JAFE Decorating was founded in 1978 by Lloyd Williams after he had worked in the glass industry for 27 years. Using a process abandoned by his former employer, Williams started his decorative glass company with just one customer. Today JAFE Decorating serves customers in a wide variety of industries. The name of the company came from the first letter of each of his four children, a true family business. Since 1978 the company has reinvented itself three times to keep pace with an ever-changing market.
JAFE Decorating originally focused on staining glass in three colors, amber, brown and red. Limited to these three colors they realized that customers were looking for more. This is when the company shifted gears and got into the painting business as they could offer all colors in a different process.
Current owner Randy O’Dell joined the company in June of 1998. He was leading the company by 2006, and fully purchased the business in 2010. Since he joined the company he has seen a number of changes in the business, regulatory and political arena. JAFE Decorating currently employs around 50 people, with plans to grow in the future as they continue to develop new products and clients.
Along with the difficulties that come with adapting to meet an ever changing market, Mr. O’Dell is also finding it difficult to hire people who are willing to show up on time and put in a whole day’s work. With their manufacturing line running throughout the day, if one person is missing on the line, it can shut down the entire process.
Keeping up and complying with EPA regulations hasn’t been easy, as Randy explained here: http://www.sensibleregulations.org/2012/04/sensible-regulations-member-profile-randy-odell-owner-of-jafe-decorating/. He credits NFIB’s intervention with this process to helping him resolve his issue. An additional cost is also the money paid in taxes that adds up, “It’s money that can’t be reinvested into growing the business and creating jobs.”
Founder Lloyd Williams was a member of NFIB, so when Randy took over the company he became involved as well. He now chairs the Western Ohio Area Action Council for NFIB/Ohio, is a regular attendee of Small Business Day at the Capitol, and has been an active participant in the Small Business for Sensible Regulation campaign (his video is linked above). Randy has been a loyal member of NFIB, saying, “I like what NFIB stands for and the great things they do for small business”
Mr. O’Dell enjoys owning his own small business. The ability to give back to the community and face daily challenges are some of the things that drew him in. He said, “We can provide for over 50 of our friends and neighbors…and that means a lot to us as well as the community. My wife and I are both born and raised in Darke County and understand the importance of community involvement and giving back. We want to continue growing our business in a great place we call home. He has some words of wisdom for potential small business owners, it can be a consuming endeavor, he cautions them to not get too wrapped up in work as having balance in your life is very important.
Connect with Randy on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/randy-o-dell/23/a64/2a2
Or visit JAFE Decorating’s website: http://www.jafedecorating.com/Scripts/default.asp
JAFE Decorating owner, randy O'Dell describes some of the new techniques the company is looking into to help grow their business.