How SCORE helped. 

Joseph Solis formed San Luis Umbrella in 2020, to provide superior quality and selection for his all his customers‘ umbrella needs.

As an entire E-commerce firm, Joseph manages all aspects of the business, from designing and managing the website, vendor relations, accounting, marketing, all the logistics involved, and as he states, “oh so much more”.

After working for several major retailers, Joseph never felt his hard work was appreciated. He had so many ideas he couldn’t execute with so many restrictions in place. He always thought, “If only I ran my own business”. Then, after COVID-19 hit, he found himself unemployed and disappointed. After this traumatic event, he decided it was enough to take a leap of faith and start his own business. Joseph loved to interact with customers and technology, so he wished to be in the forefront of Technology and E-commerce, since they are both growing industries, which allow him to interact with customers. He began with high quality ready-made and custom configured umbrellas, but additional product lines like Patio Furniture and Outdoor Cushions are now being added to the mix. He also would like, in the future, to open a brick-and-mortar store in San Luis Obispo.

Joseph believes his business is focused on being really good at one thing; outdoor living. He pours his heart into great products and excellent customer service, and feels confident he is helping people enjoy life.

His high point so far has been to be able to see the business come alive and states, “I admit I’m pretty proud to be a President & Founder instead of someone else’s Manager.” However, he realizes the company is still in the infancy stage; as such, he can’t wait to be able to hire employees, so that he can share success within a team environment.

Joseph knows, Effort = Results. Nothing has come easy. He has had to work hard, be smart, and still be humble enough to seek help. His vision for success includes working hard to earn the end result.

Joseph’s advice to someone thinking of starting a small business is, as a business owner, one must keep trying from different angles and master how to pivot when required to do so. The business landscape will change, and with that comes opportunity if you embrace it.

Joseph was steered to SCORE by a friend. While aware of SCORE, after looking at their website, he signed up for a Mentor and states he’s “so thankful he did” as his Mentor team has given him “confidence and encouragement along with so much advice.”

“SCORE has given me resources that I could not afford at this point in the game. Workshops have been so critical in helping me decide what I need to do and how to do it.”

Joseph adds, “I have been working on my business / idea for well over a year and a half. I made so many costly mistakes before I discovered SCORE. I wish I would have known about SCORE in the beginning. However, since I teamed up with SCORE five months ago, I have been able to make better decisions and have a functional business website that is growing and improving every day.”

“My Mentors, Michelle Gaudette and Mike Gordon, are my trusted advisors. I know that I can run anything by them, and they will give me suggestions and feedback. We Zoom conference about every four to six weeks; they help me develop milestones to gauge my progress. I feel so fortunate just to know them, let alone be my mentors.”

Joseph Solis