Husband-and-wife team of Tangela and Harold Cummings were busy building their South Florida event production company, Design South Florida (DSF). So imagine their surprise when Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine dropped by one day not too long ago.
Kaine toured DSF to draw attention to Hillary Clinton’s plans for small businesses. DSF may be a small business, but it boasts such clients as Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning, the Miami Dolphins and rapper Flo Rida.
DSF, run by the husband and wife team, started off doing church concerts and weddings and now does large-scale events.
Harold is a city of Miami police officer at night and by day he is co-owner and CEO of DSF. Tangela is co-owner and events director, and prior to co-founding DSF became the youngest VP at a local financial institution. Tangela is actually a successful serial entrepreneur; she founded Admarde Solutions, followed by Admardecor Event Design and Tangela Cummings Weddings and Sweet Confections.
The enterprising couple recently told TNJ.com their secret to small business success–and how that Kaine visit came about.
TNJ.com: Were you and your husband surprised when you were singled out by Senator Tim Kaine?
Tangela Cummings: Absolutely!! Senator Kaine is amazing. What a great guy. He truly took time to get to know us and to understand our needs as a small business.
TNJ.com: How did this meeting come about?
Tangela Cummings: We started working with the Clinton Administration earlier this year. Our first event was with former President Bill Clinton. The Clinton Administration was impressed with our work and how professional we are that they continued to contract our services. This new relationship provided us with the great opportunity to meet and have Senator Kaine tour our business.
TNJ.com: What does Design South Florida do?
T.C.: DSF is structured to produce corporate and private events for clients. We are a one-stop shop in the event world.
TNJ.com: When did you launch Design South Florida?
T.C.: Design South Florida (DSF) is our Event Production Company that serves as a hub for our main company Drummer Boy Sound Productions, Inc. that was incorporated in 2003. We created Design South Florida to be an umbrella for all of the services we offer outside of concert production. There was no startup capital; we built our companies one client and project at a time and we still do it that way today.
TNJ.com: You also have other businesses? If so, what are they?
T.C.: We have Drummer Boy Sound Productions, Inc. which is our sound, lighting, staging and backline division. Admarde Solutions, Inc., is our event, graphics and website division. DSF is a merge of all of it.
TNJ.com: What is the climate like for entrepreneurs in your city and state?
T.C.: It’s very competitive. We always have to work harder and strive to be the best in our profession.
TNJ.com: What are the pluses of working as a couple?
T.C.: I love having my husband as my business partner. It’s working with your best friend everyday. Working together has its challenges of course, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. He is a brilliant businessman and leader in our companies.
TNJ.com: What advice would you give to other husbands and wives in business together?
T.C.: Work hard and play hard! Find the time to enjoy life outside of the office. Vacations and date nights are key.
TNJ.com: What are your goals for 2016?
T.C.: My goals are to maintain the clients we have while expanding the business. Securing new clients, projects and events allows us to hire more team members and to grow the business.
TNJ.com: What are your long-term goals?
T.C.: To build an event space in South Florida and open up offices in Orlando.