New Partnership – Howard Brothers Partners with Georgia Swarm Lacrosse Team

Exciting Opportunity to Witness Growth of Lacrosse in Georgia

The Georgia Swarm is a lacrosse team that actually originated in 2004 and is formerly known as the Minnesota Swarm. It wasn’t until that 2015 that the owner of the team, John Arlotta, announced that the team would relocate to Georgia for the upcoming 2016 NLL Season. To justify the move to Georgia, Arlotta stated in a press release, “The sport of lacrosse is growing at a rapid pace in Georgia and we’re thrilled to bring the fastest game on two feet at the professional level to the arena at Gwinnett Center.”

Since their move to Georgia, the lacrosse team has seen success in their seasons. In 2016, the Georgia Swarm managed to make it to third place where they lost in the division semifinals. 2017 however, marked the first championship for the team. They are ready and excited to defend their championship title this next season starting in December.

Why It Matters

As you may know, Howard Brothers is proud to be considered a local business in the 5 different cities it resides in. The hardware and power equipment chain has stores in Athens, Alpharetta, Doraville, Duluth, and Oakwood. The Georgia Swarm’s home arena is the Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth which is basically Howard Brothers’ Duluth backyard. Howard Brothers is more than happy to partner with a Georgia Pro team, but this is as local as it gets. As Arlotta stated, lacrosse is growing rapidly in Georgia and Howard Brothers is excited to be a part of that growth and witness it first-hand.

Join in on the fun this season!

The first home game of the season is on December 30th at the Infinite Energy Arena. Howard Brothers is excited to be attending the first of many home games. If you get to the game early enough, be sure to stop by the Howard Brothers tents, we will have fun contests and prizes! It’s okay if you can’t make the first home game, there will be a total of 8 home games in the season.

Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the country. Between 2009-2013 lacrosse in Georgia has increased in participation by 59 percent, falling behind only Minnesota and Florida. It’s fast, it’s exciting. You may find that it’s the sport for you! Plenty of our own folks at Howard Brothers have children who play lacrosse so even the Howard Brothers family is excited to watch the Georgia Swarm’s games!



It’s Time for the Indie Again!

What is the Indie Award?

How many of you all have heard of the Indie Award? If you haven’t, you should know it is an honor to win. The Indy is presented by Independent We Stand. It is recognized as the Independent Small Business of the Year Award to win. Not only does it recognize small businesses for the work that they do, but also the relationships they build. The Independent We Stand association created this Indie “to help recognize a locally-owned small business that has gone above and beyond to deliver great customer service and community support.”

Past Winners 

The first Indie Award was presented in 2011 and do you know who it was awarded to? Take a wild guess. That’s right it was actually Howard Brothers Outdoor Power and Hardware and we could not have been more proud of our work! At the time we only had the first 3 locations in, Doraville, Duluth, and Oakwood, but we made sure we got involved in each city’s communities. Take a look at the other past winners:

2016 – Life’s Memories & More

What started off as scrapbooking for a hobby, became a full-time career and has helped create successful charitable initiatives. Since 2009 Bullock has sent more than 35,000 mostly handcrafted greeting cards to our troops and since 2007, her customers helped raise more than $11,500 for the Rays of Hope Foundation and donated more than 200 handmade pink scarves to the Pink Scarf Project!

2015 – A. Dodson’s

A. Dodson’s, is an apparel, home decor and gift shop, with locations in Suffolk, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Va. Daily, the staff at the independently-owned shops provide customers with personal shoppers to help fill their clothing, décor and gifting needs. They also make philanthropy an integral part of their sales model to make an impact in the community.

2014 – Mike’s Community Cup

Mike’s Community Cup is a coffee shop that has been serving up joy in the SeaTac, Washington community since 2008. The seven-year-old coffee shop not only gives customers their daily dose of caffeine, but they also do great things for their local community. They have risen over $10,000 for community organizations, including local schools, hospitals, sports teams and many others.

2013 – Trio Hardware

The vast outpouring of support Trio Hardware & Paint received during the Indie Award is one of many examples of the loyalty their customers have shown for the store. In addition to being one of the founding members of the Plainview Chamber of Commerce, Trio sponsors the local high school robotics team, they give two scholarships yearly to a graduating male and female student, they hire locally, and they sponsor little league and soccer teams.

2012 – All-Points Personal Transportation

Over the years, All-Points has regularly provided free transportation to individuals in need, working with the Pretty In Pink Foundation, USO and the Wounded Warriors LogoProject. All-Points continue to pride themselves in having strong personal relationships with their clients and catering every trip to their specific needs.


