This interview took place on March 29, 2020.
With connections in China for his business and personal relationships at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville due to his son's illness, Steve Paladino has taken it upon himself to bring the two together to meet a need. When social-distancing measures first began, he was trying to figure out how to secure N95 masks with many obstacles standing in his way. Since the interview, he has adjusted to making hand-sanitizer with major purchase orders in hand from big-box retailers.
Steve Paladino, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is the president and founder of Music City Fire Company that designs and manufactures tables featuring Sound Reactive Fire Technology supported by Multiple Patents and Safety Certifications.
Sally Hendrick (01:16):
So, Hey Steve, how are you doing?
Steve Paladino (01:20):
I'm doing well, thank you. How are you?
Sally Hendrick (01:22):
I'm good. So where are you right now? Are you, where are you still in Tennessee?
Steve Paladino (01:27):
I am in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Yes.
Sally Hendrick (01:29):
Murfreesboro, Tennessee. And tell me, what do you do normally?
Steve Paladino (01:35):
I am president of music city fire company. And so we manufacture goods in multiple locations throughout the US and overseas and work with retailers and online retailers, eCommerce sites across the country. Okay.
Sally Hendrick (01:50):
And I know that you've got a partnership with my husband's company for one of those tables, rail yard studios. So that's how we met. Now changed things have changed lately, haven't they?
Steve Paladino (02:07):
They have, well, I can say that.
Sally Hendrick (02:11):
Yeah. So why don't you tell me what's going on right now?
Steve Paladino (02:16):
Well, I think obviously we're, I think we're at this point, we're referring to what's on everybody's mind here in March of 2020, which is corona virus, right? So corona virus has got as all locked down and when it comes to our business, initially we didn't see and I'm, when I say initially, I mean even like last week, I mean we still have a sale for example, of a sleeper, a railyard studio unit just yesterday. Right. so we're still having some traction. Of course. That was a direct to consumer. And why is that most likely? Because at this point them like the rest of us are stuck in our house. We're sitting in our backyard, at least the spring's coming and things like the weather's getting nice. So the most likely to purchase from a fire table for that type of environment right. At the answer to the question.
Steve Paladino (03:02):
I mean, the real thing is, is things are shutting down and little by little, it was two weeks ago, our California retailers, you know, we have plenty of them. We'd call and say, hey, you know, we're setting down, they had things on order, they have customers waiting for production or whatever, but they've got to shut down. And then it started, I've noticed on Facebook and I've noticed on through our other communications with our retailers and such that gradually over the past two weeks, every day, more and more are shutting down, shutting down. Phones aren't ringing as much, not nearly as many emails. Everything is just coming to a hold. I'm hoping, I'm asking, I'm answering the question. It's what you're actually asking if this is what we're talking about, but obviously everything's really slowed down because of the virus and the impact of it.
Sally Hendrick (03:49):
So with you seeing that, what have you been doing to step into a new role? Because I've noticed you doing a lot of the things you don't normally do.
Steve Paladino (04:00):
Right? Right. So and that's, that's been, it's really incredible for a few different reasons. Right? I mean, on one side it's unfortunate, but also the incredible, how incredible it is, the impact that you just had across the country for places that you wouldn't think. Now at this point, this far into the game, we've all heard it a thousand times by now about corona virus affecting hospitals, hospital rooms, space equipment, materials, all of those things. Right? But you would never think that we would ever in America have that type of situation. Right. And I think the other hard part to it is we're all trapped in our house so we don't have a problem with shortage of face masks and ventilators and stuff in our house. Right? And we're not out in the streets or at the hospital seeing what's going on. What we're all have shortage of at home is television.
Steve Paladino (04:50):
Right? Right. So, so what's kind of cool though is because of a manufacturing, a specific part of my, my product I make overseas in China and someone had reached out knowing that I do that and said, Hey, I got a call. Kaiser needs to get a hold of masks. Now again, you would think, why is Kaiser asking that person who's in turn and asking me somebody who manufactures computers and technology and circuit boards and fireplaces and stuff about masks. But it only shows like how, how out of a situation that's going on right now when it comes to the needs. Right. So anyway, long story short, know now I'm kind of in the masks business and that sourcing and then it turned into other PPE. I can't think right now.
