I'd like to introduce Blume (that's right... just Blume) as this month's Meet a Member. He owns and operates Blume, The Merry Sweep out of Greenville, South Carolina and has been a continuous member of the NCSG since the early 90s. From US Presidents to some furry friends, he's seen it all...
What is a question you get asked most about being a chimney sweep/chimney sweeping/the industry?
How long have you been a sweep? Answer: "A while......."
What advice do you wish you had received when you were getting started?
Discipline and Time Management and you don't have to work for everybody.
What is the biggest challenge you face on the job? What are your best strategies for overcoming it?
Too Much Work... I thought I had figured it out until this year.
Who was your most famous customer?
I guess that would be George Bush but my favorite was Sunshine Smith.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
From a sweep perspective probably being asked who I would recommend to go and sweep the White House. From a personal perspective being married to the same person for 36 years.
Have you ever had to make your own tool to solve a particular problem?
Of course, I am a chimney sweep you know?
Weirdest thing you have ever found in a chimney?
Not much, 7 dead squirrels, 9 dead ducks, two live ducks, bundle of shingles, liquor bottles, raccoons, the soccer ball the mother had just given the two boys a few days before.
What do you like to do outside of work?
One of my favorite things is getting together with my 'mixed up group' of fellow sweeps called The Sheep Dogs. Also, there are the 'Friends of Don' that meet every year at the convention. Nothing quite like having Sweep friends.
What is, in your opinion, the most valuable part of being a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild?
As the late Pete Luter once said, you can learn just as much hanging out in the halls and bar at a convention as in the seminars.. I guess I'm weird, I like just hanging out with my fellow sweeps. We used to call it the Hang Tight Club... but most of us are too old to stay up all night now.
Thanks, Blume! One of the best parts of being a member of the NCSG is the friendships that are formed, and we are so glad you've made bonds that will last a lifetime. If you know someone who should be featured in the next Meet a Member, submit your nominations to Annemarie Stockton at email@example.com.
The National Chimney Sweep Guild inspires innovation, professionalism and community among chimney sweeps and venting professionals through advocacy, industry leading conferences and journalism, covering people, tools, health, standards, and education for a successful business and the safety of the American people.