tv The Profit CNBC March 2, 2018 1:00am-2:00am EST
at a california company specializing in retail displays, the products are eye-catching. different colors? jeff: different colors, all different colors. lemonis: but the future looks grim. aimee: where do we go? you know, what do we do? lemonis: one of the owners struggles with the need for control. jeff: no, this is what we're doing. this is how it's gotta be done. lemonis: slowing down the process... jeff: [bleep]. lemonis: scaring his family. wes: he's gonna put himself in the ground the way he's going right now. lemonis: and sending the company into a tailspin. you're, unfortunately, on paper, out of business. if i can't persuade him to let go of the reins... if you can't trust their work, the business will never grow.
...and help his wife and partner come into her own... i know you have it in you. aimee: i do. lemonis: ...jd custom designs could just disappear. my name is marcus lemonis, and i risk my own money to save struggling businesses. we're not gonna wake up every morning, wondering if we have a job. we're gonna wake up every morning, wondering how many jobs we have to do. it's not always pretty. everything's gonna change. everything. but i do it to save jobs, and i do it to make money. this... -let's go to work. -...is "the profit." ♪ jeff: jd customs. lemonis: in 2009, jeff and aimee dougherty started jd custom designs, a display manufacturing company that handles everything from design... jeff: 26 and 7/8s. lemonis: ...to fabrication. the company started out strong.
aimee: where do you want me to put this on the work order board? lemonis: reaching $2.4 million of revenue in 2010 by focusing on displays primarily for the cosmetic industry. but a lack of working capital has left them in a constant catch-up mode. jeff: we need to develop something right away, 'cause it needs to be going, like, right now. lemonis: now machines are breaking down. jeff: the whole [bleep] drive that actually drives the terminals... man: the controller? jeff: fried. lemonis: delays are piling up. and the sales are down to nearly half of what they were at the peak. jeff and aimee are fearing the worst. aimee: we gotta take care of this. ay, yi, yi. lemonis: every retail business needs displays to show off their product and improve their sales, so turning this company around and having it inside of my portfolio could be a huge win for all of my businesses.
jeff: hey. lemonis: jeff. jeff: how are you? very nice to meet you. lemonis: i'm marcus. jeff: yes, i know exactly who you are. lemonis: nice to meet you. i'm a little confused. on the front door, there's two brands there. i thought i was coming to jd custom. jeff: you are. the other company on there is my biggest customer. lemonis: what kind of business is the owner? jeff: nail polish. this is one of their lines. lemonis: and so they're a nail polish manufacturer? jeff: they have several lines, yes. lemonis: so did you guys design this display? jeff: i designed this, yes. lemonis: and what about all this stuff in the back? jeff: if i didn't design it, i had a major part in designing it. lemonis: very cool. is everything you do makeup oriented? jeff: no, but it is definitely our biggest market. lemonis: is this whole display made of acrylic? jeff: yes. lemonis: different colors? jeff: different colors, all different colors. lemonis: you came up with this, too? jeff: yeah, that i came up with. lemonis: now, would this be considered an elaborate design? jeff: yes. lemonis: what makes it elaborate? jeff: you got the half-inch thick gauge acrylic. these are actually removable. lemonis: uh-huh.
jeff: because most of my customers want to update their plates. same thing here. these -- all these plates are removable. lemonis: and you designed this, as well? jeff: yes. lemonis: everything seems very much the same. while looking at most of the displays with jeff, you can tell that there's a little bit of a problem. they're all makeup related -- except for this one display that has pipes and water. jeff: they said their shoes are the industrial look. lemonis: this is a shoe display? jeff: yeah, for converse. they wanted that industrial look. lemonis: yeah, they got it. when companies are making a product for one specific industry, when you get outside of that, it's difficult, because you have to think differently, you're working with a different product. it's probably outside their comfort zone. and when did you start this business? jeff: in '09 -- '09. lemonis: 2009? jeff: yeah, i believe it was. i have to check with my wife, but i'm -- lemonis: is your wife in the business as well? jeff: yeah, that's my wife. that's aimee. aimee: hi, marcus. lemonis: how are you? aimee: nice to meet you. lemonis: really nice to meet you. now, are you an owner in the business, as well?
