Achieving Jet Black Concrete and Care & Maintenance Essentials

This week on The Concrete Podcast, we're delving into the wild world of misinformation in the concrete industry. We'll uncover the truth behind those myths that have been holding you back, teach you how to achieve that perfect jet black concrete, and share the secrets to proper care and maintenance. Plus, we'll reflect on the importance of gratitude in our business. So, tune in and let's lay down some solid foundations together.


#ConcretePodcast #ConcreteTruths #JetBlackConcrete #ConcreteCare #ConcreteMaintenance #IndustryMyths #Craftsmanship #GratitudeJourney #BuildingFoundations


Hello, Jon Schuler.

Hello, Brandon Gore.

We're one week out from the Fabric Forming and GFRC Workshop here in Wichita, Kansas.

I wanna say, I had another registration last night.

I wanna say we're at 10 people right now, currently registered, so there's still tons of room left.

If you wanna get in this class, the only one I'm doing this year,, check it out, read about it.

And like I said, it's gonna be a week from Friday.

So we're about a week and a half right now.

Right on, and you haven't done that one in a while.

Dude, it's been like two or three years since I've done it.


So I'm excited about it.

We're actually gonna make the sink for the studio here, for the main bathroom in the office.

We're gonna make a fabric form sink for that.

So it's not just a sink to make a sink, it's gonna be a sink that's gonna be here forever.

So I'm pretty excited about it.

I'm actually, I'm gonna work on a design later today.

Oh, so I was just gonna ask you, yeah, did you already put a design together?

You know, I did.

It's one I've been working on the 3D print, which by the way, dude, Fusion 360, I'm sure for like the young guys out there, it's really easy.

For me, I've been practicing and practicing and practicing.

I still just, it's so like non-intuitive for me.

So I actually have a guy coming up Saturday that works on prototyping and machining.

And I'm just gonna sub it out to him as far as the modeling and programming, because I just, there's things I wanna do.

So anyways, I designed a sink for the bathroom here that's really cool.

I'm gonna make the mold, I'm gonna make all the tooling and everything to do it, but I just, I'm having a hard time modeling it.

So I'm gonna have this guy come up, show him exactly what it is I need done, like, you know, drafts and fillets and, you know, all the different little details need to be there.

But that's the story for a different day.

But yeah, as far as the fabric form class, I wanna say it was a couple of years ago, it was the last time I did one in Eureka Springs.

And it's been one that I get requested a lot, but I just haven't had time to do it.

So first time in a long time, I'm excited to do it.

And we have a lot of alumni coming, like a lot.

Josh Bowe, I was looking at the list yesterday.

I mean, there's a lot of really solid guys.

Jeff and Kim Jones are gonna be here.

That's what we've been saying all along, man.

I mean, you know, the people who are interested in, I think we talked about this even in the last podcast a minute ago, but you know, the people, whether we're talking business or personal, the actual people, it's almost like you can look at a crowd and be around this crowd of individuals.

And there's some people in life that, you know, constantly want to excel and improve themselves.

You know what I mean?

So that's learning another language or reading or whatever.

I mean, whatever, whatever, whatever.

And that's what I love about the people who come back to various workshops.

These are always people trying to, you know, look up their game.

You know what I mean?


Bringing new things and prove what they're doing.

I think it's great.

Kyle Davis is gonna be in this one.

Dude, I love Kyle.

Kyle's been, I don't know, five workshops now.

He's been to a bunch, and he is a solid, solid craftsman, like doing really cool stuff, and always pushing the boundaries.

He's really into the Ramcrete, and he's just doing, I mean, some of the things he's done, he showed me photos, and you've seen the photos of some of the projects he's done are just insane in scale and complexity, and yeah, so anyways, it's gonna be a really good class, so I'm excited about that.

So last night, this is my little anecdotal story about my last week, and this happened last night.

My seven-year-old daughter lost her second front tooth, so now she's got the meth, the meth, uh, uh, hey, daddy, you know?

She's like, she's got that meth lisp going on.

Yeah, but anyways, besides that, which I think is so cute, so cute, she's at that age where she's got her two front teeth missing.

But anyways, she put her tooth, she made a little pillow that she tucks her tooth in, and put it underneath her pillow.

It's like the Tooth Fairy pillow that she tucks it in, like a little pocket.

And so she tucked it in and put it underneath her pillow.

And I said, well, here, pull to the edge so the Tooth Fairy can get to it easily.

You don't want to make the Tooth Fairy work too hard to find it.

So anyways, she goes to sleep, and I went and watched Deadliest Catch.

It was like the season premiere last night, so it was two hours.

And then I go to bed and I totally forgot, totally forgot.

Yeah, so I go to bed, I totally forget.

I wake up at like four in the morning with this really weird like anxiety of like, man, I'm forgetting something.

But I couldn't think what it was.

But I lay there for like an hour, like what in the world is bugging me right now?

And I couldn't think of it, and I finally fell back asleep.

And then this morning, I hear her wake up, and she's a little bit upset, and Erin's like, you know, what's going on?

She's like, tooth fairy didn't come.

And I'm like, oh, that was me, sorry.

I got up in the middle of the night to pee, and I saw a glow in the hallway, and I think I scared her away.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

She was really upset.

So I'm like, you know, here, let me give you some money, and I'll just mail it to the tooth fairy.

Like, you know, I know where the tooth fairy lives.

I'll just mail it to her.

She's like, no, you know, I'm not gonna do that.

I'm like, all right, well, I think the tooth fairy will probably come back.

I think, you know, yeah.

So anyways, but I feel, you know, I failed on my dad duties last night.

So, is what it is.

Awesome, man.

Yeah, yeah.

So that was my story of my week.

I got a list of things to talk about today.

You know, we actually did a podcast a while back and we didn't get through everything we wanted to get through.

Let me see if I can find those notes because I could add that to this list.

Let's see.

Where did I put that list?

Did I write it down or put it in my phone?

Maybe I put it in my phone.

Let me see.

What do you want to talk about while I'm looking for it?

Oh, dude.

Secret spot.

Oh, here I found it.

I found it.

Well, I don't have any, I mean, there's a couple of things that probably comes off as, I don't know, rantish.

There continues to be, and we've talked about it.

I'm trying to even like, how do I put this in a context without just saying.

It's so disheartening.

I was gonna use the word amazing, but it's disheartening to me to continue to see and read so much misinformation coming from places that set themselves up to be the purveyors of good quality information.

I wouldn't say that, but let me say this, because I know what you're talking about.

There's people out there that sell products that don't do this for a living.

That's most of the concrete materials industry.

Most of the concrete materials industry are people selling you stuff that don't actually do the things they're selling you.

So that's number one.

And the person that you're talking about is one of these people that sells products to an industry, but doesn't do this for a living.

So that's problem number one.

Problem number two is they commented or made a post that was really misleading and bad information, and it was done from a place of trying to create fear.

And the problem with creating fear is it doesn't create fear in people that know concrete and have a really solid foundation in the industry.

It creates fear in people that are new to the industry that don't know what they don't know yet.

