I'm frequently asked about how Grillie came to be. Whose idea was it? How did you come up with that? How did this come to be? Well, here's how it all started.
Meet Ron. Ron was my stepfather. Ron was a guy who always liked to have fun, always had a smile on his face and was full of energy. In addition to family, Ron was quite passionate about his dogs, Freemasonry, sailing and skeet shooting. After selling his business and retiring early, Ron who had terrible trouble sitting still found another business interest to keep himself occupied. He began importing high-end hood ornaments and selling them through various retailers and dealers around the country. He did this for some time and sprinkled it in among his other hobbies.
Seeing that selling hood ornaments that started around $400 and needing holes drilled in the vehicles' hood was becoming more of a challenge, he thought…..why not a grille ornament. Something that could bolt on easily and be much more affordable. So Ron set about creating some grille ornaments. A few dog breeds, a sailboat and a striped bass. And because Ron was familiar with the cast bronze hood ornaments he was still selling, his grille ornaments were also cast in bronze.
Ron's Striped Bass Grille Ornament
Well, not long after creating his first grille ornaments, Ron was diagnosed with cancer. And it was one of those cancers that when you find out you’ve got it, it’s already too late. Ron passed away 55 days later.
About two days before Ron died, we were sitting in the den talking about all sorts of stuff. And a bit out of nowhere, he said that he thought it would be “neat” if I did something with his hobby business. At the time I had a full time business of my own but knowing the end was near, I of course said that I would think about it and we went on to talk about other things.
Strangely enough, about three weeks after Ron’s services, I started to think about that conversation and about his grille ornaments. And the more I thought about it the more I liked the idea. I knew it had its hurdles as the product Ron had been making was trying to be retailed for $200 - $250 and there were some other wrinkles that needed to be ironed out too. But like Ron, everybody has something that they are passionate about, proud of or maybe a personality trait that they want to share.
Well, there are all sorts of little details and stories about challenges and successes I’ve incurred along the way, but that is pretty much how Grillie came to be. I’ve gotten a lot of help, encouragement and support along the way from all sorts of people. Not the least of whom was Ron.
So here’s to you Ron. A man with Passion, Pride and Personality.