aimee: yes, sir. lemonis: what is your percentage? aimee: 50%. lemonis: so 50-50? aimee: yes. lemonis: who's in charge? jeff: i am. lemonis: you are. jeff: i pretty much run everything other than paperwork. she'll tell you, you know, he needs to stay out of the paperwork part of it. lemonis: why is that? why would she tell me that? aimee: he's very creative. he works well with his hands, he needs to stay over here and out there. lemonis: do you ever tell him that? aimee: oh, all the time. lemonis: does he listen? aimee: no. i've known jeff for... jeff: she used to be one of my customers. aimee: i was one of his customers. he was a single dad raising his three kids, and -- lemonis: wow, that's honorable. and your kid's in the business? aimee: yes. jeff: my oldest son. lemonis: is here? jeff: yes. lemonis: can you take me to the shop, i'd like to -- jeff: absolutely. lemonis: meet him, see the shop. jeff: come on out. we have about 4,200 square feet. lemonis: it's not exactly an organized place. jeff: no. i will give you that, no. lemonis: and the place looks like total chaos. there's crap everywhere. am i the only one that sees the irony --
that a display company should actually display their own things and have them look right? jeff: back here, we have a three-head machine that we use for prototyping or use it for production, also. this is my machine that's down. lemonis: and are there jobs backed up because of it? jeff: i'm starting to get backed up. lemonis: how much money do you feel like you need to spend on new equipment? jeff: laser is about $30,000. large format cnc router, probably right in the area of about $40,000. lemonis: and then you got to fix some stuff you have broken. so how much is that gonna cost? jeff: 15, 20 grand. lemonis: $85,000 and you're up and running. jeff: approximately, yeah. lemonis: how are you, sir? jeff: this is rogelio. this is marcus. lemonis: marcus. rogelio: hi, nice to meet you. lemonis: nice to meet you. and you have a lot of training on the cnc machine? jeff: he actually went to college for it. lemonis: oh, wow. jeff: yeah. lemonis: where are all your raw materials? jeff: can't afford to stock them. lemonis: and how much are -- are your lead times delayed today?
aimee: we say four to six weeks. lemonis: so if your machines both worked and you had the raw materials, what would your time quote be instead of four to six weeks? aimee: three to five weeks. lemonis: and over the course of a year, how much more business could you do? aimee: [ chuckles ] a lot. lemonis: who does the estimating here on the jobs? aimee: he does. i have no accounting experience. my background is sales. that was my realm. i love sales. lemonis: are you good at it? aimee: i'm very good at it. lemonis: aimee, who has a background in sales, is actually not involved in the sales process. and jeff, who's more quiet, more shy, he's the one handling sales? it seems like a role reversal. so what is all this? aimee: these are all samples and prototypes. jeff: well, actually, no, marcus, these are displays that actually get re-ran. lemonis: why does it look like this? jeff: if she could find me the time to do it, i'd do it in a heartbeat. lemonis: are you the only person that can do it? aimee: he has to touch everything, and he just -- he won't stop. jeff: i know, i know. aimee: maybe he could not be down here all hours of the night
and be home with his family and have dinner together. that's all the kids ask. jeff: but i don't have a choice, marcus. sometimes we're at a deadline, and a machine breaks down, and i can't miss that deadline. my family is everything to me. that's why i do this, that's why i stay all night. lemonis: business is one thing. your family, your health, that's more important. business owners, in one breath, they'll talk to you about the fact that everything they're doing, all these sacrifices that they're making are for their family, and i believe that. in another breath, they're absent from their family, and there's really blurry lines between home life and work life. and in the case of jeff, sounds like there's no difference. how you doing? wes: good, how are you? lemonis: i'm marcus. wes: i'm wesley, nice to meet you. lemonis: nice to meet you. you're just cranking out stuff, huh? wes: uh, yes, sir. lemonis: you like it? wes: oh, i love it. ever since i could remember, i would come in and watch my dad do it.
you know, just take one of those sheets of plastic and turn it into something, like, amazing. lemonis: right. you like working with your dad? wes: yeah, i love it. being able to spend time with him, 'cause you don't see him two or three days 'cause he's down here. lemonis: do you want to be in this business in the future? wes: oh, of course, yeah. lemonis: is that what you see for your future? wes: yes, sir. lemonis: what would you like to do here? wes: i mean, i know i wouldn't be able to do half the stuff my dad does, 'cause he runs the front, back. he's all over the place, you know. lemonis: he is all over the place, isn't he? wes: stresses me out. he's gonna put himself in the ground the way he's going right now, trying to do everything by himself. scares the hell out of me. lemonis: i think that you're here helping out your dad says a lot about yourself. wes: thank you, sir. lemonis: okay, my man. wes: nice meet you. lemonis: good talking to you. and i'll be here, so if you want to talk about anything. wes: thank you, sir. i appreciate it. jeff: okay. lemonis: how'd you learn how to do autocad? jeff: by myself. lemonis: you're self-taught. jeff: i got the program and just started doing it. lemonis: you loved it, too, though, didn't you? jeff: yeah, i did.
lemonis: do you -- are you as precise as you are because you spent years not being precise and you've learned? jeff: i've always been precise. when i was a kid, when you come home and my step-dad was drunk, you say one thing that's wrong, phew. so i've always tried to maintain so much control over what i'm doing, and when i feel out of control, it bothers me. a lot of people tell me you've gotta put more faith in your people. but it's my name that's going out on that product. lemonis: what happens is the time that you spend doing that takes away from something else. the company's so one-dimensional because jeff pours all of his time into doing everybody else's job, as opposed to allowing people do to their job, which gives him the free time to develop new ideas, develop new products -- something that isn't makeup. i'll see you in a little bit. jeff: all right, buddy. ♪ lemonis: so let's dig into the financials. 2015, $1.045 million in business.
