Boy Scouts Troop 446 needed logo shirts. Assistant scout leader, Jeff Allen, knew exactly where to go.
As a business owner, his companies relied on Joni Industries to provide their marketing shirts. And when his troop needed t-shirts, there was no question he’d visit Joni Industries. “Gus always does a great job,” he said.
He isn’t alone. For 30 years, Joni Industries has helped businesses, organizations, schools and private parties promote themselves. From premier acrylic awards, trophies, plaques, clocks, professional embroidered shirts and t-shirts, novelty items, embroidery and engraving, Joni Industries can deliver almost anything to help brand a name.
And it all started with pencils, said owner Gus Guadagnino. In fact, before he opened Joni Industries at 16230 Aviation Loop Dr. back in 1973 after finishing college, he started working at Seaboard Pencil Company in New York as the Marketing/Production Manager. Through hard work and good fortune, the company outgrew its facility three times in ten years. The third move was to Hernando County.
But everything was going up in price and China was destroying the American made pencils industry, Gus explained, “We had to look at other products.”
In 1985 Joni Industries was established, which was named for his two children, Joseph and Nicole.
Joni Industries now offers thousands of promotional products, from screen printing and embroidery of shirts to calendars, awards, name tags, tiles, plaques, mugs, pens, etc.
And of course they still offer custom American-made imprinted pencils that appeal to schools, golf courses, and organizations.
“Manufacturing has changed and machinery has changed,” said Gus. “Now we are on-demand shipping and don’t need to keep large inventories.”
The world also changed, he said, with the introduction of the Internet. Many of the promotional products sold are shipped throughout the country.
“A lot of people believe the Internet will eventually kill their business. It actually helped mine,” he said. “I now have a national audience.”
Joni Industries has so many promotional products to choose from to promote any business, organization or even political candidate.
Keeping a name visible builds branding. And using inexpensive marketing items helps level the playing field so even small businesses can benefit from name recognition.
When he is not busy running his business, Gus is dedicated to making a positive difference in Hernando County schools.
“I ran for School Board because I felt the schools had a lot of issues,” he said. “Not that I am the answer to all, but I am bringing a business sense to it.”
And it seems to be working.
Joni Industries was family built and still runs under the same familiar roof. His children are still involved. Joseph runs the daily operations with a tight staff and stays on top of most jobs. Nicole comes in periodically but now owns and operates her own hair salon in Spring Hill.
Joni Industries is an example of small business success. The company has adjusted to meet the needs of loyal customers and became a household name in the promotional products industry.
But at the end of each business day, Gus has a firm grasp on his priorities.
“Success is important,” he said. “But family is more important.”