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Business Observer Friday, Dec. 25, 2015 2 years ago

Manufacturer gets oil change

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Peter Bagwell is one of the Gulf Coast's biggest cheerleaders for manufacturing.

Peter Bagwell is one of the Gulf Coast's biggest cheerleaders for manufacturing.

So it came as a bit of a shock to industry peers when one of Bagwell's partners bought out the company they started in Fort Myers called Polygon Solutions. Polygon is a specialty manufacturer, and the company has been a big proponent of the industry, hosting manufacturing events at its facility and training young people in the field.

Now Bagwell and his wife, Susie, are starting a new venture called I Love Oils to sell therapeutic oils and teach the public and professionals how to use them. They've opened an office and classroom off Alico Road between Interstate 75 and U.S. 41. “We're going to launch it from kitchen table to conference table,” he says.

“The biggest challenge in that business is education,” Bagwell says. “They don't know how those oils work.”

For example, Bagwell says professionals such as massage therapists need continuing education credits to maintain their licensure, but he says there's a lack of education about essential oils like those from plants such as lavender, lemon and peppermint. “Education is tough because you need good teachers,” he notes.

The news took Bagwell's manufacturing peers by surprise. “You are going to do what? They couldn't believe it,” Bagwell laughs.

Rest assured Bagwell will remain active in manufacturing circles, including the Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association, where he remains on the board.

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