2016, $1.471 million. and it says the company made $242,000 last year. $433,000 owed in payables. jeff: i didn't think it was that much. lemonis: $40,000 in credit cards. $43,000 in business loans. plus the car loan of $52,000. you have assets of $175,000 and obligations, liabilities of $568,000. $393,000 is the delta of the two. you owe more than you have. jeff: correct. lemonis: okay. you're, unfortunately, on paper out of business. so for that alone-- jeff: can i just have a second? lemonis: yeah. jeff: is that cool? lemonis: yeah. jeff: thanks, man. aimee: it's a very sensitive subject. lemonis: the pressure of keeping this business up and running is overwhelming him, and he doesn't want to show me or aimee how he's really feeling. but, frankly, he should be very proud of himself,
because he's sacrificing his own self for everybody else's benefit. hey. jeff: there you are. sorry. lemonis: listen-- jeff: i'm sorry to cut you off, i just-- lemonis: listen, listen to me. jeff: okay. lemonis: you have nothing to apologize for. jeff: i just feel like i'm failing, and it just takes away my soul, man. and i'm trying -- i'm trying my ass off, but i just hitting a [bleep] wall. every time i turn around, there's something else. lemonis: you have to decide if you want to bust through that wall or not. jeff: oh, i do. and i will. lemonis: okay, now you gotta figure out can we do business together, can we outmaneuver the wall together? jeff: exactly. exactly. lemonis: okay? lemonis: let's get in there. jeff: all right. lemonis: i'm a people, process, product guy. i know i need the product for my current businesses. i know that i can fix the process. and any time somebody is as humble and heartfelt as jeff is, i know i don't have a people problem. the fact that the business is just in a working capital death spiral, you'll see that when you put money in, it will start to solve things really quickly.
so i want to make an offer for $300,000. pay off the credit cards, get all the equipment working, buy raw materials, pay the vender down in a very big way, and put some cash in the bank. i feel like i have enough products in my portfolio plus businesses... jeff: mm-hmm. lemonis: ...that can benefit from what you do. jeff: i agree. lemonis: i'm still not convinced that you guys are creative enough to solve all of those problems, but i think you can solve a lot of them. and i know that you built this business with your blood, sweat, and tears. but i couldn't it for any less than 50% of the business. aimee: oh, where do we go? you know, what do we do if this doesn't pan out? would you be willing to do 60-40? ♪ jeff: i definitely wouldn't have more than one of these.
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there's a lot of heavy lifting here. and if i end up bringing 50% of the business to the table from all the companies, i want to be able to enjoy 50% of the profit. ♪ do we have a deal? aimee: let's do it. lemonis: okay. aimee: let's do it. lemonis: okay. jeff: thank you, buddy. aimee: can i hug you? lemonis: yes, you can. i want to remind you both, when you take my money-- jeff: i know, you're 100% in charge. lemonis: no, no, no, with you, i'm 150. jeff: okay. lemonis: this is a fresh start. jeff: okay. lemonis: all right, let's get to work. see you tomorrow. jeff: thank you, buddy. [ exhales sharply ] ♪ lemonis: good morning. man: good morning. lemonis: my name is marcus lemonis. and last night, we made a deal for me
to invest $300,000 into the business. the goal behind the money is to improve the work environment. this warehouse needs to be cleaned up. it's a mess. and to improve the equipment and develop new products. we want to be able to do anything that any company wants. but we ultimately have to change the culture. jeff: correct. lemonis: and that starts with you. jeff: correct. lemonis: letting go and trusting your team. jeff: right. okay. i got it. lemonis: all right? let's go to work. thank you, guys. ♪ one of the big concerns that i have is whether jd customs can be creative and they can be nimble. i want them to start thinking outside the box, thinking away from makeup. and i also want to see jeff's process. so i'm taking them to a local toy store, and i'm gonna challenge them with something they've never done before. what i want the two of you to do is to each pick 10 products. we're gonna make one large display that can be used
at a retail business. if you can prove to me that you can make something that has proper branding, proper coloring, proper signage, and can carry lots of different products, then we'll move on to something really big. aimee: let's do it. lemonis: okay, let's go. jeff: i'm confident. aimee: are you sticking to, like, an age group? jeff: you pick yours, i'll pick mine. aimee: okay. girl: anything crystals. aimee: what kind of science experiments would you say are fun? lemonis: jeff, why do you look so intense? jeff: i'm just trying -- just... lemonis: is this your fun face? jeff: no. lemonis: okay, what's your fun face look like? jeff: this is my fun face. lemonis: did anybody tell jeff that we were at a toy store? i think you have to take on the personality of the product that you're building the display for. if you were building a medical device, then i get it, be serious and technical. if you're building a toy display, let loose, have some fun. you've now picked 10 each. jeff: mm-hmm.
