Shop GROW Nebraska this holiday season
As you complete your holiday shopping, we encourage you to take a look at the wonderful products offered by Nebraska entrepreneurs through the GROW Nebraska website. GROW Nebraska provides promotion and awareness for Nebraska entrepreneurs, as well as an online marketplace through BuyNebraska.com, eBay and Amazon, where Nebraska products can be sold all across the world.
Take a virtual stroll down the aisles of BuyNebraska.com to find unique treasures for everyone on your shopping list. Items include art, bath and body, fashion, gifts baskets, gourmet food and wine, home and garden, jewelry, music and books. Design your own gift baskets. Snap up some Nebraska art for the Nebraska lovers on your list. Where else can you find Sandhill Cowboy Syrup or Ogallala Bay Rum Wiener Wash for wiener dogs and other breeds? Happy shopping!
GROW by the numbers
- 3,300 products offered
- 810 orders in 2013
- 14 order average per day
- 55% eCommerce growth from 2013
This month, we are featuring one of GROW Nebraska’s entrepreneurs in our Rural Success Story. Sunheat International products are sold in GROW stores and through BuyNebraska.com. The heaters also warm GROW stores during this chilly time of the year. Sunheat representatives have participated in educational trainings facilitated by GROW, and Sunheat International understands the importance of quality workmanship and personal sales service.
GROW business Sunheat International warms up chilly days
Winter has officially arrived since the term Polar Vortex recently made its way into our weather forecast. As the temperatures continue to linger in the single digits, we are bracing for another season of cold fronts and wind chill factors. It’s that time of year when staying warm dominates our thought process, and nobody has heat on their mind more than Josh Rookstool of Sunheat International.
Sunheat International is a Nebraska-based business, an offshoot of a company that began offering quality products when Rookstool’s ancestors first owned and operated a general store in Custer County. When Rookstool’s father took over the family business, he shifted its focus to the sale of Singer sewing machines and eventually infrared heaters in the 1980s. It was his vision that set the wheels in motion for the next generation of family entrepreneurs.
“We make and sell products people need, and everyone needs heat,” says Rookstool, Director of Sales.
Quality products at a fair price
The family business, which now includes Rookstool and his three siblings, was built upon the philosophy of offering quality products at a fair price. At the core of their operation is the Sunheat Infrared Heater manufactured in the United States. Such details as an all wood cabinet, quartz infrared heat tubes that emit no harmful emissions, and the ability to warm up to 1,000 sq. ft. safely and efficiently are a few reasons for the popularity of this product.
Rookstool not only stands behind his products, but he is also conscientious about how they are made and sold. The Sunheat Infrared Heaters are manufactured locally by hand in two factories in Nebraska. The wooden shells are produced in Central City and the Grand Island facility assembles the mechanical elements. The sheet metal and copper details come from another factory in the Midwest to complete this fully Made in the USA product.
“We prefer to work with mom-and-pop stores because they understand the product and cater to the customer,” Rookstool says.
Dedicated to the independent dealer
He is proud that Sunheat International is the only infrared heating company dedicated to the independent dealer. This point of sale strategy is focused on the idea that a quality product is only as good as the person selling it. Rookstool believes that offering his products in this setting allows for excellent customer service, repair and warranty fulfillment.
Sunheat International has continued to roll out a series of other products that relate to its lifestyle brand. Infrared fireplaces, patio heaters and saunas as well as air purifiers and the new Cool Zone Dry Misting Fan compliment the Sunheat Infrared Heater that started it all.
When Rookstool is asked what drives him and his company, it seems that selling heat merely fuels only a fraction of his ambition. He gives most of the credit to his family, which taught him the value of hard work, and employees who make his vision possible.
“Our company is successful because we work hard to achieve a good reputation and we pride ourselves on a strong work ethic,” Rookstool said.
It turns out a chilly forecast is not the only reason for the success of Sunheat International.
Who To Contact…
Director of Sales
3724 Arch Ave
Grand Island, NE 68803