Bonita Springs – Bill and Donna Daubmann moved from Springfield, Massachusetts to Bonita Springs eleven years ago to retire. Daubmann, however, missed his two sons who worked by his side in the family Mr. Shower Door business since they were young boys. He wanted an incentive for his sons to join him in Southwest Florida.
Little did his family realize how that incentive would grow. Today, their family business, My Shower Door, encompasses a growing frameless glass shower door company with several showrooms and, most recently, a new manufacturing facility for tempered flat glass, with the only tempered glass furnace in Southwest Florida.
Their business success is an American family story: seeing an opportunity, stepping in, taking risks and garnering the resources that helped their business grow. Most recently they received the Small Business Administration Family-Owned Business of the Year Award for the State of Florida. Mr. Shower Door opened in 2003; Daubmann recently changed the name to My Shower Door as part of an expanding business plan.
According to Daubmann, “My oldest son, Keith, is the financial expert and President; my son, Doug, is the visionary; Dad is the referee; and Mom does a bit of everything from payroll to human relations. Doug’s vision is taking us beyond the comfort zone and into manufacturing. Entrepreneurs always set out on a road,” continued Bill Daubmann. “Sometimes to get there is winding. We set out to straighten ours with a new business plan.”
Business management models often illustrate three corners to successful business enterprises: quality, time and cost. Controlling two of three is usually the best one can accomplish. “Doug suggested that we could do all three by manufacturing our own tempered glass.”
Their new manufacturing facility, D3 Glass, recently opened on Alico Road and not only services their showrooms (four Southwest Florida locations by October and growing) but will also distribute to other businesses in need of flat tempered glass. Part of their expansion plan includes affiliate shower door businesses, in Florida and nationally, for which My Shower Door provides training, various levels of support, and tempered glass for installation.
Several beta test companies have already opened and their owners will receive their training from My Shower Door. Daubmann’s new venture included support from Christine Ross, President of the Greater Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce and the local Economic Development Councils that encourage a diversified local economy beyond tourism.
Other area manufacturers in non-competing industries were generous with their support and advice. Daubmann toured their shops, observed their processes and shared information about human relations, insurance, financing, and how deals are structured in small manufacturing businesses.
“We’re no longer buying glass in Alabama with shipping costs and damage risks,” says Daubmann. “Turnaround time is minimal. This is a value added for the customers of My Shower Door.
We live and work in the Bonita Springs area, and D3 Glass is now employing up to 29 people with great expectations for expansion.