lemonis: and you need to get to 10 total. so how do you narrow it down? aimee: i think we need a book, though. jeff: don't think we should do anything with books. that would be a totally separate display. i definitely wouldn't have more than one of these. aimee: but you'll put a big dress on there? that's not taking up room. like, these could take up less room than the dress. jeff: i understand that, aimee, but these are basically two of the same products. why would you want to showcase two of the exact same things? aimee: because we're trying to do a full age group, from infant to adolescent. so i think it's gotta be a couple in each category. jeff: no, this is what we're doing. this is how it's gotta be done. lemonis: jeff... i gotta be honest with you... you've totally taken the fun out of this. jeff: i know. i'm trying to get my mind on visualizing it. i'm so sorry. aimee: see, he's doing the construction in his mind. lemonis: no, he's not, actually, 'cause he was arguing not about shape or size. he was arguing about a unicorn. aimee: true. lemonis: what he cares about is controlling the process
from the beginning to end, including picking the toys, because he knows better. and everybody else's opinion almost doesn't matter. i picked a toy store because i felt you would actually lean on her to make the product display, because who buys the toys for the kids? jeff: yeah. lemonis: and you're arguing with her like, "no, no, no, you don't know what you're doing." jeff: i get the point. would i like to be able to lean on more people and get -- yeah, i would. it's hard. it's really hard for me because it's a comfort for me. lemonis: it, single-handedly, could kill the business. jeff: got it. lemonis: we're ready to ring out when you are. lemonis: in five days, i want to see the final fixture, finished with all the toys on it, as if it's gonna move into a retail space. jeff: okay. lemonis: thank you so much. ♪ i own another business in the area called bodhi leaf. and aimee has told me she wants to oversee sales.
but i'm not sure if she understands what that entails or what my expectations are. so i've asked her to meet me there so we can really talk about that. what's the sales process gonna look like, and how is the revenue gonna get generated? who's gonna lead the sales charge? how am i gonna get a return on the money for myself, for you, for your family? like... aimee: i could go out and sell. it's natural for me. i'm a people person. lemonis: you feel like you could sell anything to anybody? aimee: for the most part, yes. like there -- i noticed the t-shirts. lemonis: let's walk and look. aimee: okay. lemonis: so what would be your pitch? aimee: i think you need to display your product better. lemonis: i think my product sells fine here. aimee: i don't see anyone looking at the coffee when they're waiting to purchase their coffee. lemonis: okay. aimee: if you had a fixture of some sort to display your coffee... lemonis: what am i gonna get? aimee: my commitment.
lemonis: money. aimee: darn it. okay. lemonis: do you believe in your company? aimee: yes. lemonis: prove it to me. ♪ aimee: it's hard. lemonis: that doesn't make me feel confident about the investment. aimee: i understand. i just don't like feeling like i'm not good at something. i want to strive, and when i get put on the spot like that, i get a little nervous when i don't know the answers. lemonis: aimee... talk to me. i want this place clean, and i don't want your dad involved. jeff: here's our disaster right here, though. lemonis: hey, jeff! why did you leave wes behind? jeff: oh, i'm sorry. lemonis: i don't want you taking over.
lemonis: aimee... i put everything into my business. and i had all these points from my chase ink card. so i bought ingredients, utensils, even made custom doughnut cutters. wow! all with points. that's how i created the ripple. the doughnut, in a doughnut, in a doughnut. suddenly, it's everywhere. i mean, it really took off. what will you create with your points? chase for business. make more of what's yours.
