roger ximenez, jr.

 

Who is Roger Ximenez?

I’m a Product Management professional from Miami, FL. I have 6+ years experience working with startups, developing holistic marketing automation programs, cultivating technology talent and building delightful experiences for customers. I’ve helped teams focus on what matters most when faced with limited resources. I’m also the Director of Digital Marketing for Roger Ximenez Bespoke Leather Belts.

I’m an avid music enthusiast. I grew up alongside the Punk & Hardcore music scene of Miami, Florida. Video games sparked my fascination with technology. Travel has become a part of my identity. This is why I started this website. I hope to document my experiences to help others navigate unknown destinations, start new business endeavors or grow their business.

I enjoy playing guitar, video games, working out, writing, traveling, college football, going to shows and meeting interesting people from around the world.


Background

My father was born and raised in the small city of Granada, Nicaragua. My mother was born in Cuba but fled to the United States as a toddler. As luck would have it, my parents met each other in Miami, FL and quickly married.

I grew up in Miami, FL—one of the most interesting melting pots in the world. Miami is a city with diverse cuisine, beautiful beaches, an unceasing party culture and humble hardworking people.


Leveling Up

My father immigrated to the United States in his early 20’s after studying leather working in Germany. He worked odd jobs in order to save enough to purchase his a few machines for his dream business. Once he had more than just a sewing machine, he started hustling to garner clientele for his leather business.

I remember helping my father design belts in a small warehouse located in Allapattah, Florida. I helped paint, cut and screw together belts at the age of 8. We did this on weekends and for years. All the while, he loved being there, designing his belts and refining his craft.

He even purchased a small TV for me. I would watch Chilly Willy and Woody the Wood Pecker during downtime. That experience helped me understand the importance of loving what you do and having the will to relentlessly follow your dreams until you persevere.


Rock N’ Roll, Friends and Family

When I was young, I met a slew of incredible people who introduced me to the local music scene in Miami. Getting involved in the punk scene, I learned of the DIY community, treating others with respect and following your passion.

I played in a band with three great friends, going to shows and meeting other awesome people along the way. Playing in a band taught me how to work with a small team and how important empathy is. Little did I know this experience would be important later in life when I began working with small development teams.


Becoming an eCommerce Professional

Shortly after graduating from Florida State University, I was posed with one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I received an offer from both, Teach for America and a local Miami startup called CareCloud. Although I studied Philosophy and Economics in college, I always wanted to work with technology. For this reason, I choose the latter path and never looked back.

When I started at CareCloud, I taught myself how to use specific tools and investigated in-demand skills.  My father, who never sold directly to clients, was running a successful family-owned operation with his handmade leather goods. It was my first ‘Aha’ moment: why not build an e-commerce store to create a line of communication directly with our customers? This was the best idea of my professional life and it was also the most educational for my career.


First Iteration

I worked 50 hours weeks at CareCloud and with an additional 20 hours dedicated to RogerXimenez.com. I captured product photos with a Nikon DSLR, sketched an idea for the site, wrote all of the copy for customers to navigate, organized our email service provider (MailChimp), configured our analytics platform, designed our website using popular frameworks and configured all of our social platforms. It was a time-consuming and arduous process, but I loved every second of it.

We originally used SquareSpace. At the time, I did not know HTML, CSS or JavaScript. During this time, I was reading how to do some basic front-end work, leveraging tools like Codeacademy and Stack Overflow. I learned how to create responsive designs and conversion-centric flows to help guide our customers to checkout. I also learned how to automate marketing messages, grow our email list and communicate to our customers in a more relevant manner. When time allowed, I investigated Digital Advertising channels like AdWords, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. I helped encourage a culture that valued our customers first and everything else second.

Second Iteration

At some point, I left CareCloud and joined a multi-million dollar startup in a contentious space: VMR Products. VMR Products sold electronic cigarettes through a homegrown e-commerce platform. I helped guide marketing there and became incredibly passionate about Product Management. Between the analytics, design and business experience I employed at RogerXimenez.com, I was primed for such a role.

I believe what really sped up my understanding of front-end development was an in-person 12-week Codecademy Bootcamp I enrolled in at Wyncode. I joined the very first class and it was awesome. We learned how to use front-end frameworks like Bootstrap, create a basic rails app, use AngularJS(1) and work with Git. I’d definitely recommend such a Bootcamp to anyone.


Fast Forward to Today

Our website has grown 100% year over year for the last four years. We now automate most marketing initiatives using various tools available within the Shopify ecosystem. We went from zero direct customer orders a month to hundreds. It is an awe-inspiring transformation for both myself and our family.

Being an e-commerce professional means being entrepreneurial. Finding the optimal path with limited resources is essential to the success of any e-commerce professional and their business.


Let’s Get In Contact

Looking for some direction as to what you should do next for your online business? Interested in ways you can help improve your analytics and marketing strategy? Feel free to contact me at rogerximenez@gmail.com with any questions you may have and let’s see how we can work together.