OWNER JOHN JANSHESKI
Before selling majority share in the DenTek oral care business he grew to over $100 million, John was sailing with U.S. Olympic Sailing team in the San Francisco Bay. John used his fortune to make strategic investments in South Florida real estate while pursuing his artistic passion in photography. So far he’s photographed Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Coldplay, Jay-Z and Beyonce in front of his camera’s lens. Now JJ is bringing the global energy drink brand, HYPE Energy, to its first US headquarters here in South Beach.
Over a decade ago, John Jansheski was juggling two time-consuming passions: Piloting his oral-care business and shrieking across the San Francisco Bay at world-class speeds in small sailboats. In 1999, Jansheski was training side-by-side with the U.S. Sailing Olympic Team and given the opportunity to form his own crew. He had to make a choice.
"I would've loved an Olympic medal, but the gold medal in business was really my goal," Jansheski says. "It's more sustainable than a medal; it extends to hundreds of jobs and value creation around the world. I told myself I was going to get Dentek's value to over $100 million. At the time it was $20 million. That was my gold medal."
Jansheski gave up sailing and moved his company to Knoxville, Tennessee, where real estate and shipping costs were lower. Last December Jansheski finally won his gold, as Dentek's sales crossed the $100 million mark. It was Jansheski's cue to sell part of the company and enjoy some of the fruits of 25 years of hard work.
Jansheski was just 21, with only a few years of community college under his belt, when his father asked him to take over a business his brother had abandoned with over $150,000 in debt. At the time, the company sold just one product—his dentist father's invention, the Dental Pik. Since then Dentek has become the top brand for dental picks and tongue cleaners. Jansheski attributes his success to intense focus on niche products—"the space between the teeth was the space where we could win," he jests—and niche customers: the less than 20 percent of Americans us who even bother to floss once a week.
Today Jansheski splits his time between Knoxville and Miami's South Beach, where he keeps in shape by running on the sand, stand-up jet-skiing, and shredding on a skateboard with his teenage son. He complements it all with weights, pull-ups and a devotion to P90X Ab Ripper X program. At home, he counts on a personal chef to keep his diet in line; he credits his chef (and some intense cardio) for helping get his cholesterol down 12 percent, low enough that his doctor relented on his Lipitor recommendation.
Jansheski teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Tennessee, and he sometimes invites a young athletic MBA to join him in a workout. "They can't hang, and it's funny. I'm competitive, and I like to push myself and others," he says, "and it's the same in my business. I don't like to be beat. I like to win."