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i get a little nervous when i don't know the answers. lemonis: when you say you can sell, you've done that all your life, you have to be able to do it on the fly when you're not prepared. aimee: right. lemonis: listen, i love the fact that you would be the face of sales. i know you have it in you. aimee: i do. lemonis: so what you want to do in sales is get an objection, and solve the objection. so i say, "what if it doesn't work?" and you say -- you should say, "listen, i expected you to say that, right, 'cause, obviously, it's a lot of money." aimee: right. lemonis: "but i'm in the fixture business, and my job and our company's job is to bring products to life." aimee: see, that's so good. lemonis: that's how i really want you to think about it. aimee: okay, my wheels are turning now. lemonis: but that is how you sell. so how confident are you that you could sell anybody on anything? aimee: i can do it. lemonis: and you could kick ass? aimee: absolutely. lemonis: okay. aimee: okay.
lemonis: hey, wesley. ♪ wes: yes, sir? lemonis: this is stevie grafton. stevie: how you doing? lemonis: i have another business where there's a father-son relationship, and i wanted to bring in stevie grafton. he's the son of steve grafton of grafton furniture. and i thought that wes would take better direction from somebody from the outside who he could somehow relate to. him and his dad own a furniture manufacturer in miami. their shop was not organized a couple years ago. stevie: sure, yeah. lemonis: and it's now... stevie: very organized, yeah. lemonis: very organized. i want this place clean. if it's garbage, throw it out. and i don't want your dad involved. all right. stevie: come on back. jeff: here's our disaster right here, though. lemonis: hey, jeff? why did you leave wes behind? jeff: oh, i'm sorry. i thought you were talking to him. i apologize. lemonis: and i don't want you taking over. this is his project. jeff: okay. lemonis: okay? jeff: all right. wes: yes, sir. lemonis: okay? jeff: all right, you guys. wes: and over this way, more pieces that definitely need to be organized. jeff: these are for jobs actually. stevie: oh, these are jobs, active jobs?
jeff: yeah, these are actual jobs. stevie: okay. lemonis: jeff's so used to being involved in every single thing that he now feels like he has to provide the tour? jeff? jeff: oh. lemonis: i want them to just do their thing. jeff: that's fine. lemonis: and i know that's hard for you. jeff: yeah. lemonis: if they make mistakes, they make mistakes. lemonis: let 'em learn how to ask, and then you have to not be in their business all the time. jeff: okay. lemonis: steve and wes are hard at work, and once the shop is totally organized, i'm gonna replace some of his broken equipment with brand new, state-of-the-art equipment. hello. i'm marcus. rick: marcus, i'm rick. lemonis: rick, how are you? today, jeff and i are gonna go shopping for new machinery. it's gonna allow them to improve the output, and they'll be able to work with new materials, like wood and metal. i am looking to see more dimension. like, look at this thing, i mean this is... jeff: that's amazing. lemonis: most importantly, it will take the pressure off of jeff because the staff will be able to utilize the machinery that they know is gonna work.
he'll be able to focus on new ideas and new customers. jeff: i got to get it under $65,000. rick: this is a sale. lemonis: back at the shop, everybody is working hard on this new toy display. aimee: okay, well-- jeff: i just -- we don't have the room for a 60-inch diameter tree. aimee: okay, well, i have another idea. lemonis: i think the real test for jeff is if he's able to collaborate with everybody. is he able to get their input and not drive the process all by himself. hey, stranger. i came back to see the... toy thing. aimee: the unit? would you like to see it? lemonis: yeah. aimee: okay, let's do it. jeff: we just have everything facing one-sided, but it is two-sided. lemonis: what is the purpose of these slats? jeff: to make it more structurally sound. and we just did little accessory pieces, obviously, to hold the smaller stuff. aimee: we started out with a perfect square. jeff: it was just too sharp for kids. lemonis: whose idea was it to round it? jeff: me. aimee: jeff. lemonis: well, i like the fact that you were thinking about kids that could be near it. who designed it?
jeff: well, you told me to get everybody's input, i got every single person's input. the employees -- everybody. lemonis: is that true? cole: that's true. lemonis: what were some of the ideas that people had that you did not implement? aimee: what i wanted to do was... jeff: she wanted it to be a knock-down unit. lemonis: okay, yeah, collapsible. aimee: yes. lemonis: and so is this collapsible? aimee: no. lemonis: this could never go into a retail store, because it doesn't provide for the depth of skews. it could never go with a lot of inventory. aimee: i beg to differ just a little bit in a retail environment. lemonis: yeah. aimee: not everybody can afford a 3,000 square foot retail space. this, it looks like the things are floating so it makes the room look a lot bigger. if it was wood, it would be very heavy, it would take your away from going through, making the space look larger. jeff: i don't see the-- lemonis: well, i like the fact that you're trying to sell me something that i don't like, and at least trying to say, "okay, i hear what you're saying." aimee: yes. lemonis: "let me tell you why i think it would work." and that, to me, is a sign of a good salesperson. aimee started selling me on the positives,
the benefits, the features. and it showed me that she deserved a chance to do the job that she wants, which is to be in charge of sales. ♪ how are you? aimee: good, how are you? lemonis: good to see you. how you guys doing? jeff: good. lemonis: i want to have you meet a couple people. now that jeff and aimee have shown me that they can step somewhat out of the makeup display box, i want to start to introduce them to some of the businesses that i have who have specific needs for displays. so i'm taking them to a project where inkkas and flex watches are working together to actually go to retail. i want to see if these guys can help them. juli runs the incas and flex business as part of this process. brad, who deals with a lot of fulfillment at retail, and i wanted him to talk to you about some products. now, i have a couple of goals here. number one, i want to see aimee's sales presentation.