And so the issue with this kind of misinformation that's being done from a place of wanting to sell an inferior product and to create fear about a much better product is that it's just so disingenuous and ultimately it's hurtful to the person that listens to it and believes it and is led down a path that ultimately will lead to problems and probably failure of their business in the long term.

So anyways, I'll just say what it is instead of dancing around it.

Somebody made this comment that UHPC is prone to cracking or being brittle because there was a person, one of our customers that shipped a crate and the piece showed up cracked.

I'm gonna tell you, dude, I've shipped crates that, and I build crates better than probably anybody in the world.

Like I take such pride in the way I build my crates.

They are incredibly strong and they can withstand just about anything, but not everything.

Meaning I've had crates that look like they fell off the back of a truck going down the interstate.

Another truck behind them ran over it, going 70 miles an hour, stopped.

Like, oh crap, I ran over something, backed back up over it again.

And then they got out and loaded it in the back of the truck and tried to deliver it to the customer.

I've had that happen.

Nothing's gonna sustain that kind of damage.

So, you know, there's always gonna be instances where it's out of your control.

No matter how well you create it, it's out of your control.

But to make the statement that a UHPC is more prone to cracking is just incredibly stupid.

What most people that know what they're talking about know, if they're in the concrete industry, is that the increase in compressive strength, there's a direct correlation in increase of tensile strength and flexural strength.

They track together.

And so as compressive goes up, those increase as well.

So somebody be like, whoa, weaker concrete's gonna fair better, not crack.

No, dummy, you're actually, you're 100% incorrect on that statement.

But I just, I know what you wanted to talk about.

I just wanna make sure that the people listening that are new to the industry, and I think we have a lot of people new to the industry listening.

We have a pretty big listenership at this point.

If you're new to concrete, don't believe that type of stupidity.

That somebody trying to sell you some crap concrete, they're trying to put lipstick on the pig, and they're trying to say, hey man, that Bugatti over there, you don't want that.

You want this jalopy.

The jalopy is what you want.

No, you don't want that.

You want the Bugatti.

So anyways, that's my take.

What's your take?

Well, that was some of the things per, I think you threw it out there.

I was just gonna say.

It's a very ignorant question, and maybe intentionally ignorant, intentionally misleading, whatever the case, I don't know.

But per what you just said, anybody who's been around long enough will tell you that most concrete mixes, now when I say mix, I'm talking about balanced mixes, not, I made concrete with all Portland cement.

Well, that's not concrete, but if you take any of it, it's a pretty general rule that tensile strength and flexural strength is about always about 10%, plus or minus 10% of the compression.

I mean, it doesn't matter what you're looking at, how far you go.

So the reality is, if your compression goes up, just by default, you do have, because 10% of 12,000 is definitely higher than 10% of 300.

It just is what it is.

But believe it or not, when it comes to UHPCs, that's where that general rule differs, and you start jumping into 20 and even 25%.

So I don't think this person is ignorant.

I think it was done on purpose.

And my point to that is just what you already eluded to.

The tough thing for people coming in, and I'm trying to think of other industries that would do it, but I can't think of it.

It's really disheartening to see certain individuals putting out from information specifically, or let's say purposely misleading as if they have the answers to something that something else is bad.

Does that make sense?

I mean, I'm probably going on a circle of dancing around it.

It goes back to what we talked about before, people teaching workshops that don't actually do this for a living.

The people that failed in an industry are gonna teach you how to do what they did, and that's fail.

If you wanna learn how to be successful, you go to the people that are successful.

If you wanna use products that successful concrete businesses use, then if there's a successful concrete business designing and manufacturing products, that's probably where you're gonna buy your products, because those products are proven to work.

You don't wanna buy it from somebody that sits in a warehouse someplace and just peddles stuff they're buying off the shelf and relabeling.

Bad information in, bad information out.

If you surround yourself with people that didn't succeed in a business and take their advice and their guidance, you're pretty much gonna be guaranteed to get what they got, which is failure.

So, I mean, I know I'm being a little harsh on this, but it just bugs me, and it bugs me to no end because there's obviously a motive.

I don't think we're being harsh enough.

Well, I feel there's a motive behind it that's really disingenuous, and it's really hurtful.

At the end of the day, this type of information, you know, the only reason we're addressing this is because the people that are new need to hear this.

That kind of information will lead people down a path of failure.

And that failure is financially a burden on them and will ultimately make them go out of business, and it hurts their families.

These people have kids, they have mortgages to pay, and you're gonna put out this bad information and do it in a malicious way to try to sell a product or to create fear of a really great product.

It's just such a, it's just such a, I've already said disingenuous in numerous times.

I'm trying to think of a different way to phrase it.

It's just a very dishonest and malicious thing to do.

If you're new to the industry, don't buy that rhetoric and don't buy from people that don't do it for a living.

I would say that.

Don't buy from people that don't.

Well, here's a telling thing.

I mean, to this individual, when he put his post up there and he had three experienced individuals come back with comments, and again, not malicious.

They weren't coming back as argumentive or mean or anything, but like trying to be engaging and not one response back by the original author.

I mean, that to me tells me like, no, they didn't want to be engaged.

They were hoping to see doubt.

Yeah, they just want to poison the well and walk away.

Misinformation out there.

Exactly, for the sake of being misinformed.

And it's, I don't know.

I guess what I'm saying, I wish it would stop, because I've said this before, and I fully, fully believe this.

If a product manufacturer or a product retailer, reseller, distributor, whatever we're going to call them, if you're honest about your products, whatever they are, right?

Honest about your sealer.

Maybe it's hard to apply, or it doesn't matter.

You know, what stain abuse can it handle?

Or whatever.

Does your mix, do your materials, do they create bug holes?

Do they not?

I mean, if you are honest about your materials, people will still buy them.

So I don't, sometimes I wonder if the misinformation is done out of fear mongering, like, oh, hey, I know mine doesn't do it quite that well and this and that.

And I just, as I'm going back to the whole, I talked about before, Timex versus Rolex, you know, or as we said, Festool versus Ryobi.

You know, even Ryobi doesn't, you know, crap on Festool as a way to somehow show.

It just, it's marketed to a different environment for different reasons.

And I truly believe if these people would stop doing stuff like that, instead, maybe just champion their products for what they do or don't do, people will still purchase them.

People will still use them.

It doesn't have to be what it's been this whole time.

And that's the part that bothers me because, anyway, I could go on about it, but I'm just gonna leave it there.

I wish it would stop.

Instead, I wish these individuals would like, just support your product line for what it is.

Don't blow smoke up people's backsides.

Don't make up stuff.

Don't misinform.

Don't have a phone call with somebody, telling them, oh, they all do the same thing.

When they don't, it's just, there's no reason for any of that stuff, realistically.

But I guess if you're not experienced, now you just got me thinking.

If you're not experienced and you don't do this, and maybe quite frankly, you don't even know what your products actually do, because you don't use them.

Haven't used them.

I guess that would change the whole conversation.


But you're right.

The motive is clear.

When you post and ghost, when you poison a well and you walk away, your motives are very clear.

You don't want to have a dialogue.

You don't want to have a conversation.

None of that was the intent.

The intent is to create doubt.

And that's the only thing you're trying to do.

