WEDNESDAY MAY 18, 2022 |
JMX Brands CEO Jim Miller was honored as a 2022 Top Entrepreneur by the Business Observer during its annual Top Entrepreneurs luncheon on May 12. Miller started JMX Brands with his business partner Miao Xue in 2003 with $1,000 headquartered in his living room. They developed a business plan on how to sell online but weren’t decided on what product they would sell. Miller, a life-long Mennonite who was raised in a Mennonite and Amish community, used his experience, contacts and cultural understanding to build relationships with Amish craftsmen and persuade them to allow him to take their products, made in low-tech woodshops, and sell them on the internet, a still developing high-tech platform. He started with woodworkers in Pennsylvania and revenues grew to $500,000 in 2004. This developed into JMX Brands’ flagship store, www.dutchcrafters.com. Since then, the company has grown to be the largest Amish furniture retailer online. JMX Brands works with more than 130 Amish vendors in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio. There are over 50 employees headquartered in Sarasota and more than 75 worldwide. JMX Brands had revenues of nearly $24 million in 2021. In 2016, Miller moved the company beyond being solely an ecommerce business and opened a DutchCrafters furniture showroom in Sarasota. In 2020, the company expanded further with a warehouse and outlet store in LaGrange, Ind., and last year purchased a property in Alpharetta, Ga., where DutchCrafters’ second showroom will open in mid-2022. JMX Brands was named a Best Place to Work in Sarasota-Manatee in 2020 and 2021 and was ranked second on Furniture Today’s 2021 Best Places to Work list.