Sally Hendrick (05:43):
Well, what are some of the challenges? Yeah. What are some of the challenges that you've been dealing with? Because I've noticed frustrating posts that you've made on Facebook. What are some of those things? What's behind that?
Steve Paladino (05:55):
Sure. And I've actually wanted to post so much more just to kind of keep people involved in stuff, but at the same time, I don't want to do with it. Right now I just want to focus on what I'm doing and not also deal with all the negative aspects of posting stuff on social media and when you get for it. But some of the negative things are put in this way. So again, two weeks ago I got asked if I can source masks. So I start again. Fortunately I have great games on the brown there that born and raised in China and Taiwan and Hong Kong and all over and do just, they're just phenomenal people and they understand what we're trying to do and they can connect dots really quick. So at the drop of a dime, I have 500,000 masks ready to roll. Next thing you know, by weekend because of by that week and because of the demand, the masks, not only were they gone, masks pricing had gone up and then MOQ, minimum order quantity, you said changed from one number to another number 10 times more.
Steve Paladino (06:49):
Okay, no problem. I can find more. Then we got to find the FDA certified facilities, right? We have to find FDA registered companies that are making FDA certified products. Otherwise, something that I found out that I wasn't even, that I didn't post, I meant to post about it, but I was speaking to the FDA a week ago on Monday of last week and the FDA had mentioned that about half of the shipments coming overseas at that time were being held up a customs because they were, they weren't FDA products. Right? So people are trying to flood the market and everyone's trying to jump on this board with this bandwagon of, Oh, we're going to go buy Ferrari's and make it rich because we can go sell everybody masks, right? And started to try gouging, but they're not even doing the due diligence and making sure they're bringing over the products that people actually need and they're getting held up the customs other on the other side of the spectrum, I've had other facilities that I had lined up that I was getting ready to start getting product going and do things.
Steve Paladino (07:44):
And again, we're talking, you know, at this point some of my MOQ is, are 5 million pieces, right? So if you figure if a masks for $5, because the price has gone up so much, all of a sudden I need $20 million just to bring over things. Right. But another side to this I was crazy is I had a manufacturer, like I mentioned, it was lined up to do 700,000 masks a day. Something along those lines. And I got told two days later, Oh, we just got an order for 30 million masks, 20 million of those were paid up front. So we can't supply anything right now. Right there.
Sally Hendrick (08:20):
So where did that orders came from?
Steve Paladino (08:22):
No idea. Some importer or exporter or excuse me, someone who was bringing them, sending them somewhere else, right? Not from the government, at least not that I know. Right. But from what I was told, it was, it was an exporter that was sending it off and I'm 30 million masks. So again, now you've got one place, one entity taking up 43 days of this company's production. Just take masks and go sell them. And I've had other calls at Sally, I actually had a call today where you know, there's, there's a masks in locations where they might have 50 million to 150 million masks and stockpile here in the country already. And they want to sell them, but they want to sell them for an amount that's like twice what I can get it for overseas and by making , making something on it. Right. So it's a, it is crazy to kind of see what's going on, but we are moving, you know, moving forward in many different directions.
Steve Paladino (09:18):
I'm, we have many, many hospitals. It is crazy. Once they kind of found out what's going on, I've spoken with dozens, plural, dozens of hospitals in the past two weeks and learned all the lingo and, and all the different stuff that they need and the N masks and the surgical masks and the isolation gowns and understanding what it is that they need. And the cold thing is, again, we're going to help. Is there money involved? Of course. Am I trying to gouge anybody? No, it's just how can we put, you know, connect some dots and get things going. So people can get what they need.
Sally Hendrick (09:50):
So a little while ago I spoke with Ken Burks and talked with him about what's going on with his orthotics factory in called sole support and about them being able to switch over to create the face masks, not the face masks, the face shields. Have you talked to him again? Is there anything going on there? Because he's dealing with a situation where he's got really great employees ready to work. They're very aware of what's going on. They have the facilities to be able to keep their distance from each other safely. And they have software engineers, they have, you know, all the things that they need. But what he's doesn't have, he doesn't have the connections with the hospitals. He's not really sure which direction to take. Have you guys been talking again?