And that's a very disingenuous thing to do in this very small niche industry.

And unfortunately, due to the turnover in this industry, there's a lot of new people that will read that and think that's the truth.

And they think that's, you know, oh my God, oh, I don't want to do that, you know?

And then they're led down a path.

And that path will lead them to pain and failure and, you know.

And I was thinking about that one day.

See, that to me is again, it's one of those, I don't know, I'm gonna call it the wives' tales or whatever you want to call it.

That's put out there for a very long time.

It's just that when it comes to concrete, and maybe it's said with anything, oh, well, the harder it gets, the more brittle it gets.

It mean whatever.

And so people looked at that like, see from concrete, you know, a higher PSA must be more and more brittle.

And that doesn't track at all.

The only way that would even possibly be possible would be, per what I said.

You know, all you did is add more Portland cement to it.

There was nothing in it to stabilize it.

There wasn't any sands or aggregates or whatever the case may be.

Well, then certainly.

I can certainly see it becoming more brittle.

But the general, just from an industry point of view, that, let's call that erroneous fact, has never been true.

Let me tell you this, real world experience here.

I've never, never had a piece chip.

Never, in 21 years, have I had a client call me and say, oh, a corner chipped off.

Never happened.

What I would say is, and back to that old wives tale about higher strengths equal more brittleness, is we can take 3000 PSI or 5000 PSI concrete, cast it, let's cast some normal GFRC, which is 10,000 to 12,000 PSI.

Let's cast Maker Mix, it's 20,000 PSI plus.

Let's drop them on the ground and let's see what happens.

I guarantee you the 3000 and 5000 PSI are gonna shatter like glass.

The GFRC will fare well, the Maker Mix will fare better.

Because as it tracks, the higher the compressive strength, the higher the tensile and flexural strength, and they're gonna take that abuse better.

So yeah, so that's just, that's really, again, bad information, and it is a lifestyle.

I heard that years ago from people, and where that rumor started, who knows?

But it's idiotic, and if you've done this for a living for a while, you'll know that that's not true at all.

It's actually the opposite.

The weaker the concrete, the more brittle it is.

The stronger the concrete, the better it fares.

So anyways, I don't have enough on that.

Let's move on to the next thing.

I found my list here, and there's a few things.

One was, I just wrote this down back a few weeks ago.

I spent like three or four weeks now.

I was talking to somebody that was gonna build their own cabinets, and we got into a conversation about cabinet building.

And they were asking me, because I've built my own cabinets, what my experience was, and what materials I'd used, and they were kind of hem-hawing around about quality of materials.

And what I told them was, and this has been my experience because I've made this mistake, was I've tried to use the cheaper material.

I've tried to use the lower-grade material.

And at the end of the day, it cost me far, far more in time and frustration.

And ultimately, the end product wasn't as good versus how I just bought a better product.

Meaning that I've used a lower-grade, cabinet-grade plywood to build cabinets, and it bows and it warps.

The layers delaminate, the ply, the seven-ply or 12-ply, it's coming apart.

When you're screwing it, it splits.

The veneer is super thin.

And ultimately, I just fight it and I fight it.

And then if I go and I buy a high-grade Baltic birch to build my cabinet boxes, it's dead flat.

It's stable.

It takes a screw well.

It's, I can get the-

It doesn't split as easy.

Dude, I can get the cabinet done in a fraction of the amount of time, and when I put it on the wall, it's way better quality.

And I just think like, I've learned this lesson a few times, but when I had this conversation with the person, it made me think like this is kind of the conversation we have with people about concrete.

And I just had this conversation with somebody that I have really, really respect in the concrete industry.

I super respect this person.

I think they're one of the most talented concrete artisans in the world.

And I followed them.

They came to a class years ago.

I followed them on social media.

And I noticed he was posting photos of his pieces and they had quite a bit of air pockets in them.

And dude, I hate to do the whole salesman thing because I don't want people to think that's the only reason I'm friends with them is I'm trying to sell them something.

You're calling?

But yeah.

Hey, Bobby.

Funny story about that, my cousin, dude, I hadn't talked to my cousin in years.

He's a total cheese dick, this guy.

I hadn't talked to him in years.

And he calls me up, he's like, hey, brother, it's been a long time.

Yeah, dude, how's it going?

He's like, have you ever considered life insurance?

Obviously, he's in the insurance business these days.

That was second sentence out of his mouth.

I'm like, oh God, this guy.

So I don't want to do that.

I never want to come off that way.

But like I said, I've followed him on social media.

He came to a class a long time ago.

I really, really think highly of him.

But I noticed he was posting these photos of Concrete.

It had a lot of air in it.

And I just reached out and said, hey, we never really talked about it, but if you ever want to chat Concrete, we have Kodiak Pro, and a lot of people are finding success with it.

And he's like, yeah.

He's like, well, tell me about it.

He's like, I'd like to hear about it, but I'll just let you know, I currently have my mix made locally, and I pay $11 a bag.

Now, I don't know how heavy the bags are, but $11 a bag, it's doable, but there's not much to it at $11 a bag, right?

No, I guarantee you there's not, yeah.

Yeah, I mean, there's just the cost of materials, the cost of cement, you know, the cost of sand and the cost of bagging.

There's not gonna be much to it.

No, I mean, the maker makes, right, per bag, we've got what, $6 in silica fume alone.


So I just broke it down to him and I explained to him, well, let me just pull it up because I sent to him in a text.

Hold on one second, because I wrote it out and it was really long and I apologized to him in advance and just said, listen, you know, I'm not trying to write a novel here, but I don't want to miss anything.

Here it is, all right.

So I explained to him, you know, $11 a bag, it may seem like a good deal on the surface, but if we break that down on actual cost, at Maker Mix, we're, you know, on the high end, if we, depending on what numbers we pull, we're about $12 per square foot.

$12 per square foot.

And so, you know, I was saying, let's look at like just an average project on, you know, right now you're currently slurring and polishing.

So let's say that takes you six, six to 10 hours on average project and that additional time and labor.

When you demold, you have to slurry, you have to polish, slurry, polish, slurry, polish, you know, in the time in between, let's say six to 10 hours.

So on 8-foot sink, he would save, quote unquote, save $76 on materials compared to his $11 a bag.

But if on the low end at six hours, and you value your time at 2.15 hour, which again, we can go into this and there's tons and tons of articles online that kind of talk about how you should value your time as a business.

But 2.15 hour, that's a net loss of 1424.

And he also, there's six hours of time that he could have done on anything else.

He could have gone fishing, he could have gone hiking, he could have just stayed home if you want to do it.

Like that's six hours of your life gone.

So then I said on 30 foot kitchen, you might save on the front end, just on materials, $285 on a 30 square foot kitchen.

But let's say you have 10 hours on that because it's a bigger piece on the additional labor.

Your net loss jumps to $2215 as your net loss compared to using a product that you don't have to do those things.

And then I said, you know, even if you value your time at $85 an hour, which is insanely low, that's, my father owned a engineering and land survey company when I was a kid.

And me as a junior person on the survey crew, I was 14 years old, 13 years old, they build my time to the customers back then.

