From small beginnings, David and Tanis Jamar have built a steady-growing business that is joining the ranks of leading companies in the portable sanitation industry. The two developed the idea to assist contractors in removing debris from their sites and keeping a clean restroom environment for builders and started out with eight dumpsters and 15 toilets.
“Because David had always been connected to the construction industry in some fashion, he knew how great a need there was for a company to supply a level of cleanliness that supported basic human dignity,” Tanis said. “I think we both really saw the restrooms as a small ‘add on’ to the dumpsters that we were providing. I don’t think either of us really had any idea or vision that sanitation would actually make up more than 50% of our revenue by the five-year mark.”
Over the years, the business grew to offer other sanitation services to contractors and special event holders, providing hand wash stations and hand sanitizer stations along with the different choices of restrooms.
Today, they offer a variety of restrooms from the VIP units which have solar-powered ventilation fans, Elite restrooms which have the fans and a built-in handwash station, ADA-compliant restrooms, and lighted special event restrooms are seen throughout many communities. The Jamars have also given many employment opportunities to those in their own community, who make up the whole J Bar family.
“J Bar has changed much the same way that our family has changed over the last 13 years,” Tanis said. “When we married, it was just us. We didn’t have any kids to take into consideration when we made decisions, etc. The business was much the same. When it was just David and me, we did what we wanted and what we thought would benefit us because we were the only employees of the company. As we added children to our family, and employees to our business we recognized that this wasn’t just about us anymore.”
The Jamars draw parallels between raising a family and running a business, both of which have gone side by side since startup.
“We have had to make a lot of decisions to protect our employees that were less than comfortable for us personally,” Tanis said. “Just like waking up 10 times a night to care for a new baby, we have spent plenty of sleepless nights wrestling with decisions that would greatly impact our employees. Every time we have made a sacrificial choice we have reaped the benefits on the backside of it.”
As David and Tanis have grown with their company and community, they have learned that it is not so much the products they offer, but the peace of mind a customer has when they are able to place an order and provide a sanitary environment for their own employees, or a special event holder who is able to provide a line of restrooms for their community to use during a summer festival.
“It is not about the product; it is about servicing the community and our employees, as well as their families,” David said. “The product is just a means of delivering that.”
Years have passed and the company has grown, as well as the J Bar family and core values (Excellence in the ordinary, servanthood, honest communication, being an overcomer, balancing family and work, and having a self-employed mentality).
“We try to live our core values out every day in how we interact with people,” David said. “I try to communicate core values as I am coaching others and recognize those people who honor those values.”
After staying at a Christian Family Guest Ranch called Wind River Ranch the summer she turned 21, Tanis discovered the term “servanthood” and it has stuck with her since.
“The concept of servanthood was drilled into every single task that we performed as a staff,” Tanis said. “It changed my life and how I saw people of all types, colors, income levels, etc. Most people wouldn’t think twice about a portable restroom having anything to do with servanthood.
“We have, on more occasions than I would like to recognize, provided a long term restroom rental to families who don’t have a working bathroom in their home and are being threatened with their kids being removed because of a health/safety hazard,” Tanis continued. “When we say there is nobody we are too good to serve, it means we provide the same level of ‘above and beyond’ service to that family as we do to the customer who is building a $3 million dollar house on the lake.”
Those who honor the core values such as servanthood have helped move J Bar up the ladder in a world where communication and teamwork are so important when providing the best level of service possible, then going above and beyond to surpass that.
“We have seen wonderful growth of the business on paper, but the things that I’m most proud of is how our culture as a company has grown,” Tanis said. “We are on the brink of the teenage years both with our family and with J Bar, and although I know there will be growing pains with both, I’m excited for the next stage to come around the corner.”
As the Jamars and the rest of the J Bar family continue to provide sanitation services to their community, they are bringing a level of safety to a variety of people – developers, builders, festival-goers, community members in need of a toilet or RV servicing at their home – the list goes on.
“On a nationwide scale we are not anywhere close to being a ‘big’ company, but my goal is that regardless of how many units we have out on rent that we remain an industry leader and an industry innovator,” Tanis said. “Part of our motto is ‘We Set the Bar.’ Doing things the way they have always been done simply because it has worked okay thus far is not the path we want J Bar on. We firmly believe that when we set the bar, others in the industry will be encouraged to provide a higher level of service which is better all around for the industries that we support.”