Steve Paladino (10:46):
So I have spoken with, with Ken and as you mentioned, great person has great ability to be able to fulfill the need. Right? And it's, this is another part that's just, it's so hard to wrap my head around, but it is what it is. I mean, I get it. We all know about medical, right? We've done things where like how come when I go into a doctor's office in one place, I've got or even my same place that I go to all the time, I have to fill out the same forms over and over and over and over and over again. Why isn't there a database where they can just pull it up, right? But HIPAA and all the things that go on. So the point is really the shortcut. This is up. There's so much red tape. So as you know with my son Ashton, who had a pediatric brain cancer, we had to go into Vanderbilt and spend we spent about a year there amongst other, other places and we, and we'd go there often.
Steve Paladino (11:36):
So Vanderbilt, especially the people on six a are like family to us. We stay in touch with each other on Facebook, text messages and such. And we see each other often as we go there. Right? And so they let me know what's kinda going on. I'm sure you've probably seen some of the pictures. Now, this doesn't mean that it's, that's crazy. But you've seen the pictures where they had to put hospital beds in the parking garage and preparation. You know, it's not like, it's not like we're some third world country type thing and everything's that bad, but they're preparing for in case at least when they need to bring people in, they can start them off in the parking garage and they can kind of go from there. Right. But the point is, is that not only do they have to do that, but I'm being told that they're using bandanas or they're using handkerchief.
Steve Paladino (12:18):
So whatever they can use to kind of get through this cause they're running out of supplies. Right. And it's, again, it's because Nashville's not even hit nearly as hard as New York. It's a fraction of San Francisco, which is still a fraction of paper. Right. But they're still saying because of face face shields, for example, because they just, it's not something that they burn through often, but they have a limited supply. Right. And they have to use it on every person that comes, every patient that comes in, you've got to isolate them. Or at least if you can't isolate them, you gotta at least put on these face shields and face masks. So they're not contaminating anybody else. Right. So going back to Ken, my point is, is that I, I, I was talking to an oncologist, they got me connected to the head of procurement.
Steve Paladino (13:04):
I was speaking with them. They said, well, we need items. I said, okay, well I can help. And they got me involved with the person who mainly brings on certain items and, and I'm doing that and trying to source some of it overseas. But I said, look, we have somebody here in Tennessee locally, you make with a hundred employees, make some of the items that we need quickly, but they're not FDA certified or they're not whatever. Right? Is this going to be a problem? And they, you know, kind of the answer was we're not quite there yet to where we're like Washington or some of these other places where we need to take anything we can get, you know, New York. So I have to go check to see if we can even use those. And which means I say crazy and you've got the people on the floor telling me they're using handkerchiefs or whatever. So what does it matter then if we're making we're, if we're following the CDC specs to making the actual products that they need so we can get them those quickly instead of trying to get them from overseas and dealing with all of that.
Sally Hendrick (13:58):
Exactly. I've got a friend out in Colorado who used to be in Nashville, she's called the green bag lady because she started this movement years ago to get people to use cloth bags for shopping. And she created this army of sewers all over the country who have been making these bags for years and well out of scrap materials that they have leftover clothing, materials, whatever. So now she's completely mobilized all of her sewers to make these masks that are like triple layer cotton and so on and so forth. And they're not, you know, regulation. But she's been sending them to Vanderbilt because they asked her for them.
Steve Paladino (14:44):
Right. And so that's the thing. So donating. Right. And that's the hard part. Is that, do you, do you know that she's selling or donating? If you, if you
Sally Hendrick (14:54):
Steve Paladino (14:55):
Yeah, right. Donating is one thing. I think they'll take whatever they can get, but when it comes to procurement where they actually need to go buy what they have, that's where the, it seems like that's where it stops. Right. And so if you go back to Ken, Ken is not, he even said it to me. He's like, I don't want to be in this business. Right. I'm meaning like when this is all said and done, he's not trying to turn around and become a medical supplier. Right,
Sally Hendrick (15:19):
Right. He said that to me. Yeah,
Steve Paladino (15:22):
He's right. I just want to help. I have a hundred employees. I want to make sure that I can pay my people and keep the lights on while we're going through this. And this is something that we can do. But the problem there is that he's not saying he, he's not trying to go donate. Right. Because donate is going to cost him money because of the time, effort, materials and everything it is. And to keep him a hundred employees coming to your shop, you've got to pay them. Right. Some might come because they want to donate and do know, donate their time to do it. But for the most part, a lot of people I, you know, it just is what it is. People work to get paid, right? So if he could turn around and just sell it, even if it was at cost of his employees and keeping the lights on plus the materials, that would be enough for him. Because again, he's not trying to make money off of it. But again, that's where it, I'll call it kind of stops. If you wanted to give it to the, to the hospital, they'll take it all they can get. But when it comes to procuring, this is at least I could be completely wrong. And again, it's not Vanderbilt, I think it's just some of the things that are in place. Right.
