Things Keep Coming Up Roses
by Sue DeWerff
Taking time to smell the roses is something entrepreneur Tom Wienckoski has always believed in. Since 2006, when he launched The Ultimate Rose, floral business, he has enjoyed not only smelling them, but selling them. The latest venture on his list of start-up companies is an online business that offers unique, one-of-a-kind 3-6 ft. roses imported from Ecuador to customers both locally and throughout the nation.
Wienckoski is now the owner of several other successful firms, including NuVantage insurance, a full service online and local agency, and Drigrip Acquisitions, LLC, a sunscreen and lip balm company. He began his entrepreneurial journey back in 1984, as CEO and founder of MC Assembly, an electrical contract manufacturing firm that began as a circuit board test facility. Wienckoski has always been a firm believer in the familiar saying, “If there is a will there is a way.”
A Little Luck and a Lot of Work
At just 28 years old, he opened MC Assembly with just two employees. He assembled circuit boards by hand until he purchased the company’s first major capital investment, a wave solder machine. That investment along with what he says was a little luck allowed him to grow the business to more than 1,000 employees and $200 million in revenue before selling it in 2005. Though he admits growth was not without its bumps, he always stayed focused. Today, the company is second behind Harris as the largest private employer in Brevard.
“With the support of my wife of 30 years, Charlotte – whom I have always admired for her ability to judge character and good business sense – as well as my current customer service and delivery staff, including my daughter Alexandra, my marketing talent, The Ultimate Rose has grown very rapidly,” said Wienckoski.
“Of all the businesses I have or have been a part of in the past, I enjoy this one the most – not only because of its nature, but the small company environment and what I refer to as my extended family of dedicated employees. My goals for this business, in such a short time, have exceeded all expectations, and that has been great!”
Knowing What Makes It Work
Wienckoski admits that his employees have been one of the greatest components in all his business ventures. “Working for The Ultimate Rose has been a great experience for me,” said Susan Head, a customer service representative specialist employed with the company for the past two years. “I appreciate all the training and respect I get from my boss; it is nice to be appreciated and thought of as part of the family by Mr. Wienckoski,” she said.
When asked if he believes in luck and/or timing when it comes to business, he said that if one is diligent enough, they will eventually put themselves in a position to take advantage of good timing or luck. As for his advice to folks looking to be entrepreneurs, he admits there is a huge difference in working for corporate America and being self-employed. “Becoming an entrepreneur not only involves risk and much stress, but if you are willing to make the sacrifices, it can offer tremendous satisfaction when things come together.”
Wienckoski said that his faith in God and his love of family are very important to him. His three children, Alexandra, 24, Thomas 22, and Gabrielle, 16, are what he describes as compassionate, hard-working and honest. He said he believes they get many of these traits from his late father, whom he describes as “his hero.”
“My father had the most solid morals and integrity of anyone that I have ever known. I am thankful he cared enough to instill these things in me so that I can hopefully continue to be a better businessman,” said Wienckoski.
“I would say that the most memorable advice my dad gave me was to always be truthful and never give up. Though life is full of obstacles, I can honestly say that my father thrives on overcoming challenges,” said Alexandra.
In his spare time, which doesn’t amount to a lot with all of his current hats, Wienckoski also has been a part of several projects that give back to the community. He and his wife have hosted many annual holiday service events for the Daily Bread organization, as well as the “Have a Heart” benefit for the Candelighters of Brevard, which has enabled children with cancer and their families to receive thousands of dollars in assistance.
“The biggest blessing in owning my own businesses is the reward of being able to stay close to my family,” Wienckoski said. “Owning a floral company now is a far cry from what I ever imagined I would get involved in,” he said. But as a savvy investor, he took the idea and is now running with it.
He has recently expanded the product line of the Ultimate Rose Company to include a variety of other unique rose products, including rainbow roses and colored roses, and launched a new website, FiestaRoses.com.
Though he admits that thorns exist in every rose garden, and likewise in every business venture, stopping to smell them once in a while can make for a better perspective for anything a person ventures to accomplish in life.