Small Business Today Magazine JUL 2014 PHENOMENAL PRODUCTS JUL 2014 PHENOMENAL PRODUCTS - Page 8

Howard Partridge Phenomenal Products A Phenomenal Life by His Own Design and Systems H By Barbara R. Davis oward Partridge has a phenomenal life by his own design and systems in place, but it hasn’t always been like that. Originally from Mobile, Alabama, Howard grew up on welfare living with his mother and six siblings crammed into a 600 square foot shack. The roof was so bad that every time it rained, they had to get out every pot and pan to catch the leaks. Single most of the time, Howard’s mother managed to take care of everyone on a meager $100 a month. Needless to say, Howard’s life was pretty difficult. His mother had been married three times and at 18, Howard was kicked out of the house when he had a fight with his stepdad who told him to never come back. As it turned out, that was the one of the best things that could have happened to Howard. With long hair past his shoulders and a quarter in his pocket (just enough to make a phone call), Howard and his buddy “bummed up” $39.95 to buy a bus ticket from Mobile to Houston where Howard’s favorite sister lived with their birth father who had left when Howard was a year old. Having only met his father twice since he left, Howard called him and informed him that he was moving to Houston and arriving the next day. Fortunately, Howard’s dad picked him up when his bus arrived and changed his life. As it turns out, Howard’s dad and stepmother had a successful design firm and from them Howard began learning about the finer things in life. Howard got a job waiting on tables and was making about $500 a week but he didn’t make enough to save any of it. During that time, he met Denise who in 1984 would become his wife. Denise was from a big Italian family in New Jersey and that is where she and Howard were married. Like most Italian families, 6 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ JULY 2014 ]