No good competition is the same without prizes, right? Here is what the 2017 Independent Small Business of the Year Award recipient will receive:

$50,000 Grand Prize Package Value

• Branding, advertising and public relations makeover the Meridian Group.
• $5,000 cash, plus $1,000 for your favorite small business support group.
• A certificate for $1000 worth of STIHL equipment good at any STIHL dealer in the US.
• A 12-month subscription and 3 months of managed marketing services from SnapRetail.
• 3 Day/2 Night stay at an independent beach resort hotel in Virginia Beach, a tour of the STIHL plant and museum and a gourmet dinner with the Independent We Stand team.
• Special plaque awarded to the winner to proudly display in their business.
• Public Relations and Social Recognition.
• Each Quarter and Semifinalist will receive a Premium Membership from Independent We Stand.



Now that you know what Independent We Stand represents with their Indie Award, it’s time to get out there and vote! Shopping local helps build stronger communities to thrive. We are sure there is some small business out there that has your earned your patronage, go out and show them you appreciate them. Keep these dates in mind:

September 12 – November 12

November 20 – December 10

December 13

The competition has just begun! Go out there and support your favorite local small business! There is value in shopping local. Good luck to all the favorites!

Duluth Fall Festival Bicycle Rack Project

Every year, the city of Duluth holds a fun family event in the fall. There’s food, games, rides, prizes and an overall great time! Today, the Duluth Fall Festival is one of the most successful festivals in the southeast, with attendance consistently upwards of 100,000. As a business located in Duluth, we take pride in our community and are happy to attend each year. This year, Howard Brother’s donated buckets of paint to the city of Duluth as a way to help the city’s arts programs and decorate Downtown Duluth. Just in time for the Duluth Fall Festival!


What makes these bike racks even more special is that each bike rack is being painted by local artists, including our very own students from the Duluth High School art program. Projects like these help our local artists gain exposure and keep the arts alive to help inspire creativity.  Although Howard Brothers’ Hardware provided all of the paint and paint supplies for the artists, the bike racks were purchased by the Duluth Fall Festival. This is a wonderful example of private partners working with the Duluth Public Art Commission to bring a community together, which is exactly the the type of environment any city aspires to be. 

Although not all bike racks have been installed yet, this project is coming along great.  We took the liberty of taking a field trip to Downtown Duluth to spot the bicycles below:

These beautiful sunflowers are bound to light up anyone’s day

Here’s Sunshine! The Official Festival Scarecrow

Highlighting W.P. Jones Park

And can’t forget the train!

We can’t wait to see all of the finishing touches and are looking forward to attending the Duluth Fall Festival. If you’ve never been before, join in on the fun this year! It will be a fun event for the whole family.

Fireworks Safety

With the Fourth of July slowly creeping up behind us it’s only fitting that we create a post for you guys about Firework Safety. *cues fireworks* According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage. On top of that, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 51% of those injuries were to the extremities and 41% were to the head all in 2015 alone.

Simply stated, fireworks can cause a lot of harm if they are not used properly. This is why we have decided to throw this list of tips together! Check them out:


  • DON’T LET SMALL CHILDREN PLAY WITH FIREWORKS OR SPARKLERS. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Keep a safe distance after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

These are just a few. Remember to be cautious and mindful of your actions. We want all of you to have a fun and safe Fourth of July!

Join Howard Brother’s for Delicious Demos!

Delicious Demos

What better way to learn how to use a grill than to have someone at your local Howard Brother’s location demonstrate, with tasty recipes and free food? Oh right, there is no better way. Just about every week, one of our stores will host delicious demos for you to come and learn best grilling practices as well as easy to make recipes. So, you’ll also get the chance to ask any questions face to face. We will gladly answer them for you. Whether you prefer a Big Green Egg grill or a Traeger, we all love to come together when there’s food involved! Or FREE FOOD, we should say.

Don’t be shy, join us

Come and check us out, we love interacting with our communities. We will have our next big demonstration on Saturday, June 10th at our Oakwood location, join us! If you haven’t already, be sure to like your local Howard Brother’s page on Facebook! We will be sure to update you on any upcoming delicious demos so you can join in on the fun.

If you have any questions, just drop it below in the comments! We’re happy to receive any recipe suggestions.

Capture the Colors of Your World


The shade of green that your grass is certainly differs from the green in your morning Starbucks coffee. As does the yellow yield light that you speed past to get to work from that weird yellow stain on your waiter’s shirt. Every different shade has a different personal association attached to it. So why not capture the colors with beautiful memories attached to them right into your own home?
Tools such as Benjamin Moore’s Color Capture app make it easy for you to capture the colors of the world easily right from your smart phone! All you do is snap a picture, upload it, and the app will automatically give you the name, style, and number of the paints that captures that hue. Perfect! Now matching Iron Man’s right shade of red and gold for your son’s room is a piece of cake. Or maybe those beautiful yet tasty, little macaroons that you love so much because they remind you of your honeymoon in France are the perfect colors for the guest bedroom.
Whatever the memory, we’re sure there’s a color that stands out when you look back and reminisce. Be sure to capture the colors that’s will fill you with emotion.