Bill Daubmann, the president and founder of MY Shower Door, is an accomplished entrepreneur whose fascinating career journey exemplifies the power of teamwork and community engagement. Despite his impressive achievements, Bill is a leader who shies away from the spotlight, firmly believing that success is a collective effort.
Since the inception of his entrepreneurial career in 1986, Bill has focused on building the company as a whole, and not on his own interests. He expresses this acumen by sharing, “MY Shower Door is not my company, but our company,” emphasizing the importance of unity and collaboration within the organization. For him, the business is a family affair, with his wife and sons actively involved, playing vital roles in both the company and his personal life.
In the realm of entrepreneurship, Bill serves as a prime illustration of the remarkable accomplishments attainable through selfless leadership. By setting a precedent, Bill underscores the notion that triumph doesn't hinge on personal recognition, but rather on the synergy of a cohesive team and the bonds that unite a community. Recognizing this profound narrative, The Top 100 Magazine concluded that there could be no one better suited to share this incredible and motivational story than Bill himself. Consequently, we opted to forgo the notion of crafting an ambitious narrative and instead engaged in a candid conversation with him about MY Shower Door, elucidating what sets them apart, and delving into the captivating tale of his initiation into the shower door industry.
Bill, let’s start by discussing what sets MY Shower Door apart from its competitors. Can you tell us about the most distinct differences between you and other shower door companies?
I’d be happy to. MY Shower Door distinguishes itself in several ways. First, unlike many of our competitors, who are often small mom-and-pop glass shops with limited employees, we have a team of 187 dedicated professionals spread across the state of Florida. We believe that investing in our team is essential, and we've established MY Shower Door University to provide comprehensive training for our sales and installation teams. Our training not only covers the technical aspects of installing shower doors, but also emphasizes essential soft skills, such as customer interaction and professionalism. We treat every project, whether residential or commercial, as if it were an occupied residence, ensuring we leave no detail unattended, from laying down blankets to providing clear instructions on door usage and maintenance.
Secondly, we are one of the few glass shops in the United States that manufactures our own glass. This vertical integration has been a game-changer for us, giving us a significant advantage in controlling the "business triangle" of time, quality, and price. While others in the industry must choose two out of these three factors to prioritize, we can control all three. By manufacturing our glass, we ensure competitive pricing, uncompromising quality, and efficient production processes. Additionally, we've made innovations in traditional hardware, such as hinges, which we have designed and manufactured exclusively for our products. This proprietary hinge sets our products apart from those offered by competitors.
Lastly, MY Shower Door is a family business and that family spirit extends to our entire team. Our family-oriented approach fosters a sense of belonging and unity among our employees, making them feel valued and appreciated.
Could you share the story of how MY Shower Door came into existence?
Certainly. The journey of MY Shower Door began after I retired from my career as a professional ice hockey referee in 1990. What prompted the retirement was that my eldest son, Keith, had been diagnosed with cancer, and we also had a younger son, Douglas, to take care of. The challenges my wife, Donna, faced in managing the family while I was frequently away refereeing games compelled me to find a business that would allow us to work together, while providing us with the flexibility to control our schedules. We initially began by offering closet organizing systems, with me as a Closetmaid dealer, a venture I embarked upon in 1985 in Massachusetts. This business grew rapidly, and soon, builders approached me and expressed their admiration for our work and the quality of service we provided. They asked if we could extend our services to include shower doors. Despite having no prior experience in shower doors, I accepted the challenge and sought guidance from a gentleman based in Connecticut who was considering franchising his shower door business. We worked out an agreement, and this marked the beginning of our journey into the shower door industry.
In 2001, my family and I made the life-changing decision to move to Southwest Florida, where we sold our businesses in Massachusetts and Connecticut. At this juncture, we decided to concentrate solely on shower doors. When we launched the company in Florida in September 2003, our focus was exclusively on frameless shower doors, forgoing the older framed alternatives. It was a calculated gamble that paid off handsomely, as the industry soon followed suit in embracing frameless shower doors. We had the advantage of a head start, which has allowed us to continually innovate and elevate industry standards in terms of hinges, glass quality, and coatings.
You often attribute the success of MY Shower Door to your team and your family. Could you elaborate on this and explain how they have contributed to the company's remarkable growth?
