NORTH NAPLES — Bill Daubmann is still getting acclimated to the new name for his company.
My Shower Door, a Southwest Florida-based company specializing in the fabrication and installation of glass shower enclosures, had always operated under the moniker Mr. Shower Door. But last October, Daubmann received a notice that the family business could no longer use the name Mr. Shower Door because a licensing agreement with the parent company had ended and would not be renewed.
The owner of the Mr. Shower Door Inc., Tom Whitaker, had decided to go his own way.
"I never got a full explanation for why it wasn't renewed," said Daubmann, who owns three My Shower Door stores in Southwest Florida. "We had been the No. 1 performer for (Whitaker) since we first opened."
Daubmann made one last-ditch effort to hold onto brand the company had been built around. He flew to Connecticut and offered to buy the name Mr. Shower Door of Florida from Whitaker.
"He didn't want to sell that either, so it forced us into coming up with a new name," Daubmann said.
It was a decision the Daubmanns feared could dramatically hurt the business; the family knew picking a new name was high stakes. The Daubmanns had sold 16,000 shower doors since coming to Southwest Florida in 2003, and everywhere Bill Daubmann went, his customer's knew him as Mr. Shower Door.
It was a powerful brand.
"My parents were true entrepreneurs and risked everything they had to start the business out of their house," said Keith Daubmann, who runs the My Shower Door showroom in North Naples at Wiggins Pass Road and U.S. 41.
"They started cold-calling and knocking on doors 20 years ago, and it grew into a thriving business."
Everyone in the organization was tasked with coming up with ideas for names. They started with 100 and kept narrowing it down. Keith Daubmann remembered it as a painstaking process.
"We struggled to come up with names for months," he said. "We kept going back and forth with the same names. We were pounding our heads against the wall. Then, one day I was out playing golf, and a guy I was with said, 'I've got a great name for you, My Shower Door.'"
Keith brought back the idea to the rest of the family.
"We all looked at each other and said, 'Why didn't we think of that?' Bill Daubmann remembered.
Whitaker gave the Daubmanns until May 31 to remove anything with the word "Mr." The company had to buy new uniforms, business cards, letterheads and sales literature. The company trucks had to be stripped of the old logo, as did the signs on the building. The business also sent emails to existing clientele and called every one of their builders, remodelers and decorators.
Ultimately, swapping out one letter in the name cost the company $22,000.
"It was quite an expense, but we turned something negative into something positive. By not being so restrictive to follow the license it's allowed us to really grow and pursue whatever we want." Bill Daubmann said.
My Shower Door now has plans to open a new store in Tampa Bay, and the only glass fabricating and tempering facility in Southwest Florida in south Fort Myers by the end of the year.
"It's still a family business, we're in the same location we've always been. Our phone number stayed the same. All we did was change the 'r' to a 'y,' " Bill Daubmann said.
"We're in a great position to open more showrooms within Florida over the next two years as the business plan has been tested and proven in various markets."