Sally Hendrick (16:20):
But I mean, you've got a connection with Vanderbilt and that makes it easier for you to kind of start there to start the ball rolling with any other hospitals that may be around.
Steve Paladino (16:30):
And so, and that's the point as well. Right? So I've reached out to other hospitals where actually they reached out to me and they were asking for products and like, and I'm not talking quantity for 10,000. I have hospitals asking me for millions of masks. Right? And so the other night, the other day, a Friday, I was up till six in the morning working overseas, sourcing these different masks and getting these things all night. Right? Cause I was trying to 12, 13 hours ahead of us. So right now, like I'm dealing with America during the day and then I stay up all night working with China and I'll try to get an hour or two asleep and I got, I got to do it all over again while we're going through this. But like I said, this hospital in New York reached out and they're like, we need hot, we need masks yesterday.
Steve Paladino (17:12):
That okay, here's a masks. And I go, no, we can't use this one. We need the one that has this specific marking. So I said, give me a day. And I went and found the masks enough on two suppliers for that masks. And now I'm working with trying to get, you know, getting them lined up and we're working through pricing and some other things. But again, it's like New York as we know is one of the worst places. They're in the during ground zero if you will when it comes to this and they need something yesterday. And that's obviously a term right? But it means like we need masks now and they still have to go through, they still have, we spend a week now going back and forth making sure that they have this particular masks with this specific marketing and that we have FDA certificates and the NIOSH certificates and all the different things to make sure while while they're, while they have nothing on hand.
Sally Hendrick (17:57):
Right. So are you actually able to get any of these deals pushed through yet?
Steve Paladino (18:02):
So again, we have multiple, multiple discussions going out and when I was just working through it, many of them, it sounds like this week they're going to be able to go through and do things. For me, part of it was I wasn't obviously being super aggressive because it hasn't even been two weeks for me in this, right? So I've had to learn all these different things. Two weeks ago I had no idea what the national Institute of occupational safety and health was. Right. And what it did with the masks and stuff. And so again, we had to find these different things and NIOSH masks, N95 the surgical masks, certain levels. And in the beginning it was, okay, I can find something, but it may not have been FDA. Then I can find it and it's FDA and it's not NIOSH. And then I find the NIOSH and it's FDA and it can get through customs, but then the price is huge.
Steve Paladino (18:48):
Right? So it's, it's constantly going through these different things to make sure that I can supply, cause the last thing I need, I want to take, take what I said earlier with people who, 50% or so from the FDA were saying at that time that the 50% or so of shipments were getting held up at customs. Now I'm doing this because we all have to be inside and it's like, I might as well do something. I'm also doing this, especially for Vanderbilt because of all the things that we've been through personally with my family, with MSF, it's like I just love to help any way I can with them. I lost my train of thought, but my, my, where I was trying to go here I think is I'm sorry, I lost my train of thought.
Steve Paladino (19:32):
It's just been, it's been just a, it's really been a relatively short amount of time to try to put this all together. And so when it comes to some of these deals, many of them now are saying Tuesday, Wednesday they're sitting down with their different teams or boards or whatever to kind of go through and approve. And I think based on the conversations I'm having, I have the right products now for them. I've been able to fair it through that relatively quickly because my team overseas and, and working so diligently while we're doing this and asking the right questions and then, and then anyway, so yeah, I think so. No, the short answer needed question I have to say can this long roundabout is no, I don't have anything that's gone A to Z yet, but it was a matter of finding finding with finding what it is that they need.
