In the spring of 2006, my 16-year-old son Michael and I learned about “ecommerce” (called online marketing at the time) at a half-day seminar in a local hotel where they served us a free breakfast. Pretty sure Michael came for the breakfast, but that seminar (and breakfast) opened our eyes to the potential of being in business for ourselves and provided a path to accomplish it.
On July 31 of that same year, JDK & Associates, LLC was formed.
“J” = Jim (me)
“D” = Diann (my wife)
“K” = Kids (Michael, Lena, Shelly, Brandon)
“Associates” = Our partners and clients (you!!)
Though “D” and “K” aren’t actively involved with the business at this time, everything “J” does is meant to provide peace and comfort to these 5 special souls (plus 2 more)!!
Now that we were officially in business and started learning how to become “internet marketing experts”, we needed a product or service to offer our clients. We built our first website marketing home ottomans. I had no passion for them and had a hard time finding suppliers. We never made a sale. I decided to go find a new product to market but wanted to find something I could get excited about. Little did I know at the time the joy I found in the "internet marketing" part of this journey would serve a new division of JDK down the road (see below)!
I grew up in Upstate NY and dreamed of being a professional golfer for much of my young and young adult life. That is what led me to the warm sunny skies of Florida when I was 18! My golf talent never developed into the skills needed to earn a living, but I have always loved the game of golf and continue to follow it with great passion and enthusiasm. This love for the game of golf led me to the PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center in January 2007 and changed the direction of JDK forever…
Focused on finding a new product to market, I headed out to the PGA Show at the Orange County Convention Center. I had NO concept of what that new niche product would be, but before I ever entered the show floor had discovered our niche. As I walked into the convention center I could survey the show floor and saw what I instantly knew what I was looking for! My eyes caught site of this huge booth with beautiful, colorful rain umbrellas! I knew instantly that I had found my new product! This huge booth with tons of people mingling around belonged to Gustbuster Umbrellas who became my first supplier! I was back in business with a fun new quality product and supportive vendor to work with. I found 2 or 3 other umbrella suppliers that day and 5 months later, www.UmbrellasAndBeyond.com was born!
Being married with 4 kids, a home to care for, many church responsibilities, and a dog, I was unable to do this business full-time. However, I consistently worked at this umbrella niche finding quality products and ways to make buying a blank or custom made umbrella fast and easy. JDK has successfully sold over a million dollars’ worth of umbrellas and have picked up many more suppliers through the years who have partnered with me to serve thousands of happy customers!
Being let go by my employer because of the coronavirus in March of 2020 ended up being a blessing for me. I realized my true passion wasn't only selling umbrellas, but also in creating and managing the website as well. With almost 15 years of learning and practicing internet marketing as well as recreating my website numerous times, I decided to launch JDK Website Design! Now we can help small to midsize businesses get their old site updated or create from scratch a new website to help their business get back in the swing of things after this awful virus turned our world upside down.
Our mission is to "build a website you can be proud of"!
Both divisions of JDK can now serve small business owners in branding their companies to their clients and prospective clients in an affordable manner. Now that I run JDK as a full-time business, I am excited to share with you all the cool things I learned to keep my website profitable these past 10+ years. I remain dedicated to serving our clients, remaining profitable, and help our clients find promotional products like pens, mugs, shirts, hats and signage, launch a new website or supply you with a quality umbrella.
I really appreciate you as a customer or potential customer visiting my site and trusting us to serve your company with a new website, quality umbrellas, and other promotional product needs to help YOU be known and make others aware of what YOU do, so you too can take care of your loved ones!
Enjoy the Journey!
Jim Rowland - Owner
JDK & Associates, LLC
2785 Orchid Lane, Kissimmee, FL 34744