A Father’s Day Tribute to BrandSource Dads, Part 3

By Andy Kriege, YSN

“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” — George Herbert

Today YSN concludes its three-part salute to all the dads out there in commemoration of Father’s Day. But a special shoutout goes to all the BrandSource fathers who selflessly work to impart a lifetime of knowledge and skills to the next generation, so they too can enjoy the rewards of entrepreneurship and continue the family legacy.

Indeed, as independent retailers, the foundation of many (if not most) of our group’s member companies were quite literally built by our forefathers.

Today our storefronts include countless sons and daughters working alongside their dads, day in and day out, just as many of today’s patriarchs worked alongside their fathers as they launched the family business.

It is certainly a special privilege to be able to work alongside your dad, the one person most of us would say we trust, admire and look up to more than anyone else. If you are one of the fortunate ones who have been mentored by your father in a family business, you are well aware of just how invaluable his knowledge and experience is. And if you are a father fortunate enough to have one of your children working alongside you in your business, it is incumbent upon you to do the same for them as your dad did for you.

So, for anyone lucky enough to have worked with their fathers, past or present, and for all our member dads, this Father’s Day reflection is for you.

Kelsey and John Hinton of John’s Appliance & Bedding Center in South Daytona, Fla.

Kelsey Hinton, John’s Appliance

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from your father about business?
“Never accept the first offer; everything is negotiable! My dad is a master negotiator and reminds me that you’ll never get what you don’t ask for.”

What’s the best life advice he has ever given you?
“‘You’ve got to be tough if you’re dumb.’ It’s a funny way of saying you’re responsible for your actions, especially the bad ones. It’s our family motto and we live by it! Also, it’s cliche, but dad has taught me to work hard and play hard in equal measure. He is the hardest-working person I know, but somehow also finds time to have more fun than just about anyone. He’s taught me that to enjoy a good life, you have to work hard for it.”

What is your favorite thing about working with him?
“My favorite thing about working with my dad is how much fun he has! He loves what he does, and it shows. I am the more ‘Type A’ one in the family — someone has to be! — but he always reminds me to laugh and not take things too seriously. He brings a light-hearted joy to even the worst situations, and makes everything a little more fun.”

Mark Lafferty of Lafferty’s Home Center in Texarkana, Texas, with his sons Mason and Miles and daughter Melyssa

Miles, Mason and Melyssa Lafferty, Lafferty Home Center

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from your father about business?
Melyssa: To treat customers and employees kindly and fairly.
Miles: He taught me how to deal with people and that patience is a huge part of that. Our business is about understanding each person individually and building relationships.
Mason: Dad has always treated people like they are truly special, from customers to employees and everyone in between. He passed this along to us kids and now we are passing it to his grandkids as well.

What’s the best life advice he has ever given you?
Miles: If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive.
Mason: Everything worth doing deserves your best. Give your all in everything you do, and the rewards will follow.
Melyssa: Family comes first; be present for my kids.

What is your favorite thing about working with him?
Miles: He is extremely understanding and flexible with all his employees. He will work with you, not against you.
Mason: Dad and I see eye to eye on a lot of business ideas. We work well and complement each other’s personality styles, so we rarely get crossways with each other. 
Melyssa: My dad is a problem solver. There is nothing too big that he won’t tackle. I love being able to spend time with him at work. We get to work together toward a common goal.

Allyssa and Mark Baird of AVB/BrandSource at the 2020 Summit in Las Vegas

Allyssa Baird, AVB/BrandSource

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from your father about business? 
“The most important thing I’ve learned from my father in regard to business is to always get up and go to work every day. He is the hardest-working guy I know and rarely takes a day off. He is highly efficient and dependable, and I try to be just like him!”

What’s the best life advice he has ever given you? 
“A quote that he has repeated to me as long as I can remember is, ‘Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug. Some days you’re up and some days you’re down.’ It’s words like that that help get me through the tough days.”

What is your favorite thing about working with him? 
“I love working with my dad! He’s a pretty hip dude who has always been open to innovation and change. He never gets stuck in a ‘This is the way things have always been done’ attitude and is always open and respectful to my suggestions and ideas. That goes both ways with us.”

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.