This was in the mid 90s, early 90s.

They build my time to the customers at $85 an hour back then as a junior person on the crew.

That's what they build the customers, 85 an hour in the early 90s, okay?

That was the billable rate.

The actual surveyors, the licensed surveyors, they're like $152 bucks an hour, was what they're billing clients for their time.

So if you're a business owner in 2024, and inflation has increased 47% in four years, and you're billing your time at $85 an hour, you're way undervaluing your time as a business owner.

But let's just use that number for this equation, because I did for him, because a lot of people really struggle with valuing their time at a higher rate.

So I said at $85 an hour, you'd still lose $434 on the sink, and $565 on the kitchen, versus just using a product that you don't have to have all that additional time and energy into.

It goes back to work-life balance and spending a little bit upfront, but saving you a ton of time throughout the project, and ultimately ending up with a better end product.

So that was one of the things on my list that I wrote down.

Any thoughts on that before I move on to the next one?

Well, yeah, actually, per what you're just saying, there was a, in my opinion, a brilliant post, because now here you're talking about dollars and cents and labor, and see, I'm gonna take it more from a, what, artisan point of view, and what is your expectation, right?

I mean, in other words, whenever you're making whatever you're making, if you weren't looking for those holes, I get it.

Like, oh, what a pain in the butt.

If you are looking for them, then okay, how do we create and achieve that?

So along the lines that I think almost covers this whole thing is Phil Courtney actually recently did a really nice post where he did, and he had posted, but he, as he said, he never posted the final photos, is this three-dimensional desks with this knockout where some lettering was going on and et cetera, et cetera.

And in this particular three-dimensional cast desk, he used RadMix.

And he was blown away on how clean this came out.

Like he said, maybe, I don't know the square footage of all the faces, but he's like, maybe a few pinpricks here or there.

And that's after processing acid washing in the whole nine yards.

So if that, again, let's just take for granted, because this is where the whole course, that's good or that's bad, I don't know.

But let's just say that's what you were looking for.

Like, no, man, I really wanted to cast this clean.

I didn't want to, I'm really hoping not to spend all this time filling and patching and coloring and blah, blah, blah, blah, like, okay, cool.

And then he did a project about the same time, maybe again, a three dimensional cast of a barbecue area using, and in this case, I'm just gonna say what it is because he's saying what it is, using a tech 10 combo.

And let's just say it's a dramatic difference.

Quite a bit of voids, the whole nine yards, and I'm even reading his, I don't feel like I'm necessarily calling it out because the reality is, I don't think he is.

He's not saying, hey, this is better and this isn't.

Maybe we all can perceive that as better or worse, but at the end of the day, I guess what I'm saying is, in this case, or per who you were talking to, like, no, man, I'm really looking for this really voidy, pinhole-y, blah, and this is something I've said all along, then hey, man, high five, good for you.

That's how you did it.

And this is products you'd use to achieve that.

I don't know if that necessarily makes those products bad, but what I would say is, if you were trying to achieve the results that Phil was getting with his three-dimensional desk, you know what I mean?

It looks like, I mean, that's gotta be a pretty good three-foot, four-foot vertical cast, and instead, you're like, oh, no, man, I'd like this clean, especially if there's gonna be lettering on it, and I don't want it to look like it got shot with a shotgun, right, with all these holes and crap all over the place.

Well, then, now there's an end of a product line that achieves that, which didn't exist before.

Dude, another conversation.

We have these guys up in Canada that are really, really good customers, and they've been to several workshops, and they're gonna start, hopefully, at some point, I don't know when it's gonna happen, but they'll start distributing Kodiak, I hope, up in Canada.

Yeah, we're talking to them, yeah, yeah.

But one of the partners in the company is a business guy.

He's not a concrete guy.

And he called me last week, and we're having a conversation.

And he listens to the podcast, which is great, and he called me, and he's like, oh my God, I feel like I know you.

I listen to all the podcasts.

And I was like, yeah, I hear that from people.

But anyways, we were talking about business, and he was talking about lost opportunity and how he's been really pushing his other partners who have been using another product that's lower cost, but they spend so much time in post-processing.

He's been really pushing because he's like, guys, I know you think, it seems to make sense that a lower cost product are gonna make more money, but we're losing so much money.

Let's say right up front, like, hey, as we always talk about, I get this and it's three bucks a square foot.

That's $12 a square foot.

That's $9 a square foot difference.

That's just, but at the end of the day, you're like, yeah, but holy crap, man.

It saved three day, you know, on our whole team, three or four days labor.

That's like, no, as you just said, that 300 bucks difference in a project and materials is just ridiculous to talk about when you start talking about the difference of thousands of dollars in labor hours.

And lost opportunity.

And he brought that up.

I'm like, dude, it's so refreshing to talk to somebody that gets the bigger picture, because I'm so used to pulling teeth with concrete hours.

I was like, but $11 a bag.

I get it for this.

But you're missing the bigger picture here.

And he gets it from a business viewpoint.

His background is business.

And it was so good to talk to him because he got it.

He got it.

He's like, dude, 100%.

He's like, I understand that we need to get these projects in and get them out and not have three times the amount of labor into them that we currently have.

Because they're trying to triple their business.

That's the thing that he's trying to do, is they're trying to grow the business from where they're at now.

They're going to try to, in the next few years, 300% grow their business.

And they have a plan.

Yeah, they have a plan to do it, and they have a path forward.

But a big part of that is the materials, because what they're doing right now, they can't triple their business doing what they're currently doing.

So they're going to have to make changes.

But go ahead.

It's hard from an artisan point of view, and I think this is some of the things other people said.

It's hard from an artisan point of view.

I totally understand the labor point of view.

I mean, all of that is ridiculous.

Meaning, or it should be for most people, sit and look at your dollars and cents.

Look at your business model.

Look at your profits versus loss, and what you're doing and how you're moving forward.

I mean, all of that, one way or another, I would hope anybody doing this sits down, and all of that becomes pretty brainless to you.

Then from an artisan point of view, I see things as just differently.

Meaning, again, different tools for the toolbox, and et cetera, et cetera.

And although I'm still a believer, if you have a product that you can manipulate to create artisan effects, I would rather go that direction than saying, hey, I need to order these materials from various different vendors because I know this one foams up my concrete, hence creates those kinds of problems versus manipulating the other one.

But that's just me.

Those days for me of having all these different things in my shop, that's kind of done for me personally.

Well, it's the value of time.

And really, at the end of the day, what these small business guys ultimately will figure out, because it took me a while to figure out.

I was one of the people that just had my head in the sand and thought my time wasn't worth anything.

But at some point, you come to realize that the most valuable thing in your business, the thing that has the highest cost, is your time.

And there's a dollars and cents cost, but there's also just a life cost of your time, your trading your time.

And I was talking to my wife this morning.

I have this fantasy of just selling everything and getting a travel trailer and hitting the road with the family, right?

And I will always think about it.

I was looking last night at Yukon's and travel trailers.

I'm like, let's just do it.

Let's do it.

Let's sell it all.

I live about 22 footers, like $387,000.


Well, anyways, back to my fantasy here, Jon.