Steve Paladino (20:16):
And then again, you know, I think through it, my partner and I were talking about it, it's like maybe, you know, what's wrong? What is it that we're not doing right? If, if, if we're not getting able to get any of these orders. But again, the reality is, is that I got NIOSH masks on Monday, so this, this six days ago that I started being able to do this. And when you have a hospital asking you for a million masks that are going to cost $5 a piece, that's $5 million, nothing's going to happen quick, right? Yet alone, the surgical masks that they need, there's another million there. And then the face shields, they need another 200,000 pieces there and those are at five got $4 and 50 cents a piece or something like that. Right. So it's, it's there, it's just a big thing. And so even, and again, here's the other crazy part, and I think this goes to kind of how bad it is in areas, I'm doing this as music city fire, right? Because I have my importing lined up already. I have my EIN, I have my business, everything's already set up. So I've been bringing stuff over from China all the time. So we're doing this all through music city fire. And the hospitals know this. The w nine is music city fire, everything that we're doing and he's music city. Why in the world would a hospital who's trying to order millions of dollars worth of product, we were working with music city fire that has nothing to do with medical.
Sally Hendrick (21:31):
So are you afraid, are you afraid the government's gonna kind of step in with some federal deals or some deals with these big large corporations that are stepping in to do things? Do you think that any of those deals are going to come and upend what you've been doing?
Steve Paladino (21:49):
So I do. Right. And if it does, that's okay because that just means that I can, again, it's not like I've been doing this for six years. Right. So it's been a week and a half of my life and I'm just trying to help and still if that happens, great. At least I've learned a lot. At least I've learned that, you know, I can quickly pivot into something else because of the chains and the resources and the abilities and such that we have as a team, that that's kind of cool. Right. but outside of that, if you know 3M I don't think, you know, I could be wrong. So it's not like 3M kind of sitting there saying like, maybe we should push go now. Right. So they're trying to do, I'm sure what they're trying to with, they're already working as hard as they can. So now, you know they're bringing on a Ford and GM and GE, but mainly when you hear them talking, it looks to me like they're mainly producing space shields and such. Right. So I'm wondering then if, again, I don't think
Sally Hendrick (22:42):
Face masks, face shields,
Steve Paladino (22:45):
I think they're making face shields. So I know for example, GE, GM and stuff, they were talking about face shields. So the, you know, you put the band around your head and has a plastic shield that covers your face. So in case you sneeze or something that stays within you. Right, right. Within your space, I should say. So I think it's just, it's, it's really strange to me because Ford is not going to go off and make a NIOSH masks, NIOSH certified masks that is stamped with NIOSH everything and stuff. Right? 3M can. But it's not like 3M, it's not, like I said, it's not like they're just sitting there waiting to say, okay, now we're going to start production. They're doing as much as they can already. And, and hospitals are still calling. People are still needing, so, you know, it's, it's weird. So if they do, if things do step up and they come in and take over and they're able to meet the needs, that's fine. Right? if not, we'll be here to try to help out the best that we can.
Sally Hendrick (23:38):
Well, Ken has a little bit different perspective on that and that he feels like things would be much efficient if they used factories like his in the local areas to be making what's needed for the local communities. And for, you know, like for to, he says that he could expand to make things for Tennessee, Georgia. And maybe, I don't remember if he said Alabama or what, but you know, that's three States that he thinks that he could supply. But he's got all the red tape of, of being, you know, having the certification needed for being FDA approved. So it's like the in between, between the rock and a hard place. He wants to keep the factory open, keep his people working for an essential an essential, you know, business if you will. And then you've got all of these big, big, big corporations that are being given the jobs. And that's fine as far as like helping, as long as we're helping, you know, the community for the health, for the problems that are happening with the virus. But then if they're wanting to also balance this with keeping the economy going, you've got millions of people who are going to be out of work and these companies are going to go away and be gone forever.
