Exeleon Magazine

Domenic Mangano – Designing Crafts. Designing Future.

Domenic Mangano_Exeleon Magazine

Making decisions is not an easy task and if it has to be a split-second one, things become all the more difficult. Then what is the right recipe to ensure the step you take is in the right direction? This question has perplexed Domenic Mangano a lot. He has the answer now and it dawned upon him with the experience he had while running the Jamaica Cottage Shop.

The answer is simple. This ability to take the call has to be developed and comes with proper nurturing of talents and guidance. Anyone with some experience in the field can tell you what to do next. But not many can explain why. That is the difference-maker. Its consequences are far-reaching. It instills confidence in employees that then spills over and wins customers. The plus side shows no need for pressure on employees. Rather, this attitude guarantees an influx of clients.

Domenic Mangano believes that his employee management style is more effective as staffs love this approach. It helps leaders to get close to their underlings and capitalize on their potential. On the other hand, this perception reveals how Domenic as an entrepreneur has evolved; how his perceptions have helped him in forming teams that impact more.

From Just an Idea to Get the Balls Rolling

The initial days of Domenic and his company were a bit clouded in terms of its mission and vision as he was not sure about what to do. His company witnessed its naming as an outcome of a wordplay. The Cottage Shop part was derived from the concept of cottage industry about which he learned during his time in the business school. The term cottage industry explains the process of producing salary from home and it grabbed Domenic’s eyes as he always wanted to earn his fortune while working from home.

Jamaica’s namesake is the town of Jamaica from Vermont. In 1995, when Domenic started, he never knew what was ahead of him. It took him years to realize that he is on the right track in terms of ROI.

Since then, Domenic has faced a lot of challenges. In fact, he still does. The path he chose witnessed various ups and downs. The ride in terms of finance and emotion was no less than minutes spent on a roller-coaster. But it was just not these two aspects that changed with time and got shaped by challenges – his personal and professional lives also experienced some drastic alterations.

A look back now is not going to change anything. The goal he had set for himself all those decades back is immutable. But if he has to start things again, he would have done things differently and his experience would have played a significant role. He would have preferred to look at things from a close quarter to fetch more insights for himself and ensure a better impact. Instead of becoming a Jack of all trades he would have carved a niche for himself and study demographics to have better control over markets.

However, there is one thing that triggers a setback time and again and that is the cash influx. Sometimes the lack of it has forced Domenic to push back profits into operations and expansion strategies.

What’s the USP?

For any business to have a substantial client base, USP is important. It is the crowd-puller as it gives the product an edge to outdo its peers. So, what ensures Jamaica Cottage Shop to stay ahead of its peers?

Domenic believes one of the differentiating factors is his designs. His designs are unique as they bear marks of his experience and things he witnessed leading up until the time he started building these cottages. Moreover, his steps “use a post and beam style, which is also unique and different from many of the common shed designs” that people normally see around and buy.

But that is not all. The material he uses for his products is also special. It is the native rough sawn lumber that he sources from the Northeast USA, specifically for his products. This move helps him impact more in terms of construction work.

The Path Ahead

In many ways, Domenic Mangano has ushered in a change in the industry. It is not just his vision that has set things moving but also his expertise and knowledge of the craft. It has helped him earn respect in his own company as his staff often look at him as a role model. But it is not just his company that holds him in high esteem. He has also garnered accolades from several corners of the industry.

To build a sustainable future, he is now focusing more on expanding his knowledge and utilizing his experience for expansion. He also wants to learn about the technological side of the business that evolves with every passing year.

Today, Jamaica Cottage Shop is scaling at an upward trajectory and its growth is quite robust. As a brand, it has started witnessing a nation-wide presence and is now exploring international opportunities.

What’s His Take on Entrepreneurs?

A lot of people dream of becoming an entrepreneur some day to be the master of their own fate. But not many get to taste success. Domenic Mangano thinks that patience plays a crucial role in it. It is one of the prime driving factors. To become an entrepreneur, to find success, one needs to be patient in mapping his moves and executing plans.

Why does he believe in patience? Domenic says, “The reason why I feel that patience is one of the most vested virtues when becoming an entrepreneur is because of this old saying “give them an inch, they’ll take a mile”. If you allow somebody to jump all over you, they will take advantage of you.” But there is also one other way to do the same things. “If you do it in a way that provides value to the end-user, the consumer, then you are going to see an immediate return on your investment, and you are going to see a continued growth pattern and movement in that upward direction.”

It is always better to wait and listen to the customer for they are the one who provides the insight regarding directions. If one listens to them closely enough, they will know which way to move next.

His Take on a Dynamic Entrepreneur

Becoming an entrepreneur is not enough as one also needs to achieve sustainability. For that, one has to be dynamic. To be dynamic, entrepreneurs should understand what each department faces, how things get shaped, what it takes to make a product market-fit, how quickly one can add on features, how teams are impacting, and a lot more relevant questions. It requires drilling down. And then, each aspect varies as soon as one changes the context and time.

The process also depends a lot on team-building efforts because each member has a different personality. It shapes their skills. Knowing it beforehand helps a lot in forming an organization.

But it is not just about the entrepreneur’s side. Before going out, one needs to read the minds of his consumers as well to know what they want. It bombards an entrepreneur with insights, which then simplifies the process of deciding directions. In longer runs, this kind of detail matters and that is what Domenic Mangano wants other entrepreneurs to know.

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