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how to pitch things to them. If I talk to someone long enough, they tell me everything I need to know about them.” People love to talk about themselves. “It’s good. It’s not bad to talk about yourself. Talking is great but you can learn a lot more by listening,” he said.

Through the years Rice has watched the textile industry die out because of the transition from American production to Chinese production.

“The United States textile industry has been destroyed by China and others,” Rice lamented. “Remember China’s goal — they’re very public with their intention — is to be the number one industrial power in the world. If we’re not careful, they will be.” He added, “And guess what? When we lose our industrial base, the game is over. We will not have good roads, good schools, etc.”

This is the reason why Rice is so passionate about free enterprise and industry in America. He also firmly believes in crafting a business that is focused on the customers and the employees rather than the administrators. “Our business is all about our people,” he said. “It’s certainly not about me or my brother.” When asked who influenced him most to develop this work ethic, attitude, and outlook on life, Rice explained his parents were the source. His father was a dominant force who made sure that his sons knew how to work hard, while his mother possessed more of a gentle strength that helped Rice to work with the public. “They were both very powerful in very different ways,” he summarized.

A combination of those attributes has allowed Rice to be successful through hard work and by capitalizing on the luck that has come his way. When asked if he ever was content with the rural town lifestyle after spending time in one of the biggest cities in the world, Rice commented, “I’m a happy person. I feel good wherever you put me. There are good and not such good things happening everywhere. You have to find a way to be happy and content with yourself.”

BROTHERS IN BUSINESS — Allen and his brother, David, pose with merchandise manufactured by Savannah Luggage Works in preparation for a ‘blowout sale’ in 2016.

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