So I'm like, I'll sell it all.

I'll sell it all.

So I was talking to her this morning, and I was like, you know, I did the math.

We could sell everything.

We could buy everything cash, and we'd have a good chunk in the account.

And let's just hit the road.

Let's just hit the road.

And, you know, she was kind of pushing back against it.

But I told her, I said, you know, my oldest daughter is seven.

I have 11 years with her right now, left.

11 years.

And that's going to fly like that, because this seven years has gone like that.

And it's going to be gone.

And I said, you know, at the end of the day, I can't buy back any of this time.

You know, in 11 years, if all I do is I grind and I grind and I work and I'm in my shop, you know, and all that kind of stuff, oh, great, I have all this money, okay.

I can't buy back anything that I lost.

But the most valuable thing I have in my life right now is the time with my family.

That is the most valuable thing.

And that's something that I think all of us really need to take an account of when we're doing the breakdown of like, what's the cost of whatever you're doing, whether it's building cabinetry using cheap plywood or making concrete using cheap concrete or, you know, sealing concrete with the sealer you bought at Home Depot or Lowe's because it was cheap.

What is the value of your time?

Because ultimately those things are going to end up costing you a substantial amount of your time.

And what's that worth?

What's that cost to you?

So anyways, we could go on this forever.

Let's get on some real topics of interest to our listeners.

Hit me.

Hit you, okay.

Hit me.

I'm interested.

I'm more interested than anybody else.

I know.

And funny enough, the conversations I've had with people last couple weeks, like I said, with the guy in Canada and stuff, they all really enjoy these conversations because for them, they're like, yes, yes.

I mean, they totally, it resonates with them.

So I think some people find it interesting.

I think some people find it redundant.

Either way, it's, you know, always a topic of conversation.


A conversation that popped up on our forum today, but it's something I hear all the time, or a question I hear all the time, is how to get jet black concrete.

Yeah, black, yeah.

Black as black as black.

I want the blackest concrete possible.

So if you want jet black, number one, we have a pigment called jet.

And jet is a blend of a carbon pigment and an oxide pigment.

And the problem with carbons is they foam the concrete, they weaken the concrete.

If you do a heavy carbon load, anybody that's done it, it's just like chalk.

You know, the concrete is soft, you acidatch it, and then you go and wipe a paper towel across it, and the paper towel is black, because the surface is just soft, right?

It's just coming off.

Oxides, on the other hand, they're more stable, sounds like a word, because it's not a stability issue, but you can dose them higher, but they kind of max out as far as how dark they'll get.

And so if you do 5% or 10%, that's the same thing, you know?

Yeah, they're not as strong.


And so what we found is we have a blend, where we do a blend of carbon and jet.

And a super black, there's another one in there.


But it yields the darkest black possible at a reasonable loading that isn't going to diminish the strength of the concrete.

So what we recommend, at least this has been my experience, is anything beyond 3% of jet, there's no point.

Yeah, your bang for buck definitely goes down.

Yeah, and I have samples in the back, 3%, 4%, 5%, all the way up to 7%.

And beyond 3%, all the others are negligibly darker.

I mean, it's negligible.

You can't, from 3 feet away, they look exactly the same.

So it's so negligible.

So 3% is the max loading, in my opinion, of jet.

But it's not jet black.

I mean, because we're putting into a white base, it's going to be like a dark charcoal, which in my opinion is a great color.

I send this to customers all the time, these color samples, they love them.

It's a very natural color.

Jet black, when I say jet black, I'm talking about like Sharpie black, is not a natural color.

That's not a natural color.

It's not found in nature.

Nothing is that black.

But that being said, sometimes customers want it.

So in those instances, the best thing to do is to cast with 3% jet pigment.

And then after you demold, you acid etch, you then do what you used to call a glaze.

This was a product you developed when you worked with Delta Performance Products slash Buddy Rhodes, where it was, and essentially what it was, was pigment mixed with ICT.

And it was a tint, essentially, but it had the ICT sealer mixed in, so it helped lock up the surface.

And people can do this themselves.

They can make their own quote unquote glaze, if you want to call it that.

Gabriel, our distributor in the UK, designer of concrete supplies, he does it quite a bit.

I know Brandon Browning and Dusty Baker and all those guys.

They're a big fan of glaze.

I haven't done it in a long time, but I did have a project at one point that had to be jet black, and that's how I got it.

And I mean, it was jet black.

I had black, nitrile gloves on, and I have a photo of the glove, my gloved hand on the surface, and they're identical in color.

So it works.

But essentially, you ask it at...

Well, and the key is it needs to be in every lift.

I think the mistake people make, this goes back, and we've talked this many times, don't use a glaze and paint it on and then seal afterwards.

It won't last.

If you put a percentage in every application, then it won't wear off and it won't create a barrier for the sealer.

So that was always like...

The one mistake people made was trying to use them as a paint and then sealing afterwards, and that just doesn't work.

Yeah, layering it.

Not doing it super, super, super heavy, but yeah, layering it.

And so I say I hadn't done it, but I did do it recently.

I'm trying to think what it was for.

It was for a charcoal erosion sink I had to darken slightly.

And I didn't go black, but I did darken it.

And so I took a little bit of JetPigment, mixed it in, and just tinted the sealer, and just every coat, it would just slightly shift it darker and darker and darker, and it was progressive.

But anyways, that's how you do it.

And you can get JetBlack doing that.

If you want absolute midnight black, that's how you do it.

Well, and the other option to me, again, if black is a necessity, because you're talking make or mix, which yeah, make or mix is using federal white cement.

It's a white background.

It just is what it is.

Rad mix to me would be the choice if you want to cut down on, again, even how much glazing.

You still may have to do glaze, but anyway, my point being, you want a gray cement, like a dark gray cement, if that's what's available in your area.

And then choice number two, because any amount of acid washing could expose some of the lighter sands in maker mix, then you'd use a black beauty as your sands.

Yeah, so it's everything black on black on black, and it really cuts down on, let's say, the potential of an exposure like, oh, now I have to really darken those sands and da-da-da-da-da.

No, so if you went gray cement, rad mix, black beauty, and again, same thing, 3%, boom, boom, boom, and then lightly add a black dye, black water-based dye to your first application as a sealer and all the way through, probably somewhere in a 3% to 5% dilution.

Oh yeah, that thing would be black.

That's a great point that I totally forgot and has bit me in the past is the sands.

The sands will get you.

And so I have had to remake pieces, not just when I'm going jet black, but when I'm doing charcoal, because once you acid-atch, all those sands will then lighten the piece because they're exposed now and they're not black or charcoal.

And so if I'm doing a dark charcoal piece and I'm going to do a fairly heavy exposure or if I'm doing an erosion sink, the erosion sink's a very layered design, but it ends up having these highs and lows of exposure because I'm hand-polishing with wet sandpaper.

And it's hitting the high spots and not the low spots in the same amount of material removal.

So the edges will end up having more material removed, and what happens is it ends up being very exaggerated.

You can see each layer because there's a light exposure of sand.

And I've had to remake charcoal pieces in the past because I continue to forget this lesson of the sands are important when you're doing dark.

