1. Tell us who about yourself and your business.
My son Jon and I are the owners and managing partners of Air Oasis. My son Jon is President and CEO. My wife and I owned a wellness clinic in Amarillo for several years when my son finished school and came on board with us. His expertise is graphic design and web site management as well business management. I am a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor. I am also an adjunct professor at West Texas A&M University.
2. What was your reasoning behind starting your business and when did you first open?
We were distributors of air purification products for several years before we made a decision to become manufacturers of our own air purification products. We felt we could take air purification to another level. Owning our own business gave us the opportunity to control our own R&D and develop technology that really made a difference. Our story as a manufacturer began in 2005.
3. What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?
I am able to control my own business, I have the freedom to build an unlimited business at the rate that is comfortable for me and my employees, It’s the old saying,”If it is to be it’s all up to me”!
4. What do you find unique or special about the entrepreneur community in Amarillo?
The support that is available to start up businesses and entrepreneurs is very strong in the Amarillo community. Beginning with the WT Enterprize Center, to the newer programs (Revolution) that have evolved in the past couple of years, financial opportunities, business training, and availability of an incubator center for start ups, has always been available and very supportive.
5. How has your involvement with the WT Enterprise center impacted your business?
In 2006, we received a grant that enabled us to purchase equipment that helped us to keep up with production at a time when it was desperately needed. Networking through the meetings and luncheons at the center has also provided good business contacts and product recognition along the way.
6. How has business incubation/business coaching helped your business reach new levels of growth?
The center and business coaching provided us with guidance and direction as well as beneficial business tips that have helped us develop strong business improvements and growth throughout the past 14 years.
7. What kind of growth have you seen in the last 3-5 years and what have you seen this year?
We have seen steady growth over the past few years, particularly in our direct to consumer channel, both domestically and internationally. Our sales and profits are at a humbling pace right now. Because our air purifiers have been proven effective at fighting viruses, the demand during the COVID-19 pandemic has been very high. We are thankful to be a trusted resource of government agencies, doctors, dentists, businesses, universities, and K-12 schools to support a safe reopening.
8. What’s a celebration or you want the share with the community about your business?
We have been able to maintain our employee base during COVID-19. Not only that, we’ve promoted some of our staff to greater responsibility while also hiring additional workers. We are very aware that many businesses and households are suffering, so it’s an honor to provide gainful employment to those who are eager to join a great team and a meaningful cause. Beyond that, we have increased our financial support to non-profit organizations at the forefront of the COVD-19 battle, such as Samaritan’s Purse.
Be humble enough to realize you don’t always have to be the smartest person in the room. Only do what only you can do, and surround yourself with others who can do what you cannot. It takes a team of people with various talents and skills to create a solid enterprise. Beyond that, it helps to have a product or service that fulfills an unmet demand in the marketplace. Never let anyone tell you something can’t be done and have the tenacity to never give up. Life is short, so have fun!