number two, i want to see if jeff will actually let her do it. aimee: i've put together a little presentation. juli: awesome. aimee: of who we are. we can do anything from small countertop units to large floor displays, depending on the space that is needed for your product. brad: awesome. so for our watches, we would love to have a retail display that really tells our message, that we have multiple different patterns, multiple different watches, and multiple different costs. and how we can show them as a collaboration living with our inkka shoes. aimee: depending on the retail environment, you can always do it as far as, like, a vitrine, or... jeff: question. will the watches themselves, the base color of the watches, always be a solid color? juli: no. brad: no. jeff: okay, we have a laminating process that we do that can really liven up a display. juli: i think for the main focus that we'd want for display is really combining and highlighting this new collaboration of the two brands, while also telling that 10% goes back to charity,
and inkkas, by the way, built the trees. aimee: absolutely. jeff: yeah. aimee: i-- jeff: sorry. now, the message that you're doing on the shoe and the watch itself, obviously, in my opinion should be displayed with the actual product. brad: i mean, it -- it would just take the right design. did you bring any ideas of how we could potentially merchandise shoes or watches? aimee: i did not. i wanted to bring a couple displays, but um... um... lemonis: if your business is in trouble and you need my help, log on to... brad: did you bring any ideas of how we could potentially i no wondering, "what if?" uncertainties of hep c. i let go of all those feelings. because i am cured with harvoni.
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merchandise shoes or watches? aimee: i did not. i wanted to bring a couple displays, but um... oh, damn it, i'm all... um... lemonis: this exercise was meant to give aimee more practice. this is a moment where i have to really convince her that she's got what it takes. she just needs to relax, gather her thoughts, keep jeff quiet, and be herself. listen to me. aimee: it's embarrassing. lemonis: no, it's not. aimee: it is. lemonis: no, it's not. do me one favor, don't pay attention to him, connect with them. and you may want to ask questions to get people to say yes.
how important is it to you that you grow your business? well, what are they gonna say? aimee: "yeah." lemonis: and get them shaking their head, "of course, yes." they forget that "no" even exists. are you ready? let's go kick ass. aimee: [ laughs ] lemonis: you got this. come on. aimee: i'm with jd custom designs. we're a custom display manufacturer. you want to sell more watches, you want to sell more shoes? juli: yes. brad: yes, please. aimee: i think we can partner together and make that happen. brad: okay. aimee: are you happy with your displays? juli: yes and no. brad: for instance, our watches come in these... [ chuckles ] aimee: so there's one problem. juli: so there's one thing. [ laughter ] aimee: first problem. brad: i like the fact that the watches are visible. we would like to have an option that can live on a table or a potential countertop. aimee: right. now we could do that. i have some ideas. i think that you can remove this and have it as a counter display. brad: yeah. juli: we're also including inkkas in that, so we need one that kind of combines the two. because this is what we're gonna highlight is the collaboration between the two brands. 'cause this is called the flexaire. aimee: okay. do you have a budget in mind?
juli: i honestly think it would be better if you could come back to us with varying options at varying price points. aimee: absolutely. i think i could come up with something that's roughly in the $500 range that would blow your socks off. brad: amazing. jeff: i do not see that display being in the $500 range. aimee: let's design something that is $500, and let's also design a few other things that are a little higher end. jeff: okay. aimee: because 9 out of 10 times, they see, "okay, this if $500," but they will find the extra few hundred dollars to get a better looking display. you build it and i can sell it. jeff: i got it. aimee: so we each have our own job, so... jeff: no, i got it. aimee: let me do my job. aimee: would you like to give us a shot? brad: yes, we would. juli: yes, i would love that. aimee: let's do it. thank you very much. brad: thank you. aimee: thank you very much. lemonis: all right, great. wes, you want to give me a tour of everything you did in here? wes: yes, sir. lemonis: i've gotten word that all of the improvements and changes have been made to the warehouse, and so i'm excited to see what's been done. look at this place! wes: me and steven just kind of talked it out and said,
"if we had it like this, it would flow a lot better." lemonis: what looked like a giant junk room now looks like an organized manufacturing facility. labeling all your raw materials. wes: yes, sir. lemonis: what do you think of all the new machinery? wes: this thing is amazing. lemonis: it's awesome, isn't it? wes: it's awesome. lemonis: my original investment was $300,000, but i needed to spend a little extra to put the type of machinery in there that's going to create volume. jeff: it increased productivity immensely. lemonis: how? jeff: it's so much faster. by the way, cheaper on the material. lemonis: because you're buying it in bulk? jeff: because i bought in pallet form. lemonis: previously, jd custom would buy all of their materials job by job. now that we buy all of our material in bulk, we're able to lower the cost of the materials by 22%. when you take the amount of materials that jd customs bought just last year, which is a half a million dollars, and you apply that 22% savings to it, well, their gross profit's gonna go up by $110,000. wes: thank you. lemonis: really good job.