Steve Paladino (24:59):
And, and that's, that's ultimately this at this point, you know, if you want my 2 cents on the Corona virus, you know, I think it's, it's obviously it's a bad thing. It spreads like fire, right? But fortunately it's not, don't get me wrong, it's deadly. Obviously the numbers show it, but it's not like it's Ebola. Right? So let's say if he Ebola that, right, let's say Ebola work like that where you had it and you couldn't detect it for two weeks or whatever it is, and then you're spreading it all over the place and then all of a sudden it hits everybody. It's over. Right? so I say that only because when it comes to the economy, at this point, if we don't do something to your point, right, the economy, you'll get crushed because small businesses that are working, my, mine's on the bucks essentially. Right? It's going to get to a point where it's like, how do we keep the doors open? How do we get back if this goes too long? If it's another week or two, it's really not, it's hard. Don't get me wrong, there's had been impact. But if this were to go another two, three months, half the people aren't going to have a job to go back to.
Sally Hendrick (26:02):
But that's what they're projecting anyway. I mean you're talking about this being a three month minimum, right?
Steve Paladino (26:09):
And that, and that's why though Trump, you know, regardless of what anybody thinks about him, that's why he's trying to say if we can get it out by Easter. But here, this goes to the kind of the, for the conversation, let's think 10 in the, in the case here. So let's say we do push it to where we can get out by Easter, right? And everything can kind of try to get back to square one. I can almost guarantee you at this point people aren't going to feel comfortable to just go walk around shaking everybody's hands again and going to movie theaters and not wearing protection.
Sally Hendrick (26:37):
Oh yeah. They're going to still self isolate and you're going to have some people that won't, but, but a lot of people will.
Steve Paladino (26:44):
Right. But you're going to have people, I think that take extra measures. I think you'll see a lot of hand signs that are hand sanitizers on desks and stuff. I think you'll see people wearing masks and this is where I was getting to with Ken. Right? So if Ken can't go and we're just using Ken as an example because it's not just him, it's a lot of people in his position. And I see, you know, your husband Robert from earlier, I had been sent railer studios has been sending me Instagram messages and stuff of even other local places that are saying, Hey, we're starting to make masks and we start and my thing is, is who you're going to sell them to. Yeah, because that's the hard part. You can go make a whole bunch of masks and Ken's position, let's just take, can again go back to camp.
Steve Paladino (27:23):
If I could help Ken get into Vanderbilt, I would help Ken's production get jump-started because they know that they can go spend the time and energy and money on buying all the materials and getting everything set up, knowing that they'd have a contract for a big hospital to be able to supply masks to. While that's happening, he could continue to make more masks and start marketing to consumers. Consumers don't need an FDA certified masks or NIOSH certified masks. You see all these people and Facebook making masks masks kind of class. The reality is a masks made out of cloth is terrible. Right, but people don't know that and they're using it and they're doing their thing. Terrible because of germs and stuff can still live on it. There's not the levels of filtration like on an NIOSH mask, there's a bacterial and viral filtration masks.
Steve Paladino (28:11):
Then there's particle filtration. It's a multiple multistage type of thing that helps to do multiple things. A piece of cloth. You get it wet, everything's just still gonna live on there and you put it down on a desk and now you've got a germ on the desk, right? You know, right in class, this isn't a good thing, but people are doing it because they think they know that they want, some people want something, right? And so that's where Ken can really step up. But how do you, it doesn't make sense from that of the a hundred employees on online making thousands of masks a day moving only a couple of hundred of them while they're building out their name and the awareness that they're here to be able to support it. The support the public,
Sally Hendrick (28:48):
Right? We don't use a.
Steve Paladino (28:50):
really hard balance.
Sally Hendrick (28:51):
We don't really know the timing of, of any of it.
Steve Paladino (28:54):
That's the other thing, right? So let's say he goes and does this, he's not going to be able to buy material, and again, we're just using kind of example, but you're not going to be able to go buy a material one sheet at a time and make it make sense, right? You have to buy material in most cases, in some level of quantity and bog so you can go do this. So there's an investment for him to put this into it and then all of a sudden he gets stuck with a whole bunch of masks and a whole bunch of inventory that they can't use. And that's, and then that's because he doesn't have a contract to a hospital, let's say, where you can get it done. So I'm still work trying to work that angle with Vanderbilt for him. Right. And I want to be able to touch base with him again and I'm waiting to, I'll reach back out to Vanderbilt to see if they have any headway on the questions that they were asking me to see if they could get this done. But that's a hard part cause I have to, I mean I was like, you know, I've thought about it and they're like putting together something where we can, again, using him, he's got sewing machines and everything. We can go knock this out, but if nobody's going to take it, then it's, it's a moot point.
