is knowledgeable and can provide ongoing product advice and maintenance. 

So use the dealer locator here on our blog or on our main website and let mom know you really care.

Monday, April 20, 2015

10 Reasons Why You Only Get STIHL at a STIHL Dealer

You can get outdoor power equipment at just about any big box retailer – but you can’t get a STIHL. Why? Because STIHL is only sold through independent dealers. We believe in supporting local economies. It is one of the reasons we are sponsors of  Independent We Stand, the national movement to support local business. And more importantly, we believe in supporting you.  Independent servicing dealers provide a level of knowledge and service and community support those other stores just can’t match.

Here are 10 reasons why we only sell through our servicing dealer.

#1: STIHL Dealers are outdoor equipment specialists

STIHL Dealers are dedicated to knowing your equipment and certified in that knowledge. You won’t find that at big-box stores, where the person selling you power tools may have little to no knowledge about your equipment.  And because they’re specialists…

 #2: STIHL Dealers can offer advice in choosing the right products for your needs

STIHL Dealers have a great selection of tools for light, occaisional or professional users, including chain saws, blowers, trimmers and more. STIHL Dealers know exactly what applications each product is suited for and can help you choose the right STIHL equipment for your needs. But excellent STIHL service doesn’t stop at the purchase…

 #3: STIHL Dealers service what they sell.

Big box stores want to sell you their tools, but don't have staff to maintain or repair them. When their tools break, you are often left with the choice of buying a new one or the hassle of returning it to the manufacturer directly—and pay for shipping. And that’s only if it’s under warranty. Buying a STIHL from a STIHL dealer means that if it needs repair, you just bring it to your STIHL Dealer. No jumping through hoops. And you know your equipment is always in the right hands since…

#4: A STIHL Dealer's service department is staffed with Trained Technicians.

 STIHL Dealers must complete a multi-phase training program before being certified to work on STIHL tools. They’re trained to diagnose, repair, assemble and inspect every STIHL tool we sell. No one knows your STIHL tools better than a certified STIHL Dealer. There’s even more a certified STIHL Dealer can do for you…

#5: STIHL Dealers can provide operating and safety demonstrations

STIHL Dealers can do more than talk the talk—they’ll start up any STIHL tool in the store and walk you through its operation. They’ll also demonstrate proper usage technique and point out important safety information. And you won’t have to worry about product assembly…

#6: At a STIHL Dealership, products are assembled and serviced - not sold "in a box."

When you buy a STIHL power tool, you can expect it to be fully assembled, fueled, started, and ready to run before you walk out the door. We don't believe that you should pay for your equipment and then do the work of assembling and hoping it will operate correctly.  STIHL Dealers do the work for you so you know your STIHL power tool will run when you get home.  And…

#7: STIHL Dealers complete your product registration for you.

Registration is a key part of activating a product’s warranty period. When you buy from a big box store, those warranty cards can be buried in the packaging, or worse, not exist at all. STIHL Dealers automatically register your product for you at checkout, so you’re covered from the moment you purchase it. And should your STIHL ever need servicing you can feel confident that it will be done right because…

 #8: You are guaranteed genuine STIHL products and parts - not cheap imitations

Often imitated but never duplicated, STIHL quality products and parts are ONLY found at your local STIHL Dealer. Don’t be fooled by counterfeit STIHL products available online, or from retailers claiming to carry aftermarket parts the "fit" your STIHL. Your local STIHL Dealer is the only place you’re guaranteed genuine STIHL quality. A guarantee of authenticity isn’t the only way a STIHL Dealer makes sure you’re covered for the task at hand…

#9: STIHL Dealers offer a full line of protective apparel.

STIHL Dealers have what you need to stay protected while using your power tools. We care about our customers so STIHL dealers stock a full line of portective apparel including chain saw protective pants, eye protection, helmet systems, hearing protection, high-visibility vests and more. It’s just another way STIHL Dealers value you, your safety and your business, as part of a lasting partnership. After all your STIHL dealer is a member of your community and…

 #10: At a STIHL Dealership, customer service is personal.

STIHL Dealers are independent businesses that do more than sell products – they build relationships.

They are members of your community, local businesses that return more financially and in community service.  They consult, answer questions and work hard to ensure your needs are met. Their goal is to have you as a customer for life.

Now that you’ve read the reasons, experience the STIHL Dealer experience for yourself.
Find your local Dealer!