And so I do keep Black Beauty, which is a carbide.

They sell it sometimes at concrete supply stores, sometimes at...

I had to go someplace in Springfield last time to buy it because they use it for sandblasting a lot of times.

It's used for that.

But it's a very heavy aggregate sand.

I mean, it's big.

It's like chunky.

But it still yielded.

I did it for my sink in Eureka Springs in the studio.

I had a black erosion sink in the bathroom, and I used Black Beauty in that.

It looked great.

I mean, it looked really nice when it was all done.

But yeah, it's a great point, Jon.

Yes, it is.

That's why I made it.

Well, I'm glad you made it, because I forgot again.

I forgot.

I always forget.

You're smart, Jon.

You're smart.

You're extremely smart.

Okay, so the next thing on my list here, Jon, Karen Maynard's instructions.

I saw...

Who was it this morning?

Our buddy, he works with Dusty sometimes.

Edgar Martinez.

He posted a story on Facebook and Instagram, and he's writing up some Karen Maynard's instructions, which I think he got from you.

And the reason I think that is because there are some typos, and you always have typos in everything you write.

No, they're not typos.

They're just Schuler in there.

Well, I was reading through it.

I'm like, this sounds like Jon wrote it because there's some typos in it.

So I sent a message and just said, listen, dude, there's a couple typos in there.

But anyways, my point is care and maintenance.

It's something we haven't discussed in a long time, but we can't talk about all concrete care and maintenance because it's really material specific.

So if you're using a different type of mix, a different kind of sealer, there's going to be different care and maintenance per those materials that may not pertain to what we're doing and vice versa.

But for the materials that we use, and for more or less what I've been using now for 12 years now, I guess, 2010 or 2012 is when I made the switch to use an ICT, somewhere around right around there.

It must have been 2010, because 2012 I launched hard goods.

I'd been doing ICT for quite a while.

So I guess 14 years now I've been using ICT.

But care and maintenance for ICT sealed pieces, what would you recommend, Sean?

Yeah, it's interesting in bringing this up because I was just literally talking about updating the care and maintenance sheet on the ICT group page in the file section.

Let's take all the typos out of it this time, okay?

Send it to me, I'll clean it up for you.

No, they got to stay, man.

Otherwise, it doesn't read right.

You take those out, you get lost in what's being said.

That's the whole idea.

You just got to be like, oh, I see what Jon's talking about.

So, well, I mean, for me, it's still been the same.

I still talk about Windex with vinegar, Clorox.

What I have always tried to do is set the durability of the surfaces based on something somebody can maintain care and maintenance by buying something at the grocery store, right?

Not necessarily having something super special type of thing, but soap and water is still good.

Nothing hard abrasive.

Don't take Ajax or any of that to your countertops.

But I'm going to say some of that stuff needs to be updated after this amount of time because what I have seen, I think most of us, Magic Eraser, which is I would still consider that an abrasive.

I think it's like a 300, right?

350 grit or something like that.

I heard that those are actually melamine sponges.

That's what a Magic Eraser is, a melamine sponge.

That's what somebody said on TikTok.

I don't know if it's true.

I also think there's a cleaning agent in it because when you get it wet, it works better.

So you're supposed to get them wet and wring them out and then use them to clean.

I think there's some type of cleaning compound in it.


So, you know, those work.

And then over the last year or so, we've been talking a lot about the ceramics.

And so, you know, the spray-based ceramics that are more of like a maintenance kind of product, those work really good on these types of surfaces, meaning, you know, ICT-sealed, make-or-mix concrete ICT-sealed kind of surfaces.

But the rest still applies.

You can certainly still do a diluted vinegar, you know, vinegar and baking soda.

Let's approach this in a very clear and concise way, because you're jumping all over the place, and you're throwing out words that I know what you mean, but somebody listening doesn't know what you mean.

Let's start with what are products you want to use to clean the surface, number one.

What do you want to clean with?

Sponge, soft soaps, Windex and vinegar, Clorox, any of those wipes, any of that kind of stuff.

Anything low abrasion or minimal abrasion.


Pretty simple.

In this vein, because this is a question I have, as I'm sitting in my office right now, I'm looking at a coffee table that I put that ceramic on, which we'll talk about that in a minute.

Is there any cleaner that will strip that ceramic off, like with simple green strip it off?

Is there any cleaners I should not use on this table to help protect the ceramic, to keep it on the surface?

I think it's always going to slowly wear, but in this case, no.

I would just say the only thing you want to avoid is solvents, any harsh solvents.

That would be the only thing.

ICT being a colloidal based, and again, let's say a silicate based, has a direct reaction with the silicon dioxide in your ceramics.

So it creates more than the conventional covalent bond.

So I guess what I'm saying, with ICT, this whole conversation goes sideways, comparatively speaking.

So as long as you're not using solvents, then no, the most you're going to, you are going to slowly wear away your ceramic, but that's where now you have some kind of ceramic as a maintenance product.

This is back to, what was it called, CarPro 2.0?

I'll tell you what it is, because I've looked it up while you were talking.

So as far as ceramics go, if you do use a ceramic, the ceramics is optional, but a lot of people have really switched, I'm one of them that switched to do them on everything.

It's just now part of my process.

But the first part of that is going to be this product called Gaon Q2 Mo's Evo Ceramic.

Now, why do they got to have so many damn words?

I don't know.

Somebody like Jon Schuler over in China or Korea, wherever the stuff's made, is like, you know what we should do?

We should name this Evo Q2 Mo's...

Just whatever.

Or the 732.

I know, exactly.

Gion, G-Y-E-O-N, Q2, so Q, the letter Q, Q2, Mo's, M-O-H-S, Evo, E-V-O, ceramic coating.

So that's the first thing you put on.

That's the actual ceramic.

And then there's a product made by the same company, Gion, called Quartz Cure Matte.

And Quartz Cure Matte is a sprayable, it comes in a spray bottle like Windex, and you spray it on, you just wipe it with a microfiber and that's it.

And that would be the maintenance product.

And I've told the last several projects I've shipped out to customers, I haven't added it to my care and maintenance, which I should, but I've told them about the product.

I said, get on Amazon, you can buy it on Amazon, and about once a month, clean the countertops and then apply this.

And that's just going to maintain that ceramic coating.

And they're like, all right, cool, yeah, I'll buy it.

So those are the two products.

So that's the cleaning aspect.

What are things people should avoid putting, like staining agents, or what should a customer avoid putting on a surface sealed with ICT and a ceramic on top of that?

Well, again, I think it still maintains the same.

Potted plants, anything, you know, raw, bottom, what am I thinking?

Unglazed ceramics.

Yeah, pottery, yeah, clay, you know, any of that kind of stuff that sits there wet for a long period of time, even though that, but again, whether that's ICT, no sealer, no concrete countertop.

That's just a no-no to concrete countertops in general, but that still would be my no-nos.

Other than that, I'm just back to anything, you know, solvent-based, which most people are not wiping their countertops down with xylene, you know what I mean, or MEK, or so, but that's what I would say.

Just avoid your harsh solvents.

There's why they would be in a kitchen, I don't know.

