Business is BOOMING: Jake’s Fireworks succeeds due to relationships
NEDERLAND — Sandra and Joe Daughtry have been running in the fireworks business for more than three decades, but nothing sparks their hearts more than a smile.
“The excitement that the kids have when they walk in is like a kid in a candy store,” Joe said. “You see these families get out of the car with the dad holding the hand of his little boy and the mom’s getting their little girls out from the back seat. They all come in together and when they’re leaving it’s nothing but excitement.
“You know in that moment, that at one point, whether it’s for New Years or Fourth of July, that at least they will all be together as a family, shooting those fireworks — seeing that, that’s what this business is about. That’s what I like most.”
Joe, 64, and Sandra, 72, own Jake’s Fireworks, which is now a large warehouse off of Twin City Highway in Nederland, but started as a simple outside stand on the corner of Spurlock Road.
“We started this firework business when my youngest son, Jake, was 4 years old, Sandra said. “He is now 33. We started in an outdoor stand that we rented from someone for awhile, and we spent every Fourth of July and Christmas on that small corner for the last 30 years.”
Sandra said the business all started with one simple thing — a love of fire and family.
“We liked the fireworks and Jake liked the fireworks,” she said. “So we decided that this was something we could do twice a year because it was something we liked doing together. It was different back then, when we had just a small town. It was more about meeting people and less about business.”
Sandra said she even used to dress up as a clown and do balloon animals for the children waiting in line outside the stand. Although “Happy the Clown” retired, the Daughtrys said even in an expanded 10,000-square foot warehouse, the business is still all about the people.
“The people that God walks through your life, through the fireworks business, now that in itself is worth opening up the stand for,” Sandra said.
The Nederland native said she has seen customers and workers in all walks and ages of life.
“One girl, we helped open her own fireworks stand and she was able to put herself through college that way,” Sandra said. “We see customers come in with a budget and we help them stick to that by getting to know what they need.
“The people we’ve met, the veterans, the families, the children and all the people that come through here, are amazing. It’s just all about the people. It’s not about the fireworks, it’s about what they represent.”
Sandra said some of her fondest memories in the business include helping a mother whose 8-year-old son passed away build a wreath entirely out of fireworks and receiving a 75-cent tip from a young man, which she still has today.
“To us, it’s not customers,” she said. “It’s individuals that each have their own story. I wish I could put all these stories in a book and it would be the most awesome and interesting thing to read. They are all different, and it’s crazy that what brings them into our lives is simply fireworks.”
Jake’s Fireworks receives products from all over the nation, shipping and selling over a 100,000 during Fourth of July and the holiday season.
The profits from Jake’s Fireworks also allowed Sandra and Joe’s youngest child Jake to receive a debt-free degree from Texas A&M and startup two businesses.
The Nederland storefront is also unique for it’s interactive products, including the use of QR codes for customers to scan and see how each individual item looks as they are lit.
“That corner, that started 30 years ago, has brought so many people and great things into our lives,” Sandra said. “It all started with something so small, but we grateful everyday that it did.”
Jake’s Fireworks, 2565 N ,Twin City Hwy, will remain open on New Years Eve and New Years Day through midnight, before closing up shop on Thursday until the Fourth of July 2020.
For more information, visit Jake’s Fireworks on Facebook.
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