Sally Hendrick (29:51):
Exactly. And you don't want to do that cause then you just get a lot of materials and Nope, no clients to sell it to.
Steve Paladino (29:58):
Now. Something else that he's running into actually that he messaged me about I think this morning, it might've been last night that he said it's frustrating is that now it seems all the big companies have purchase all the materials. So every time he turns around and trying to find the material and he thinks he's located materials so he can start doing something, he finds out it's gone because all the big players have already started buying it. All right. And so it does one of two things. Either you can't get it or if you're going to get it, you got to pay a premium for it, which is counter intuitive or counter productive to what he is he's trying to do. He's trying to do this so he can just keep everybody alive and keeping going and they're going to price it so it's so high that nobody's going to want to buy it.
Sally Hendrick (30:42):
Exactly. Well it's an unfortunate thing for sure. Hopefully we'll get some things figured out and worked out. I really appreciate you doing all this that you're doing. I mean, you're just doing this and you've stepped into this completely different world. And a, and I have to, I'm interviewing people about it and it's not my, that's not what I do normally. So,
Steve Paladino (31:04):
Yeah. Well it's, it's, it's an interesting thing. Like I said, it's I've had other, I've had multiple discussions and again, I'm not at all anybody special with any of this. I just, one thing that I just know about myself is that I don't ever want to sell somebody something that's not what they want. I kind of take the approach that we're all consumers, so we've all bought in something that was disappointing and I tried to make sure, and especially in this situation, it's not to try to take advantage of a hospital that's already struggling. They pay all this money and they get something that's not what they want. So either try to take it back, but it's not like I can send it back to China. So then I get stuck with it. Right. And I've had conversations with other people who are trying to do this as well, and they're calling me that, Hey, they can supply me this or that to do these things.
Steve Paladino (31:50):
And the reality is, in some cases it sounds like they know a lot less than even we know right now with what I've been able to learn just the past couple of weeks. And that's the other scary thing, right? There are people out there who are just trying to do this for money. And I don't even mean like they're trying to get right. They just might be say, Hey, I can quit and try some things and make a quick profit. But when you're not accustomed to dealing with things overseas, you know, it's not always apples to apples. So when you ask for, you may not be getting, or you think you are getting it and then you go and sell it like it is, and then it's actually not. There's a lot of false FDA stuff or you know, for a counterfeit NIOSH things or whatever. And if you're not doing your due diligence, you're only adding to the problem, right? And by bringing in bad stuff.
Sally Hendrick (32:35):
Well, and that's why probably part of the reason why Facebook shut down, all masks selling on using Facebook ads because that happened over the last couple of weeks.
Steve Paladino (32:48):
Bad people, how many sharks would be out there and doing it. And again, I think it's hard to say right? Cause for the general public, you know, in the capitalist mind, people will pay what they're going to pay and people will do it. And even if it's garbage, sometimes people aren't going to know a difference and they're going to feel better about themselves knowing that they have some type of protection in their house because something is going to be better than nothing. I think in some, in some cases but ultimately to Facebook's decision is yes. Like if they, if you know, it's only because in these times there's so many people that are going to get taken advantage of by whatever. And it's sad. I mean, that's the world we live in and you know, and, and again, to say that until you're asking you're another answer, you provide another answer to a question that you asked earlier about, have I moved anything yet or have we done a to Z connected or everything right?
Steve Paladino (33:39):
And this is another one of those reasons, right? Like I said, you know, I'm music city fire and they're still having multiple discussions with me. And I think part of that is because I try to be super transparent, right? And I want to be very diligent and truthful in what it is that we're doing and make sure that I do the best for them. But at the same time, they don't know me from the next guy who's saying, I can get masks and, and then they, all of a sudden they sign up with them and then halfway through it's like, Oh, I can't get them unless you pay $3 more. I masks now, or I can't get them on all or anything. Right. They have, they're going through all this and they have to try to figure it all out themselves while going through everything else that they're going through, trying to buy from nontraditional channels, knowing that there's a lot of fraud. Right. It's just, it's, it's, it's such a hard thing and you know, there's a lot of people out there, they'll sound like me. I just want to be truthful. I just want to be honest. I'm just trying to do this thing and I'm not trying to go buy a Ferrari after all this. Right. There are people with those intentions.