If you had the occasional drip of, you know, we've all gone through it, right?

Daughters, you know, doing the nails, maybe a little acetone, any of that, that doesn't really bother anything, but what you don't want to do is constantly be wiping it down as a maintenance product with acetone.

But like, you know, wipe up spills in a reasonable amount of time.

If you spill red wine, if you spill oil, if you spill orange juice, don't just walk away and leave it for the weekend.

Wipe it up, you know?

So that's one of the things that I always tell customers, is just keep the surface clean, you know?

Spills, it's not going to be immediately an issue, but if you spill red wine, and it gets trapped underneath the cutting board, and it sits there for a week, you're going to have a problem, you know?

These are just good practices, I think, in general.


Like, it was a minute ago, Patrick Miller, right, was talking about, now his was vinegar, but I think he was also talking about that he has clients that take whatever, their oil bottles, and leave them right there on their counters.

And I was just like, I don't know, for me personally, that's not even a concrete countertop issue.

That's not an ICT issue, that's not an issue.

You know, that's just a kind of a standard thing.

I don't, courts, I don't care what you're doing.

You know, if you are going to have those kind of things on your countertop, you know, have something with some feet to set it on.

That's all.

I mean, to me, that's just standard practice.

And we do in my house, in fact, not because it's ICT, but Aims got these beautiful little wood, I don't know what you call them, but she puts her decorative stuff on them, right?

And on those, I have the little feet, the little, not foamy feet, but...

The rubber feet?

I don't know, what are rubber bumpers?

You know, in other words, stops the direct contact of the wood to the concrete, so no tannins, you know, any of that kind of jazz, and plenty of airflow underneath.

It's never an issue.

And if you look...

I'm turning my head right now, as you're probably...

If you look on our countertops, you know, that's where she keeps the bottle of olive oils and all that kind of stuff on these kind of things.

You know, the little syrups that she does for making her coffee or whatever.

So to me, that's just all standard practice.

That's just being a clean human.

Yeah, exactly.

In my kitchen, I'll tell you what I did, and I also did this in the bathroom, and we don't have concrete in our bathroom at our house yet.

We haven't remodeled the bathroom.

But again, it's just about being clean.

I got them on Amazon.

They're stainless steel dental hygienist trays, and they're like three inches by six inches.

You know, like three by six.

They have a lip around them, and they're made of stainless.

And I just epoxy little rubber feet on the bottom, little bumpers.

And so it sits up off the surface.

It doesn't sit direct on it.

But when the girls are getting hand soap and stuff, it all drips into that tray, and I can just rinse that tray out in the sink, and it's not building up on the counter.

Works great, looks nice.

You know, it's a little stainless tray.

And they're like three bucks on Amazon.

So that's a good one.


I just put little feet on it.

That's all.

I had Case.

Jared Case hit me up last week.

Kind of the same thing.

He did a countertop for a customer, and they...

What were they doing?

He called me up.

He sealed it with ICT.

And I think it was a soap bottle.

I'm trying to remember exactly what it was.

But it left a little bit of a haze.

But it never dries, and it's just like wet, watery soap there for weeks and weeks and weeks.

And I told him, dude, I mean, that's just...

That's life.

If they want to do that, then that's what's going to happen.

Like, I don't know what to tell you.

If you had granite, it would do the same thing.

If you had soapstone, it would do the same thing.

This is a real product.

This isn't plastic.

If you want a real wood floor in your house, you can't expect to drag the coffee table across the floor and not leave a scratch.

It's going to leave a scratch.

If you want a real wood floor in your house and you spill something on it and you leave it there for a week, it's going to leave a stain.

There's expectations with real products that have to be embraced by the customer.

They can't have unrealistic expectations of a product when they're using a real product.

If you want to just do straight plastic, I want to have a laminate countertop.

It's just a sheet of plastic.

Okay, yeah, let the soap sit there for a week.

But I've even seen laminate.

I mean, you go to any truck stop, and you see where the soap drips on the surface, laminate or otherwise, the surface is worn away.

So on a long enough timeline, even plastic can't sustain against that.

But it's just one of those things about having realistic expectations.

That's why I told him, your client doesn't have realistic expectations.

They're doing things that you...

And he said he told them not to do it.

I said, okay, so you told them not to do it, and they did it.


And now they're complaining.

Yeah, that's a them problem.

You told them not to do it.

So I don't know what to tell you, bro.

You need to have a conversation with them and say, don't do that.

But if you want to do that, then expect what you have, which is like this haze that's developing underneath the bottle.

It is what it is.

And this kind of goes back to people that are like, they want to flay fish on the countertop of the sharp knife.

I don't know why you'd want to do that.

You don't have a cutting board.

You put in this $100,000 kitchen, but you can't buy a $50 cutting board for your kitchen to protect your countertops and your knives.

You're just going to chop a fish up right there, or take a boiling hot pot of water and just set it right on the surface.

Now, you're not going to hurt the sealer, but the concrete has microscopic air pockets.

If you do that long enough, you're going to start to degrade the surface.

Do you not have a trivet in your house, like a cork trivet you can throw on the surface and put that boiling hot water on?

These are just things that I don't understand that people do.

It doesn't make sense to me.

You spend this money, you put this investment in, and then you don't want to take care of it.

I just don't understand it.

But I see people driving a Bentley down the road, smoking a cigar with the windows up.

Okay, I guess if you're rich enough to buy a Bentley, then you can afford to stink up the car with cigar smoke.

But you bought this beautiful car, and now you're just going to ruin any type of value of it by smoking in it.

But at that point, who cares?

Maybe people at a certain level of wealth just don't care.

They just don't care.

It's just money.

Let's get another one.

It's just money.

What else?

So that was that.

Last thing was just we sent out T-shirts a few weeks ago, and we've gotten a ton of appreciation from people, sending us thank you notes and cards and stuff.

And we appreciate that.

I just want to talk about that real quick because, again, this was something that somebody, another material vendor had made a dig at us.

And it's always kind of stuck in my car a little bit.

I just want to address this.

And what they had said was, you know, people were posting on Facebook and Instagram, like, photos of some merch they received and this person that represents this other company is like, we would never, ever spend money to send customers merch.

I thought, that's a weird dig.

That's a really weird dig.

It's just, it's so weird that somebody would say that out loud.

Never say thank you.

Yeah, it's so weird that somebody would say that out loud.

It's so weird that they would say that out loud as a point of pride.

So I just want to say, A, we greatly appreciate our customers, and we go out of our way to say thank you.

I bought, I don't know how many, hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years of concrete materials from various concrete companies.

You know how many times I received any type of appreciation from them?


I don't need them to send me something in the mail for me to feel appreciated, but not even a thank you card, nothing.

I never received anything.

Okay, that's fine, whatever.

I bought a Kubota Skidsteer and a Mini-X when I was building my house.

Spent, I don't know, 150,000 bucks at Kubota.

They gave me a free t-shirt.

Dude, I really appreciated that free t-shirt.

I still have that t-shirt, the Kubota t-shirt.

I spent 150k, I got a t-shirt.


You guys actually said thank you.

I appreciate that.

And that's kind of the viewpoint that we take.

