In order to highlight the amazing local businesses in Florida’s 47th District, the Anna For Florida campaign has launched “47 Means Business,” an ongoing blog series to spotlight local business owners in Lake Eola, Downtown Orlando, Winter Park, and throughout the district. 

Our blog digs deeper into local businesses by collaborating with business owners to showcase their success and to identify what the legislature can do to support them. Together, these profiles come together to create a larger picture of the amazing diversity and ingenuity of local business owners that Anna hopes to serve and represent in the Florida House.

Team Anna: What inspired you to start your small business? 

Dean Caravelis: I’ve always had a lot of edgy marketing ideas that I wanted to execute and I figured that no boss in their right mind would give me a budget to take those kinds of risks. Also, as a marketer, building a brand is the ultimate test and I knew I would eventually end up taking the dive. So, in 2008, after taking a year off of the workforce and traveling (mostly around Europe) I decided to start Blezoo at the worst point in the recession (Feb 2008). Not the best timing but lots of great lessons in bootstrapping were learned that I will value forever. 

TA: What is the most exciting part about owning and operating a small businesses?

DC: The most exciting part is to be able to look to your team and realize that you’ve created (hopefully) a good job for people here in Orlando that want to work for you. The next most exciting part is being able to establish long-term relationships with customers & partners in a way that goes beyond a simple business transaction. 

TA: Describe a perfect day at work.

DC: My daughter sleeps perfectly through the night so I get a little extra sleep. I come to work early and finish up on all e-mails before 10:00am, and then I get to spend the rest of the day creating a new campaign to engage customers. No fires pop up, and Uber Eats accidentally brings me some Thai food around 12:30pm and tells me it is a duplicate order for my neighbor and tells me I can just go ahead and eat it. Around 4:59pm, I get a phone call from a prospect that I had been in contact with and they let me know that they’d love to start working with us, thus increasing our business 25% overnight. How’s that?

TA: Are there any current policy issues impacting your business? If so, how?

DC: Trade wars wouldn’t be good for us or anyone. If the Border Adjustability tax comes to fruition it would drive up the price of a lot of the components or blank goods that we provide for our customers.  

TA: What could the legislature do better to help you thrive?

DC: I think public Education is the key, to everything. Please focus on that as if our future depends on it, because it does.