♪ jeff: let me just set it up. lemonis: jeff? why don't you let her go through her sales presentation. why don't you not hijack the presentation. jeff: okay, not a problem. lemonis: we're back to meet with brad and juli, and i'm looking for aimee to really show that she has confidence, that she knows her numbers, that she can make the consumer want to buy in. aimee: this is the first idea that we came up with, which incorporates wood, metal, and acrylic. what we did is we made a pedestal so you could see that watch with the shoe. and what it would look like on the colored disc for this one. brad: it looks expensive. it looks like it was well made. aimee: this one is roughly $500. brad: okay. aimee: now the second concept we came up with, this is the cream of the crop here. this is actually the top of the pedestal. brad: okay. aimee: and it's also two-sided. brad: so this is like front and back? aimee: exactly. brad: okay. aimee: inside of these is storage
for the watches or the shoes. you could take this piece off and go put it in the watch department. this is about $750. brad: i like it. i do. lemonis: i was pleasantly surprised by not only her presentation, but i was also impressed with the actual design. i think they've proven that they can evolve from makeup displays. i acquired a business in minnesota called gander outdoors. and there are no displays inside the company. i think they're gonna want to see something that you do. so i think we go ahead and make both of these units. jeff: got it. lemonis: i want to show them your capabilities. jeff: okay. lemonis: the inkkas/flex display jeff and aimee made was fantastic. so i want to use that display as an example of their capabilities. and so i'm asking them to go to gander outdoors and really prove to that team that they're capable of making anything. if the people like it, this could be a multimillion dollar account. i will tell you that while it's my business, they make their own decisions just like they do.
jeff: of course. lemonis: and they're gonna be tough on price and tough on quality. jeff: all right. aimee: okay. lemonis: all right. aimee: thank you. lemonis: good job. good job. jeff: thank you, buddy. ♪ lemonis: we have two weeks to bring the prototypes to life for our presentation at gander. everybody is working their butts off getting these displays ready. jeff: get those pallets out of there, line those up. lemonis: but i'm already noticing a problem. jeff: no. just make sure all the spaces are perfect. man: oh, yeah, the space is fine. lemonis: i understand that this is a big job and jeff feels the pressure, but he still is in everybody's business. jeff: why is that coming up? that shouldn't be coming up. lemonis: his employees are really unable to complete even one task without jeff sticking his nose in it. jeff: no, no, no. this is gonna go over and grab t1. man: yeah, i know. lemonis: the more time he's spending doing everybody else's jog, the less time he's spending creating new products. i don't want him to have distractions... or be meddling in anybody's work.
jeff: thanks, buddy. lemonis: hey, jeff? how come he's not programming the machine? jeff: it's not that it's hard, it's just there's a few different codes and stuff that we have to use. lemonis: i can't have this conversation again with jeff. this situation, honestly, for this business to work, has to stop. let's you and i take a walk, okay, bud? byron: right now, it seems very generic. i'm a little torn that every time i want to think about the story, i have to look down there. i think that you guys can do a better job.
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if you can't unlock your ability to trust their work, the business will never grow. jeff: i 1,000% agree with you, but one thing that i just want you to realize, you say why do you feel that you have to be in control all the time, you know? if i lose that control... it scares me because of what my family stands to lose. my family is everything to me. and i have a control issue, yeah, i do. 'cause if i didn't, i can't take care of them. you understand that i'm saying? lemonis: i do. jeff: and i know why. my stepfather, i told you about. violent alcoholic. well, you'd get the [bleep] beat out of you, obviously. lemonis: did you get the [bleep] beat out of you? jeff: oh, god, yeah. more times than i even want to talk about. but this is the thing that i knew that i couldn't control.
