As the pioneer of onsite engraving, Heather Bryan has created one of the most unique, yet necessary, businesses in this century. After personalizing at over 500 events, she not only saw the necessity of putting someone’s name on products to commemorate the experience but she realized the back room items opportunity as well.
Traveling with the PGA Golf Tour for six years, Heather saw the importance of developing her own engraving station so she did that. Once the technology was complete she sold 100 to test the waters in various industries, each being a success in its own right.
They currently have over 450 Jupiter Engraving Stations and over 1 million products produced in various industries. Marrying up her proprietary engraving station with my custom sourced products elevates Jupiter & Company as a leading solution provider for loyalty, appreciation and value added in the luxury travel / golf markets, stadiums and corporate realms. Heather is proud to say that she’s got a 100% women-owned company that remains debt free.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Heather Bryan: My company has spanned over 20 years of my life. Truthfully within my own company I have had over 15 jobs including but not limited to shipping manager, marketing director, hourly employee, leader, lead sales generator, developer, engraver and CEO. While engraving at over 500 professional golf, corporate and large events including a Super Bowl and the Final Four, I didn’t realize what I had.
I was in my 20s, attending every major event, engraving over 1 million products and all I remember are the smiling faces. My father was the dealer but I was the face of the game. I loved every minute of it. In my 30s, the smiles were still there but technology was an issue. The most important strategy I can share is to look at the big picture. Some call it vision board, manifest, whatever it is make sure you are calmly 5 steps ahead.
I knew my kids were little and that it would take me a hot minute to catch up the technology – the end picture included the proprietary all inclusive Jupiter Engraving Station. So with no specific plan but with the goal that when my youngest was 10 that I would become the lead solution provider of onsite personalization including a luxury travel and golf bespoke options through The Jupiter Engraving Station.
I calmly set forth with a team of 2 and created Jupiter & Company. My husband is a supportive partner and my passion is to travel with them anywhere and everywhere. Jupiter & Company currently has over 300 Jupiter Engraving Station being utilized at the top golf and luxury hotels around the world.
2021 and 2022 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2023? What lessons have you learned?
Heather Bryan: Going into the pandemic, Jupiter & Company was a financially healthy company with reorders continuing to come in. I am in the mindset of NO DEBT. I can’t sleep if I owe a friend $40, let alone someone I don’t know in an office building in the next town. I have spent a lot of money with business coaches and it comes down to that, for me, being and maintaining a debt free company is one of my definitions of success.
Oxford DictIonary defines entrepreneur as “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.” From the beginning utilize what you have to sell is one way to remain debt free. I would sell, then develop. It was a team effort that could only happen if we sold what we were making while making the company and technology better.
Moving from an entrepreneur mindset to a “business owner”” mindset while considering the new metrics with supply chains, shipping and staffing issues, thriving to be a debt free company has been my most successful path.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2023? What advice would you share?
Heather Bryan: Be secretly successful. Go to work and sell what you have. I am pushing my team back to organic growth. We are so grateful that our clients have stuck with us and that we were able to support them no matter what was happening around the world. Our concentration is to grow our current partnerships even deeper financially and personally. We are also looking at stronger partnerships with our vendors.
I would also try to bring in more things in house. I designed and developed the Jupiter Engraving Station with a software engineer and a mechanical engineer. It was a long process but in the end we are able to simply build, repair and calibrate in house. 40% of the Station is created on our in house 3D printers making them durable, repairable, customizable and most importantly recyclable.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Heather Bryan: Jupiter & Company married up the personalization industry and custom products industry. Our presence was in a few different sectors prior to the pandemic ranging from golf to racing to marathons to stadiums. Part of being a business owner and developer means you have to be open to change. I am strong headed about the amazing technology and bespoke product line that I created but I am open to who and how it can be beneficial to other businesses.
The reason I stayed in business was to help create something special. The pandemic has brought more appreciation to commemorating special moments and our products and services are fitting a space in the loyalty, appreciation and value added parts of the luxury travel and golf sectors right now.
We modified our software to accomodate more temporary staff name badge solutions while providing a way to thank new members and travelers back. We partnered with The International Luxury Hotel Association and will be featured at their INSPIRE Conference this December at the Arizona Biltmore.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2023?
Heather Bryan: I joke about World Dual Customization Domination but in reality, I love my secret successful family, travel adventures and business I created. I am grateful that the pandemic was some of my best memories and that I was able to work and live and remain debt free.
My intentions are still World Dual Customization Domination but in a roll out that works for me and my team so we are successful financially, technologically, environmentally and personally.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2023?
Heather Bryan: For our customer service and trust factor…. ZOOM & FACETIME ALL DAY!!! I love it. To be able to repair an engraving station in person is a game changer and with no cost! AMAZING. Our training, set up, support is all done virtually. We are in a personal business so be personal! The other side of that is that projects are completed faster and more efficient while building a relationship quicker and organically.
I have also given up with telling anyone where to work. We are all adults, do your work, show up on time, be respectful of others and get your stuff done. So far so good. Ask me in a year and lets see how that will change.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Heather Bryan: I spend 5 hours in front of my computer or phone. I also close my rings everyday and walk 4-6 miles a day. I am an active mover of the body and mind.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Heather Bryan: Jupiter has given me the privilege of travelling the world, talking personally to thousands of people. I was not preaching the word or playing a professional sport, I was making that moment special for them. I got a call during the pandemic that a gentlemen’s grandfather passed away and on his bedside table, from 2004, was a bag tag that I engraved for him.
He shared he went with his grandson and it was very special to him. EPIC! The most important piece of knowledge that I have going for me is that even a bag tag can tell a story that is genuine and authentic. Being genuine and authentic is important as an executive.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Heather Bryan: Let’s be honest, most business challenges revolve around money. Finding the right partners that our business will support them in will remain important.
Watching the trends on temporary staff for our name badge marketing, the growth of golf memberships for our loyalty programs, the needs of the luxury travel industry to increase their values, all are constant values I pay attention to. Right now, trends are tough to read and project for, so we put our heads down and just keep selling and reaching.
In 2023, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Heather Bryan: I am most interested in learning about marketing in the luxury sectors. My motivation is that I belive recession or not, this is a necessity in luxury.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Heather Bryan: In my hippy mind: Be Brave but my business mind screams TRUST THEM. If they want to work from home, trust they will do the work. If they need a space, get them a co working space and trust they will get it done. If they have a set up they know will work, give them money for their wifi. In the end it will grow a trusting relationship and costs less than any past working environment.
I believe having a debt free company makes me a better leader. I have less stress, I don’t over promise and I trust they will do their work.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Heather Bryan: My business superhero power would be to transport. I would love to be able to show a prospective client my engraver in Italy, then check on an existing customer in Hawaii that afternoon.
What does “success” in 2023 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Heather Bryan: My biggest success is the relationship I have with my family. Quality time with them and for them fills my cup. On a business level, we have had an amazing 2022 with developments in our technology, growth of partners while remaining a debt free company.
A success for 2023 would be to remain debt free, to have more happy clients than the year before and for the Jupiter & Company to be individually successful and happy.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Heather Bryan for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Heather Bryan or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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