SBDC Success Story
Jon Winnie, a College of Lake County alum, worked in the magnetic fastener industry for a few years before deciding to venture out on his own. With the support of several family members, Jon started Winnie Industries in 2015. The company sells wire and cable management products such as hooks, clamps and rings that are used in the construction industry. Contract manufacturers make the products, some of which are patented by Jon, and Winnie Industries handles sales and distribution.
Jon’s story is a recipe for business success. Good ideas turned into profitable products as a result of a strategic business plan, solid relationships with suppliers and partners, financial and intellectual property management and great customer service. However, it took years of tenacious commitment and hard work for Jon to get the business up and running. Early on, the company’s finances ran negative for months, so Jon would drive for Uber on the weekend to make ends meet. Now, Winnie Industries produces enough income for Jon to cover living expenses and invest back into his growing company.
Jon’s experience illustrates how entrepreneurship can be so satisfying – with intelligence and drive, he grew a business from the ground up. He also was savvy enough to realize that he should get support from others, especially for things outside his area of expertise. Since the early stages of his business, Jon has utilized the Illinois Small Business Development and International Trade Center as a resource for guidance on sales, accounting and acquiring commercial loans.
Future plans for Winnie Industries include patenting new products, growing their presence in the data communication marketplace and establishing a presence in electrical markets. Regardless of the markets he is serving, Jon will continue to put customer satisfaction first. As he commonly tells his team when they are shipping heavy packages, “Tape is cheap, losing customers isn’t.”
To learn more, visit https://winnieindustries.com/