Andrew Bluett-Duncan

Silicone Oven Gloves and Start with Why…

15 JANUARY 2022

Andrew Bluett-Duncan

Director 

Start with Why…

Sitting in my office, it’s a glorified shed actually, over the flat roof at the the back of the shop in Reigate, I was having a meeting with Em. She and I were deep in conversation about something or other and were interrupted by a shout from outside the door. The shout, which we both took to be “oi, its cold out here let me in” was most definitely not human. Maybe more reminiscent of the sounds I associate with Tiggers arrival in the forest in the middle of night. You might be forgiven for thinking how was this voice able to transmit so much information…. well I’m not really  sure? But anyway Em went and opened the door to reveal a young and very bouncy Ginger cat, called, as were later to discover from his collar, Rocco, not Tigger (a slight disappointment) and he didn’t have any of his friends or relations with him either (another disappointment?) well maybe not, as I didn’t have any honey, haycorns, thistles or extract of malt to hand. He marched in and before Em could sit down on her chair again had jumped up on it and was settling himself down. We are both cat people and not only understood and forgave this unseemly behaviour, but actually encouraged it. Rocco picked up that he was amongst friends and then did what cats do which was to investigate every nook and cranny of his new environment, which then meant Em could at least reclaim her chair. He eventually settled down on a warm patch of floor in the office and didn’t move again until  we were preparing to leave for the night.

Start with WHY…
Before I touch on product I’ve been re-reading Simon Sineks book “Start with Why” If you’re already familiar with this work you can safely skip the next few  paragraphs. In it he talks about his autobiographical experience of losing motivation for his work (PR and marketing) and that in discovering his “Why” * he re-found his zest for work and for life.

What he discovered was that all the great and inspiring leaders in the world all think, act and communicate in the exact same way, and it’s the complete opposite to everyone else. He calls his interpretation/codifying of this discovery,  “The Golden Circle”. To illustrate this he draws three concentric circles as you see below. And he asks WHAT you do, HOW you do what you do, and lastly WHY do you do what you do?

He goes on to observe that

Every one, knows WHAT they do. That’s Easy!
Some he says know HOW they do it. Not so Easy!
Very few he claims, know WHY they do what they do. Difficult! 

So in asking WHY he’s asking us  “what’s our purpose”, “what’s our cause”, “what’s our belief!” Why does our organisation exist, why do I get out of bed in the morning? 

He asserts that the way most us we think, we will naturally go the most concrete obvious route. From outside to in. From WHAT to HOW to WHY.  From clear, to not so clear! 

But he says, the inspired leaders all think, act and communicate the other way round. They think from the inside, out. Sinek uses Apple as  an example of what he means. He says if Apple were like everyone else, a marketing message from them might sound like this.

 “We make great computers, they are beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly, Want to buy one?”…meh?

In actual fact Apple communicate thus:“Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo, we believe in thinking differently. And we do this by making our products beautifully designed, simple  to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers…want to buy one?" 

A far more compelling reason he argues, to buy a computer from Apple. In fact he goes further in summing up and asserts that the goal is not to do business with people who need what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.  In this case people who strongly identify with “in everything we do we believe in challenging the status quo”. 

So he continues,  “therefore, that people ‘don’t buy WHAT you do, they ‘buy “WHY you do it”. And I think that this is worth repeating

People don’t buy What you do.

People buy Why you do it. 

And so I’ve been mulling this over in my mind for a number of years now, but only now have I got to a point of thinking enough’s enough! I need to work out clearly what my WHY is, and you may find this odd, but I don’t think I‘ll discover that I get up in the morning because I want to sell you more cookware…

No, I think it’ll be something to do with the quality of leadership at Art of Living and something to do with providing a safe and stimulating environment for our people to work in? But I’ll let you know as I go on this voyage of self-discovery.

          Simon's WHY is to inspire people to do what inspires them so that, together, each of us can change our world for the better.

Ok to product. 

Oven Gloves with a difference
Some weeks ago  Em and  Jeanne came to me and said "we are getting asked for silicone oven gloves". A few years ago we used to do the Mastrad one called Orca which was very effective, if a little unsightly! Well I allowed Jeanne and Em to chose where to get an equivalent from and they chose three models from KitchenCraft. Three seemed a bit excessive to me, but its quite typical of the way we do things here, cover every eventuality! And its also true that whilst I don’t really like the look of most silicon gloves, they are remarkably effective in use and often a doddle to clean 

Masterclass Pro BBQ Oven Gloves
I’m going to start with the top of the range gloves. They re described as BBQ or Oven gloves and look for all the world like a pair of thick but otherwise ordinary black woollen gloves, but with strips of silicon on the palm to give grip , which it certainly does very effectively! The “Woollen”material is obviously not wool, but is described as a revolutionary fire retardant material. And in fact there is a picture of someone hold a ramekin in their gloved hand, using a blow torch (to caramelise the sugar?), which, I don’t know about you, but I'd be reluctant to do this with an ordinary oven glove for fear of setting light to it and possibly my hand as well! So a pretty advanced product in the way it will protect you and it still manages to be very flexible as well…can't always say that of oven gloves! Heat resistant to 250c a pair of these will set you back £28, so not cheap but, I suspect, very effective. Unusually I haven’t tried them. 