Sally Hendrick (34:38):
Yeah. So at the end of the day, your hope, what's your hope about all of this?
Steve Paladino (34:43):
Well, a few things. One, I think I mean the, the main thing is, I know it's not even a hope, but it is kind of a hope, but I, I believe it to be true regardless, is that we'll get past it. Obviously we'll get through this. I hope that, you know, at a top level and, and then when it disseminates down through everybody that we actually, in case something like this does happen. We actually listen, I will tell you, I've said it plenty of times of friends and family. I personally, I believe there's one or two things that's going to end up killing me. It's either gonna be AI or it's going to be a virus, right? And because it's in this, it only shows you right now how deadly some of these things can be if we don't pay attention to it and how fast it can get out.
Steve Paladino (35:31):
We think we're so big where we're nothing, right? Earth is just a drop a grain of sand in the galaxy amongst billions of stars, right? So it's like, you know, the planet is actually really small and viruses do what they need to do to survive just like we do and they're going to take over and do their stuff. Right. And I'm not at all trying to come across as crazy. All I'm trying to say is what I hope is that we can learn from this. We can try to do things better next time when something comes up. You know, there were a lot of people that were in leading positions, I'm saying including Trump, but plenty of other people that were complete opposite side of Trump and call him an idiot stuff all the time would be saying, this isn't a big deal. We don't need to worry about this.
Steve Paladino (36:16):
The flu's worse. And then now look what's happened. Right? So we need to get away from it. And not just that, like now when you turn on the TV, today's always like doom and gloom and every little thing's getting over centralized. Even if it's centralized, even if it's has nothing to do with this. But it's like, I've noticed there's been other things now they're trying to make every little thing like some big thing because right now everybody's in this mode. It's like, let's get away from that. Right? Let's, hopefully we can start getting real information pushed out. We can actually get prepared. We can actually follow steps together and we can, and we can move forward. Hopefully that makes sense.
Sally Hendrick (36:56):
It does. It does. I get it completely. Well, thank you so much Steve. If there's anything else you want to add?
Steve Paladino (37:04):
Well, no, no, that's fine. I think we, I think we covered enough. I hope this was good for you and for everyone else who would ever hear it. But a lot of good stuff often when it's going on for a lot of different people and you know, it is kind of cool. I guess the last thing that I will say, it's rough as the world is and as, as crazy as people can get sometimes it is kind of cool to see how many people are stepping up to try to help and converting their businesses from something completely unrelated into trying to manufacture these things. And that's just awesome. You know, and it's, it's honestly really apparent. Again, regardless of what anybody's viewpoint on Trump and political stuff. I'm not trying to make this political, but it is apparent that we do rely on other countries a lot for certain things and there's, you know, we need to try to figure out how do we, how do we find that balance where you can have stuff over there and things back here.
Steve Paladino (37:56):
The hard part is, you know, there's mascot here that you can buy or face shields that you can buy that are great quality, but the $20 a piece where's you can get them from overseas for a dollar 50 a piece. Yeah. Yeah. Right. And so it's just so hard that you do it. But I'm hoping that we can find this balance where we can do it. I don't know if the government gets involved and subsidizes things or whatever, you know, I have no idea what the answer would be. But I do think that after this, there's going to definitely be a shift as far as what we do overseas, I think. Right. If we can figure out how to make it where it's cost effective and the people that are converting their businesses can actually turn this into something you'll see that shift because you know, there was, there was boats on the ocean coming over and trying to, how to turn them around cause they needed the masks and then Americans left with without stuff, you know. So anyway, I appreciate the time, the opportunity.
Sally Hendrick (38:50):
Thank you very much.
Steve Paladino (38:52):
Thank you and anything else that you have any, let me know.
Sally Hendrick (38:55):
Okay. All right. Thanks Steve.
Steve Paladino (38:57):
Have a good one.
Sally Hendrick (38:58):
All right. You too.
Donate to fund our advertising efforts.
Stay up to date on our podcast episodes, worthy causes we support, and other opportunities.