‘As First-time Business Owners, We Wanted A Brand That Would Support Us’: Meet The Couple Who Drove 30 Hours To Launch Their Franchise
Justin and Kennady both had dreams of owning a business. But it was meeting each other that really lit their entrepreneurial fire, and after a 30 hour drive (!) they’re on the road to success, living and working in Pinellas County, FL, as the proud owners of a Shack Shine Franchise.
So, Justin and Kennady – what made you want to own a business?
K: Individually we wanted to own businesses before we met each other, and then meeting each other we kinda just lit a flame and went for it! Then we met the consultant, and just flew from there.
J: Yeah, we reached out to a franchise consultant and she gave us a few options – but it was Shack Shine that stood out. It was more practical, and a lot more put together than most other businesses. It seemed like there was going to be a lot more support, which was key for us.
Why Shack Shine?
K: To be honest, it wasn’t until we came up to Vancouver to meet everyone that it really sealed the deal for us. Visiting O2E Brands and just seeing that it’s like a huge family, super organized, super systematic. That’s what did it for me personally.
J: Yeah there’s a lot of support here. And we never owned a business before. As first-time business owners, we wanted a brand that would support us and help when we did start up, because we don’t know what’s going to be thrown at us. Shack Shine did a great job of proving that there was going to be that support.
What was your background before this, what did you both do for work?
J: So I was in the military years ago. I went from there to Best Buy, and then I worked in HR for Best Buy for a couple of years before we decided that we wanted to move to Florida – and that starting a business was probably the best option to do that.
K: I actually just graduated college two years ago! After graduating I moved to Minneapolis for an internship, but started working in a tanning salon. Then I started managing that tanning salon. Then I started managing multiple of them. I also did a lot of coaching – strengthening and conditioning was my priority career base, and I worked with a lot of athletic teams. I wanted to own a gym originally, actually, but I don’t think we would have had as much support running a gym versus working with Shack Shine.
What are you looking forward to most?
K: I think the family feel to it all, really. We have two other franchises around us already, in our area, which is a really good thing for us.
J: Honestly just owning a business. We wanted to own a business we just didn’t know what, or how. So even getting to own our own business and having something that we can call our own, that’s just amazing. We want to actually do something with our lives and help out our community in some way.
K: Yes, pride of ownership was a big thing.
How are you involved in your community?
K: Honestly, we just moved from Minneapolis to Florida via a 30 hour drive, so right now we don’t have a lot of ties to the community. But I’m getting in touch with a couple of high schools, as with my athletic background I would love to be able to help athletes again, so that might be an extra thing for me. Tutoring.
You drove 30 hours?
K: Yes. 30 hours. We slept for 4 hours, woke up and did it again. 30 hours with a 4 hour break! That’s how excited we were to get down there and launch our franchise! [laughs].
What are your passions outside of work?
K: We love to go to breweries, honestly! We’re very much foodies, so if we have the opportunity to explore a new area it is very much based on food and drinks. We love exploring together.
J: Pretty much anything outside, we love anything outside. We kind of plan – once we are more established – we plan on starting up a friendly competition with the franchises in our area, our neighbouring franchises. It would be really fun to bring everyone together to play a kickball or soccer tournament or something.
What would you say are your main motivators in life and in business?
K: I mean, success in general drives me, but you can’t really measure success… there’s no cap. Basically, I’m always willing to try something new, and this is very much out of my comfort zone. But it does help somebody feel better, not about themselves, which is what my experience is in, but as a family. That’s something that really drives me.
J: I was always taught that you are a reflection of your work, so what you put into your work reflects back on to you. That’s always driven me.
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