Absolutely. MY Shower Door's extraordinary success is, without a doubt, the result of a collective effort by our dedicated team and the close-knit family environment we've fostered within the company. When we operated our business in Massachusetts, we never managed to grow it by more than $1 million annually. Achieving that milestone as a small business was a significant accomplishment for us at the time. However, today, we anticipate that MY Shower Door will be a $40 million company this year—a substantial leap in scale. This incredible growth would have been impossible without the commitment and contributions of our team and extended family. It's not just about having a large number of employees; it's about having everyone work together cohesively toward a common goal. I firmly believe that this teamwork is the cornerstone of our company's success. I draw inspiration from my background in sports, where I learned that success can only be achieved when everyone works together as a team. There's a saying that goes, "If you want to get somewhere fast, go alone; if you want to stay for a long time, go as a team." This mantra resonates deeply with us, and it's a principle we wholeheartedly embrace.
However, effective teamwork also requires strong leadership and clear direction. It's not enough to instruct employees on what to do; we believe in sharing the "why" behind our actions and decisions. By explaining the purpose and meaning behind our goals, we help our team members understand the significance of their roles in achieving those objectives. This approach fosters a sense of ownership and pride in their work, as they become an integral part of something bigger and more meaningful. We celebrate our successes as a team, acknowledging the contributions of every member, from janitorial staff to inventory managers to executives.
Furthermore, we value each and every member of our team, and this is reflected in our company culture. We want MY Shower Door to be known as a place where people not only work, but also thrive and grow. We offer a 401K plan for our employees, and some of them even have ownership stakes in certain locations. As the founder, my primary responsibility is to create pathways to success for every team member and cultivate a culture that supports their personal and professional growth. This emphasis on teamwork, leadership, and valuing every individual has been instrumental in making us a successful family business, and it's why our employees enjoy working with us.
MY Shower Door is known for its strong commitment to charitable causes and community involvement. Can you tell us why giving back to the community is so important to you?
Our commitment to charitable causes and community involvement is deeply rooted in personal experiences and a profound belief in the importance of making a positive impact on the lives of others. It all began when my son, Keith, faced a serious illness. During that challenging time, my family and I received immense support and assistance from various organizations and the community. It was a powerful reminder of the kindness and compassion of others during difficult times. This experience inspired us to become involved with and support organizations like Make-A-Wish Foundation and Golisano Children's Hospital—initiatives that focus on improving the lives of children facing health challenges. As entrepreneurs, we believe in empowering people to take control of their destinies, and that includes giving back to the community and helping children grow and thrive. I am also deeply committed to the Jobs for Florida's Graduates program, where we aim to guide high school students who are not pursuing higher education toward successful careers in the workforce. Education and career opportunities should be accessible to everyone, and we want to play a part in ensuring that young individuals have the support and resources they need to make informed decisions about their futures. Another initiative I'm proud of is Workforce Signing Day, which I conceived and coordinated in partnership with local employers and the Lee County School District. This event celebrates students who have secured jobs straight out of high school, highlighting the importance of career readiness and offering young individuals a path to a fulfilling and successful future.
Our involvement in these charitable causes and community programs reflects our belief in giving back to the community that has embraced us. It's about creating a positive and lasting impact on the lives of individuals and contributing to the betterment of society as a whole.
What aspects of your work do you find most fulfilling or enjoyable?
There are several aspects of my work that I find deeply fulfilling and enjoyable. First and foremost, witnessing the growth of MY Shower Door's reputation within the community is incredibly rewarding. It's heartening to know that when people talk about our company, they often do so with admiration and positivity. Hearing nothing but good things about our work and our commitment to excellence is immensely satisfying. However, what truly brings me the most joy is witnessing the personal and professional growth of our team members. Seeing them achieve milestones such as buying homes, starting families, and succeeding in their careers is a source of great pride. It's not just about running a successful business; it's about creating an environment where our extended family of employees can thrive and flourish. Every day, I am motivated by the smiles on our team members' faces when they come to work, knowing that they are part of a company that values and supports them. Building this culture of mutual respect, support, and growth is what makes my work most enjoyable. Ultimately, MY Shower Door's success is a testament to the incredible individuals who contribute their skills, dedication, and passion to our shared mission, and that is what I find most fulfilling in my work.
Founder and President
MY Shower Door