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June 20, 2016
Every company in the world started with one or a small handful of people pouring their heart and soul into a product or service they believed in-- and never giving up. Look back at the history of any company, and they all started with an idea. Some ideas grow big and become large corporations spanning the globe. Some ideas grow, but stay local. Each business story is different, yet similar.
Bloom'n Things is a small family business, and we like to get to know our customers, so why not let all of you get to know us? That's exactly the reason for our 'Spotlight' posts! First up to be introduced is one of our owners, Jon LaRue.
Despite being very friendly and approachable, we asked Brenda, his wife, about his involvement in the company, and a few personal tidbits about him. Here's what she had to say:
Jon has always been a valuable part of our business from the very beginning. During the early years, he worked at Jayco in the transportation department. With experience in many different departments, starting in the wash bay and ending up as a dispatcher, he also learned lots of lessons along the way. While working at Jayco, he also helped in the early years of Bloom’n Things by making sure we got to the flea market, setup, and home at the end of the week. As the business began to grow, he was ready to change jobs, so we decided we would try and work this business full time. He always made sure we got to the shows on time - mostly event free - although we have some great stories to tell.
Jon is such a large part of the business today with everything he does. He has great relationships with the customers and all of our vendors. We are able to bring our customers competitive pricing because of his ability to negotiate on everything from the rent to the products we purchase. He is also responsible for all the incoming freight (we get it shipped in by the pallet), pricing, sorting inventory and making sure it gets to the right location(s). You know all the awesome displays we have? Yup, that is Jon's department as well.
We like to attend Flea Markets, watch Fixer Upper (Who doesn't like Chip and Joanna Gaines?!), and attend trade shows to do our buying which also give us great ideas for our business. Jon also manages all the help, both in Fort Wayne and at our warehouse, as we are always needing somebody to help in one way or another.
Now for the personal side...
Jon's personal time (what little time he has) is spent with family, hanging out with old school friends and working on cars. He likes to travel, try new places and new foods, and is never in a place where he doesn't have a friend. No matter where we travel, for business or pleasure, he always finds someone to talk to or get to know. "It's always a small world!" is one of the favorites sayings.
His motto might be this: "It's not how fast you get it done, but how well the job gets done." His favorite food would be Mexican. I think he could eat that everyday, all day long - doesn't matter what kind of Mexican food it is.
With everyone being busy, making an effort to maintain family relationships is a top priority. Our family has supported us throughout this journey, and we feel it is very important to take the time to appreciate each and everyone of them.
Lastly, I think the motto our business can be a personal one as well, as it is something we strive for each and every day. "To do the best we can in everything we do." Meaning, doing the job to the best of our abilities - and being rewarded with great satisfaction at how far we truly have come in return.
Next time you see Jon working - be sure to say "Hi!"
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