Dan Janes, founder of Joss Cues, has been a leading member of the billiards world for over forty years now. He has been making cues this whole time in Towson, Maryland in his family workshop. He started Joss Cues with a partner in 1968 then four years later became the sole owner and is to this day. Debbie Janes, Dan's wife, entered the business in 1975 when they got married. She began with cutting shafts, placing inlays, gluing tips, and doing whatever else needed to be done in those early days. She now takes care of all the day to day business administration to allow Dan to focus on his passion, crafting high quality cues. Dan's son, Stephen, is third crucial member of Joss cues. He has been working with his father since 1979 when he graduated high school. Having another head involved in the business has resulted in more innovation in both the manufacturing and design processes than would be possible with just a single cue maker.
In the 1980's, the billiards industry was starting to die. Cue design was moving in the direction of impractical, overly ornate "art cues" that couldn't shoot well but looked stylish. Then Tom Cruise and Paul Newman made The Color of Money, the film that rejuvenated the billiards world. It sparked an interest in billiards by people who hadn't played before, and it caused seasoned players to get excited about the game again. And the cues used in that movie were all Joss cues, even the one that Newman claims is a "Balabushka" was really a Joss N7.
In addition to having his cues featured in movies, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, Jimmy Connors, and the whole cast of the Mission Impossible TV show all own custom made Joss cues.
But Joss cues, as all cues should be, are primarily made to allow a player to be able to play an incredible game of that pool. And they accomplish that fact, as countless pros and champions have recognized. Mike Sigel, Eddie Taylor, Nick Varner, Jim Rempe, Jimmy Moore, Minnesota Fats, Luther Lassiter, and JImmy Caras are all members of the BCA (Billiards Congress of America) Hall of Fame, the highest honor a billiards player can earn. And each of those people has won championships with Joss cues. And then in July of 2003, Dan Janes, founder and chief cuemaker of Joss to this day, was inducted into the American Cue Makers Association Hall of Fame. But despite all of that attention, Dan still prefers to spend his time in his workshop dreaming up new, better ways to make pool cues.