First in a series – My Back Story
(These simple, unedited videos are my way of starting a video archive of the story of ChopSaver Lip Care. My hope is you will find the story behind The World’s Greatest Lip Balm informative, entertaining, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and maybe even inspiring. This first video is my personal story and the events early in my life that shaped me and what drives me to this day. Full transcript below.)
Welcome to the first installment of Notes from Dan, The ChopSaver Guy! Hello everyone. My name is Dan Gosling, also known as The ChopSaver Guy. And I want to thank you for joining me in this first video in what we hope is a series of videos about, not just ChopSaver, but building a business, branding, marketing, perseverance, creativity, so many things we can talk about and, you know, you might ask, well, why is he doing this? And does the internet really need yet another video? Well, if the video is, entertaining or interesting, or maybe even inspiring, um, could help other people, then maybe there’s a good reason to do it. And that’s, that’s why I decided to do this. So what’s coming up, tomorrow will be more talking about my career as a musician. Uh, the next video on Wednesday will be the conversation that changed my life.
The fourth video in the series will be how I actually made the formula. We actually looking at my old recipe book when I came up with this stuff and the fifth video in the series, talk about how ChopSaver got its name, because the name of a product is eminently important. But today’s video is more about my personal story. I am 58 years old. I have been happily married to my beautiful wife Noelle for 24 years now. She is also a professional musician, a violinist. Our son, Anthony, is 22 years old and he is going to graduate this year from the Indiana University Media School. And we are enormously proud of him and can’t wait to see what he creates in the world. He’s a multi-talented young man. I’m a very fortunate man, but I want it to be, honest and transparent in these videos.
And so my personal story would not be complete without acknowledging, three tragedies – there’s no other word for it – that have befallen my family and not to be a downer right off the bat here. But, let me explain a little bit. The name Gosling’s is attached to the brand. Some people don’t notice it, but it does say Gosling’s Original ChopSaver Lip Care and that’s not just for me, but also for my father and my two brothers, all of whom died tragically, very young. My father, Roger Gosling, died in July of 1974. I was only 12 years old at the time. He was on a business trip in Hong Kong and was on a terrible bus accident. And he did not come home from that trip. My father was, as I remember him, was, funny, loved music, loved to sing, a big bear of a man, love bad jokes, love to travel.
The oldest in my family, my older brother, Glenn, died in March of 1983 when I was in college. Now Glenn was the oldest in the family. He was nine years older than me and, we were not terribly close growing up because of the age difference, but as we got older, we became very close and we shared a love for baseball, and the Chicago Cubs. And he died in a car accident. And then, Jim, the one I was closest to in age, died in November, 1993 of of AIDS. He was living in Los Angeles, pursuing his career as a singer, an actor, a songwriter. He was multi-talented and a beautiful soul. And, we miss them all of course terribly to this day, but I had just mentioned that because, those events and those people, in my life, are a huge part of my life and have informed and shaped who I am and for me anyway, they’re a part of this brand.
I just want to honor them and acknowledge them at this point in this part of the story, I’m the youngest of five children and I’m everyday grateful for my mother who is still with us. She doesn’t like to talk about her age, but she’s into her nineties. She is as active and is beautiful and youthful as people 20, 30 years younger than her. And she is my rock and in many ways, my inspiration for how to handle adversity. And then my two older sisters, Sandy and Jane both live here in Indianapolis. And it’s, you know, you can understand why as a family, we have all sort of coalesced here in the same community. Of course, we have our own lives, but we do see each other quite often. And, and we’re very close. I was born in Park Ridge, Illinois, but soon after that, we moved to Elkhart, Indiana. Elkhart, for all the things that were going on in that town, It always seemed like it should be bigger. And I’m going to explain. It was known as the Band Instrument Capital of the world. There was a time when, just about every abband instrument, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, flute, things like that, were made in Elkhart. Names like Conn and Selmer. And some of those are still made there. Also, the RV (recreational vehicles), we’re talking campers and trailers, many of those are made in Elkhart County. The ones you see on the road come from my hometown and then there’s Miles Laboratories, which I don’t think is there anymore, but it’s the company my father worked for. The reason he traveled a lot. But Miles Laboratories, you might not know the name Miles, but you probably know Alka Seltzer and One A Day vitamins and Flintstones vitamins and things like that.
So an amazing little town with a lot going on there for a town that was only not even 50,000 people. Very musical. The school bands were very important. My mother taught piano lessons. So all five of us learned, music at an early age. And after a couple of years of piano, I started playing the trumpet in the school band and turned out I was pretty good at it. And after a couple years, I realized I’m really quite good at this. I had a phenomenal teacher at the time. I had a private instructor named Gerry Knipfel, who was also to be my high school band director. Very influential in my life. And he let it be known that, Hey, Dan, you’re pretty good at this. You’re one of my better students ever. And I took that to heart, but it wasn’t just, Hey, this is fun.
I just really enjoyed it and thought, I think I might want to make a living at this. And Gerry would actually bring guest soloist to perform with the high school band. Maybe not household names, but these were studio musicians from New York and LA. People like Allen Vizzutti, Marvin Stamm, Lew Soloff. I performed on stage with these people on a yearly basis and was so inspired, not just by Gerry’s, example as a great teacher and performer himself, but these people that he brought in to perform with us. And I thought I want to be like one of those guys. So I went to the University of Illinois to pursue my college degree, and then did a Master’s at Northwestern University and studied at both schools with people like David Hickman and Ray Sasaki and Michael Tunnell. And Vincent Cichowicz had huge influences on my career as a musician and enabled me, the skills I learned at those institutions, enabled me to have a 20, 30 year career as a professional musician.
So that’s my backstory. I hopefully will inform why I’m so dedicated to this, this project and where I get my determination and my creativity, hopefully, and why I do what I do. So I think I’m going to end this first video there. If you have any comments or questions on this video or any future videos, please drop them below and I’ll perhaps use those for the topics of future videos. I’m so looking forward to this series, I hope you are too. And thank you. And we’ll see you in the next video.