this is part of my [bleep] problem. it's part of my problem of why i feel i need to control [bleep] around me, 'cause i couldn't do it back there. i couldn't control my mom getting hurt. and i take it to a level that it shouldn't be. and i realize that, and i'm really gonna work on it. not only for me, but for my kids. it's gonna be better for my wife, and it's gonna be better for our business. lemonis: i think that fact that jeff was vulnerable and disclosed why he is the way he is, it's a testament to the character of this man. you have to be the chief. that doesn't mean that you don't get out in the shop and get your hands dirty. that doesn't mean that you don't lead by example. but the way that you lead by example is also empowering these people. jeff: marcus, i should have known this years ago. lemonis: now that i understand jeff's background a little better, i understand why he wants to have control. and we have to work on it. with jeff doing his best to allow the employees to do their job, the company is moving full steam ahead to get these prototypes ready for the gander presentation.
♪ hi, guys. today's the day that aimee and jeff are gonna try to earn the gander outdoors account. and while that would be great for business, for me, it's more about them gaining confidence in their ability to sell any product to anybody. aimee: hi. my name is aimee dougherty. melissa: melissa mans, nice to meet you. show us what you guys got. aimee: i am co-owner with my husband, jeff dougherty, of jd custom designs. we are a display manufacturer located in fullerton, california. so all of our products are manufactured and fabricated in the u.s.a. we were approached by marcus. he came to us and said, "could you please make a display incorporating a shoe and a watch." they wanted to incorporate them together, something simple, something that ships flat, and that is easy to assemble. bryon: i like the bright and cheerfulness of it. woman: the flexibility is very appealing. byron: i like the height variations.
i think that's really fun. right now, it seems very generic. i'm a little torn that every time i want to think about the story, i have to look down there. and it's almost like you have to double-take at two different things to figure out what exactly that means. i think that you guys can do a better job. lemonis: for exclusives, extras, and business advice, visit... byron: i'm a little torn that every time i want to think a whole new concept in skin say heldefense.e-tox! new absolutely ageless®... ...pre-tox day mask from aveeno®. its' powerful anti-oxidant formula... ...fights pollution and keeps skin looking younger, longer. aveeno®. this is frank. sup! this is frank's favorite record.
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and what the shoe is trying to do, as opposed to down there. woman: most of the product that we carry, a lot of our fixtures are very, very custom. aimee: to your corrective criticism, say you had a promotion for a product that was only gonna be displayed for a certain amount of time, say something for the holidays. once the holiday is over, you could remove everything and change it out for a different product. you're getting a universal custom display. doesn't have to be for shoes, it could for anything. it's an entry-level display. at the price point, you're getting a lot for your money. so now on to the crème de la crme. i wanted to come up with something different and unique, something with as much advertising space as possible so people could understand the foundations and what it's all about. this one tells the whole story. this is an investment, and instead of having it for just one item, you could take this off and this off,
and you could change it to whatever product you want. woman: that's quite impressive. aimee: and each cabinet, there's storage for back stock. and also, the vitrine is removable, so you could remove the whole thing. bryon: i really love how versatile this is. woman: the branding is executed rally nicely and much better. lemonis: what would you guess this display costs? woman: somewhere between three and five grand. aimee: my price points are about $1,500 as you see it here. woman: you guys did a very nice job. this is a really nice piece. aimee: thank you. woman: it's exciting. aimee: thank you. and that's what we offer. we offer a partnership with you, we work together. jeff: we dedicate ourselves to our customers. we're there for you, we'll work with you, we'll help you any way possible that we can. aimee: you can always settle for ordinary. why don't you choose jd custom and choose extraordinary? so are you ready? woman #1: let's do it. woman #2: let's do it. aimee: all right. woman: you did a great job. aimee: thank you. lemonis: aimee did a great job presenting the capabilities of the company, but more importantly, jeff allowed her to do it. and that's a big movement for him.
is it hard for you to let her do her thing? jeff: it was in places. not -- and it wasn't that it was hard. i knew she was gonna nail it. i did. i really did. i believe in her. and i think she did great. lemonis: and you picked up a definitely a big customer. last year, jd custom did about $1.4 million worth of business. and now that they have the right equipment, they have raw materials, and most importantly, they have their confidence, they could take any product i have and bring it to life. they'll do at least $5 million next year. all the success that you've had in the last couple of weeks, particularly today, and going forward, is really a testament to the work that you guys put in. i'm very proud of you guys. jeff: thank you so much, buddy. lemonis: i love working with them. because they do what they say they're gonna do, they work their butts off, and those are the kind of people i like being partners with, people that truly want to earn it. i'll see you back in california? jeff: yes. aimee: yes. lemonis: we'll get to work. jeff: yeah, well, i'm ready. ♪
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