I just want you to know too, because Kodiak Pro is me and Jon.

We have a third partner, but he's not active in the day-to-day of the company.

So it's me and Jon.

And when we do these things, it's me and Jon that are literally doing them, meaning that we talk, and I'm like, hey, do you want to do this?

Absolutely, let's do it.

And that money that goes into that...

Oh yeah, you design the shirt, you put it together.


That's money that Jon and I say, we will take this out of our profits as a company, and put this back into saying thank you to our customers, because that's important to us.

It's important to us to appreciate our customers.

But it was just a weird dig, and it's always just kind of bugged me that competitors say, we would never spend money to send merch to her customers.

I'm like, hmm, okay, okay.

Yeah, I don't understand that.

Yeah, weird.

But anyways...

Well, again, I think, not I think.

At the end of the day, and I know this is going to sound like, yeah, roll the eyes.

So everybody do it.

Everybody listening, roll your eyes real quick.

At the end of the day, we have, even from the very inception of all this, come from the point of view of two guys working in their shop.

Doesn't matter if people might think we're smart or stupid or I don't know, whatever someone could think of it.

The reality is that's how we look at things.

And so a couple of things, as I said before, I'm incredibly proud of what we've done.

I'm incredibly proud of the guys who use, the people who use the products in general.

And to reach out in all humbleness, if me saying thank you is a T-shirt that we've worked on or a cup or whatever, come on, man, I mean, that's just, that's super cool, in my opinion, that A, to even have the ability to do that.

But more importantly, I mean, I can't go through the name list, but all the people who are using this material, man, we know who you are.

That's amazing.

I love that.

I love that about what we're doing.

And for anybody else to find that disparaging, I don't know what to say.

That's on you because it is what it is.

Yeah, I wouldn't even say it's having the ability.

It's making it a priority.

I know for a fact that the other material companies out there, for years, for years...

I'm just going to give you a little history, Jon, a little backstory.

For years and years and years, I promoted another product in this industry.

And at the time, I really believed, and at that time, it was the best product on the market at that point in time.

Kodiak didn't exist, these materials didn't exist.

So at that point in time, it's the best material.

And I always talked to them about, like, you know, I do these workshops, I heavily promote your products.

What can I do?

Can I be a salesperson for the company?

Can I get a commission?

No, no, no.

There's not enough margin in it to do that.

Okay, okay.

They sold to another company.

This is a new company.

I reach out to them.

Guys, listen, you know, I'm your biggest advocate, I'm your biggest salesperson.

I, you know, really, really preach the gospel of this material because I believe in it, and at the time, I did believe in it.

Can I be a retailer?

Can I drop ship the product?

Can I sell it through my website?

And you guys drop ship, and no, no, there's no margin in it.

Sorry, can't do it.

Can we do a salesman commission, like, you know, where I work with customers and, you know, have them use the product, and I get a commission?

No, no, there's no margin in it.

And the truth of the matter was, there was.

There was margin.

I mean, these guys, it's kind of like a car dealership, you know.

This is our invoice price.

We're selling to you.

We're not making any money.

Well, who's paying for the building?

Who's paying for the lights?

Who's paying for all these people here?

So I know you're lying to me.

And so I know these guys are lying to me.

There's obviously your business.

You're in a business of being a business.

What it was, it wasn't they didn't have the ability.

It's what they didn't make it a priority.

They didn't make it a priority to help foster the people that really believed in their product, that championed them.

That wasn't a priority to them.

And so in my mind...

They have for one reason or another, yeah.

In my mind, I just felt like these guys are missing a bigger picture.

Like, this is the cheapest advertising you could ever have to help sustain your business and grow your business, to put it into the people that really believe in your business, but they didn't see it that way.

And so when you and I started, you know, really building Kodiak, for me, I've always approached it, and you did too, of where did the other businesses fall short in our past?

Like, where did they miss the boat?

And they missed it in a lot of different ways, but appreciation was a big part of it.

I never, ever felt appreciated.

And towards the end there, with that particular vendor, they became antagonists.

I mean, they went out of their way to make my life difficult, to make your life difficult, to make other concrete artisans' lives difficult for no other reason than to play games.

You know, it was the most stupid thing in the world to think that a company that makes $200 million a year would have the time or the wherewithal to try to make somebody else's life difficult, especially when that person is promoting your product.

It is beyond reason that anybody would do that, but I digress.

My point is the lack of appreciation.

It's so easy to say thank you, and at minimum, had for all those years, any of these companies just reached out once a year and just said, hey man, thank you.

I appreciate you.

Wrote a little card, a little handwritten card.

We appreciate your business.

Thank you so much.

That would have gone miles, but they couldn't do that.

They couldn't be bothered to say thank you.

And so when we started this, I said to you early on, this is an important thing to me, and it was important to you as well.

Let's do the things the way we want them done, the way we always want to be treated.

The golden rule, treat other people the way you want to be treated.

That is so important when you run a business.

And it does cost us money.

I don't know what we spent this year, $20,000, $30,000 in merch over the course of a year.

I started to think it was too much.

But that's okay.


It's a priority for us to do that.

It's a priority for us to do that.

It's important for us to foster that level of gratitude to our customers.

So anyways, I wrote that down on my...

I don't want to go into this whole long spiel that I've gone on, but I wrote down that because in the last week, I've received numerous cards, thank you cards from people saying thank you.

I really appreciate that.

And for me, that was meaningful for me.

And I just think about this other materials company saying we would never do that.

And publicly saying that, just mind boggling.

Mind boggling to take a stance.

I mean, it's one of the things like you'd be better off to say nothing, but instead, instead of saying nothing, you're going to try to like dig your heels and say that we're in the wrong for saying thank you to our customers.

It's just a weird thing.

Yeah, I mean, said in a way that as if that was a put down towards.

It's interesting.

I don't know what else to say.

It's just interesting.

Well, the person said it's like this mush mouth employee they have that doesn't really know any better.

Maybe they don't know their employees run in this mouth on social media.

Who knows?

It was a while back, though.

It was a turbulent time.

Who knows?

But yeah, I don't know, dude.

If we ever get to the point where we have employees, I'm going to make it known to employees, hey, don't you go on social media and represent us?

Like, we'll represent us.

Don't you represent us?

You know, you stay out of that stuff.

So anyways.

Well, on that positive note.

Well, let's end this on a sales pitch.

Why don't we?

So I have the two and a half day workshop coming up.

And then after that, I have a furniture design workshop coming up, which is going to be another really great class.

Haven't done that in quite a while.

That's a class where we go over the tenets of furniture design and what goes into that.

And it's a really fun class.

Everybody's going to make their own piece of furniture.

And after that, we have a basics class.

And so all those workshops can be found on

And if you want to get into fabric forming one, we still have room.

Like I said, I think we're at ten people right now, which is a great class, but there's still plenty of space.

So Concrete Design School, and that's going to be a week from Friday.

It starts on Friday.

So it's Friday, Saturday, Sunday class next week.

Anything you want to hit, Jon?

No, that's it, man.

Sounds good.

Adios, Jon.

Adios, Brandon Gore.

Until next week.

I'll talk to you later.