Masterclass Silicon Double Oven Gloves
These are a bit more traditional in look, but differ from the norm in replacing fabric with Silicon. The silicon is lined inside with a black insulating material of some sort that makes them comfortable to use and importantly, makes them easy to get on or off. These are my favourite out of the three models, partly because double oven gloves are always connected together (don’t find I’m searching for the other glove  that someone has left on the kitchen table) and partly because they are so easy to pick up and use. Incidentally, the silicon is sufficiently thin for them to remain very flexible, possibly a touch more than BBQ models I described above. Heat resistant to 250c and yours for £25. Again, not cheap but I think very good value for money 

Masterclass Single Oven glove
A single oven glove made entirely from Silicon, but with fabric insulated lining. Like anything made of silicon, it has good grip qualities, but I found harder to put on, I don’t like single gloves because the other one in our household used always to get left somewhere obscure which is why we now only have doubles in our house (lack of self-discipline here which if you not afflicted with it, you can safely ignore) and it's £16, making it the most expensive out of these three as you’ll need (at least) two. It’s also the ugliest. But I’ve just been told the best seller….so what do I know!!

Master Class Pro BBQ Oven Gloves Pair Black (6721060208698)
Master Class Pro BBQ Oven Gloves Pair Black (6721060208698)
Master Class Pro BBQ Oven Gloves Pair Black (6721060208698)
Master Class Pro BBQ Oven Gloves Pair Black (6721060208698)

Master Class Pro BBQ Oven Gloves Pair Black

£28.00
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KC Silicone Double Oven Glove Red (6721054048314)
KC Silicone Double Oven Glove Red (6721054048314)
KC Silicone Double Oven Glove Red (6721054048314)
KC Silicone Double Oven Glove Red (6721054048314)
KC Silicone Double Oven Glove Red (6721054048314)
KC Silicone Double Oven Glove Red (6721054048314)
KC Silicone Double Oven Glove Red (6721054048314)
KC Silicone Double Oven Glove Red (6721054048314)

KC Silicone Double Oven Glove Red

£24.99
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Master Class Silicone Oven Glove Fingers Red (6721056047162)
Master Class Silicone Oven Glove Fingers Red (6721056047162)
Master Class Silicone Oven Glove Fingers Red (6721056047162)
Master Class Silicone Oven Glove Fingers Red (6721056047162)
Master Class Silicone Oven Glove Fingers Red (6721056047162)
Master Class Silicone Oven Glove Fingers Red (6721056047162)

Master Class Silicone Oven Glove Fingers Red

£15.99
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Cuisinart Mini Chopper
And talking of my ignorance, Paul has just brought up the new version of the Cuisinart Mini Chopper. And he showed me a feature of this machine that for some reason I’ve not been before been aware of before. You can choose to either chop or grind. Press the “Chop Button” and it spins anticlockwise and the blade which is sharp on one direction only will chop anything in its way very finely indeed, press the grind button and it sets off in a clockwise direction and  you can grind.

So you might ask what’s the difference . I asked Paul who made a few suggestions and then deciding he didn’t know enough, looked up the excellent recipe booklet that comes with the machine. He then told me that in the chopping mode you would use this for fresh herbs, meat, poultry, fish, nuts and for doing purees. Press the Grind Button and you can grind coffee beans and ice. So if you can do these two very hard materials, then you won’t have problem with spices etc. Other capabilities include Mayonnaise(for which there’s a very small drizzle hole in the lid) Bearnaise Sauce, Pesto, Chantilly Cream, Vinaigrette, Humous and maybe you can think of others uses?

Anyway a very good little machine made to the high standards that we’ve come to expect from this company. It’s on offer at present down from £49.99 to £39.99. So thirty nine quids worth of blending chopping and grinding heaven, and not a lot to wash up either.

Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro - Art of Living Cookshop (4524060934202)
Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro - Art of Living Cookshop (4524060934202)
Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro - Art of Living Cookshop (4524060934202)
Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro - Art of Living Cookshop (4524060934202)
Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro - Art of Living Cookshop (4524060934202)
Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro - Art of Living Cookshop (4524060934202)
Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro - Art of Living Cookshop (4524060934202)
Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro - Art of Living Cookshop (4524060934202)
Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro - Art of Living Cookshop (4524060934202)
Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro - Art of Living Cookshop (4524060934202)

Cuisinart Mini Prep Pro

£60.00
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So that’s my sales pitch over for this week. I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.

Kind regards,

 Andrew

 Andrew Bluett-Duncan Director

PS We found a glove in the Reigate shop that we’d missed earlier this week when asked by a customer who’d misplaced it. I hope this photo will do the trick and return it to its owner…

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