I feel that I need to write this entry so that people will know my back story of how I became so involved in the boating industry.
Yesterday I visited the new location of where TJSS will continue to do business, and I’ve never been happier to see where they landed.
The (shortened) story: My then boss and I started the company from ground up. Literally. September of 2011 I replied to an ad posted on Craigslist inquiring about a job to sell items on eBay. Since I had two years of selling professionally on eBay, I knew I’d be good for the position. So he hired me.
He would give me about 20 cards with information and I had to put it online along with my photos. Each week, we’d increase the amount put online. Let me tell you, learning jet ski parts was the death of me, but I somehow struggled through. Once [we] realized we were onto something, that’s when we started looking into opening a business.
When it was just me… I did the cleaning of parts, photography, typing/posting on eBay, customer contact (non-tech issues), beginning graphics and marketing. And, I designed the logo.
February of 2012 we found a retail spot and then added a few employees to help with the daily operation. We needed some more parts, so my boss looked into buying a large salvage lot from Thunder (where I work now). Side note: When I walked into Thunder Service, I just had this feeling that I’d be working there sometime in my lifetime, and I was right.
The rest of that year we spent improving our daily tasks, upping our items on eBay and spiffing up text, customer service, processes and just making our new retail space the happening place.
In February of 2013, two of us went to the Miami Boat Show to take a look around and see what new products we could potentially sell at our business. This is the show that started my love for boat shows. I had an epiphany while there and that kept to me all that time. After that I attended show after show after show… even though I was disappointed after going to smaller shows after seeing Miami setup. I came back wanting to do something with our boating parts, but could never really figure it out.
2013 brought a lot of changes with new employees, direction and jobs. More things changed, improved, we seemed to have direction, and was building a reputable customer list and business contacts. It was getting busier and busier.
In the summer of 2013, I ended up leaving my full time position at TJSS to pursue my own dreams of opening my own business to do graphics/marketing for other companies. I did that for a while, as well as taking care of their graphics, and then we parted ways in early 2014.
I started to miss the marine industry pretty badly, so I called and talked to Thunder at the end of 2013 and early 2014. (Even though I knew of and researched so many companies, that was the company I wanted to work for.) I interviewed / talked to them a few times before something opened up at service, and May of 2014 I finally got hired in at what I call my dream company.
I learned A LOT and will always be thankful for every moment of TJSS. I found my love of the industry from there, I learned a lot of different skills (related and unrelated to the work), became experienced in a ton of things and found a love for start up businesses. And, even though I’m no longer there, I still have a family to support and wish all the best to especially with a brand new start at a brand new location that seems more appropriate for the business anyway.