Daughter's email to News 13 gives Asheville entrepreneur true barometer of success

(Photo credit: John Le, WLOS)

How do you measure success? Sometimes it can be hard to quantify.

A daughter's email to News 13 about an Asheville man helped us get to the root of what truly drives a local entrepreneur.

Robb Anderson of Asheville Steel says love and pride fuel his persistence.

"If money is your driving force, than I think everything else suffers from that," he told us, perhaps explaining why he's still fidgeting with knives.

"It's like a fidget toy for adults, that's what it is," he said. "Make the knife right and the money comes, is basically my philosophy."

He could talk about cutlery all day.

Rob revived the Paragon knives produced in Asheville for years, and says the Warlock could take the industry by storm.

"Press the button, out it comes!" he says with glee. "Flick of the wrist and it's fully functional."

But that's not the true barometer of his success. Eventually, Rob revealed the love that cuts deep.

He's the father of three daughters.

"My thing is I'm passionate about being their father, and I'm passionate about doing this," Robb says.

All along, the budding entrepreneur was on a mission.

"My goal was to get them to Disney World," he said. "I wanted to get those girls to Disney World. This business did that. And so that's rich! That's rich!"

Anderson's 'Mickey Mouse Operation' paid off in 2008.

"It was great. I was a single parent," he said of the experience. "And I wanted to give them what my parents gave me. But when it's just you and you're supporting three children, it's tough."

One of his girls, Samantha, wrote an email to News 13 summarizing her dad's resilience, especially through the recession.

"My sisters Shelley and Breea look at our father in awe," Robb read aloud. "He has worked hard his entire life, and always had a bad break."

"Not true," he interjected. "I had three good breaks when they were born."

Robb didn't have to go to Orlando to impress his daughters.

"(The business) has supported her family and even saved my father's life," he read.

"True," he said. "I would say those three girls saved my life more than anything."

That email's the best sign of success this dad could ask for.

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