COLUMBUS — Business isn’t always just business. For a Piqua native, business also means giving back to the community.
Dustin McMillan founded GLUVCO, a distributor of safety equipment and various types of gloves, with the idea of impacting kids in need.
“We officially started selling last year,” McMillan said, who is originally from Piqua and currently resides in Dublin.
The major initiative of this distributor is its dedication to get winter gloves to children living in poverty.
“It’s the backbone of the company,” McMillan said “When I founded the company … the philanthropic aspect of it was most important to us.”
McMillan explained that GLUVCO has a “one-to-one program,” similar to the initiative of Toms Shoes, a manufacturer of shoes and glasses that promises that with each pair of shoes sold, the company will donate a pair of shoes to an impoverished child.
According to GLUVCO’s website, “If you or your company purchase at least $5,000 in gloves a year with GLUVCO, we will donate to your charity of choice.”
For example, McMillan stated, “If a company in Piqua would purchase 10,000 pairs of gloves, we would give 10,000 pairs of gloves to a charity in the community.”
McMillan became inspired to impact the lives of children living in poverty in Ohio after witnessing an incident of need firsthand. While on the way to go sledding one winter in Dublin, he and his son went to pick up one his son’s friends. McMillan said that the boy was wearing jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, but was not wearing any winter clothing. When McMillan suggested that the boy should go put some on, it became obvious that the boy did not own any.
“You could tell immediately that he just didn’t have anything,” McMillan said. “My son and I went and got him some clothes … After that, I was traveling for business and was sitting in an airport and trying to think of something we could do.”
That was when McMillan thought of Toms Shoes.
“I felt that we could do something similar,” he said.
McMillan explained that after doing research, he found that approximately 700,000 children in Ohio are living in poverty.
“That’s really what inspired it,” McMillan said, explaining that he felt confident after that moment that he could build a company that could impact those children. “Safety equipment and gloves seemed a natural progression just from my experience in the manufacturing industry.”
Part of the philanthropic draw for companies is that any donations that their purchase may inspire can go right back into their community if the company so chooses.
“Any order over $5,000 that a company places with us, we let them choose the charity organization that we donate to,” McMillan said. In one such instance, GLUVCO donated gloves to an elementary school in Columbus in 2014, and each child there received a pair.
McMillan’s interest in business was inspired by his family history, as his grandfather owned and operated George’s Dairy Bar, located at the corner of Ash and Spring streets in Piqua, while McMillan was growing up. McMillan’s father is now running the business.
“Just watching my grandfather impact people’s lives growing up and being a community figure, he was a great inspiration to me,” McMillan said, adding that GLUVCO would “love to do business” with a manufacturer in Piqua and “impact some of the children in my hometown for sure.”
McMillan’s future ambitions for GLUVCO are centered on reaching “every child that lives in poverty in Ohio,” he said. “Our first goal would be to put gloves on the 700,000 children that live in poverty in Ohio.”
McMillan explained that one of their target markets is manufacturers, but they do business-to-consumer transactions through their website. GLUVCO is also able to help businesses with safety certifications, such as OSA compliance. They are oriented to customer service, they deliver products quickly, and they aim at identifying issues before they happen, McMillan noted.
More information is available by visiting www.gloveco.com. GLUVCO can also be contacted at (614) 300-7382.
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall