My husband, Kevin, and I are brand new franchisees with the Made in The Shade family. We began this journey a little more than one month ago. Though we are still just finding our feet and barely sticking our toes in the water, we are so thankful for this opportunity.
After years of grueling hours, unrelenting demands, and living across the country from each other for more than a year and a half, we decided that Kevin desperately needed to leave the hotel management industry for the health of our family. He had always wanted to run his own business and had so many gifts and abilities that I felt were being stifled by leadership that didn’t care as much about their employees as they did the bottom line. We both have a passion for people and taking care of their needs, but we had no clear vision for what type of business to pursue.
Kevin spent hours researching different opportunities and finally contacted a business broker. The broker connected him with Eddie Miller who introduced us to the Made in The Shade Blinds & More franchise and its founder, Cathy Morse. Since Kevin had worked many years ago with my parents operating their California Closets franchise, he was very familiar with franchise structure and cost. Made in The Shade made sense financially and we wanted to know more.
A few days later, we spent more than an hour with Cathy and Eddie via conference call. I was absolutely sold from that first conversation! I could tell that Cathy was just as interested in knowing about us as we were about the franchise. Her sweet spirit and encouraging words conveyed her heart for others which is not easy to find in most business leaders anymore. We were excited to take the leap of faith and jump in even while being nervous about Kevin resigning from a career that had provided well financially for so many years.
The MITS training week in San Antonio was just a few days after we had made our decision. We were both a little nervous before we got there – let’s face it…who thinks a full week of learning about window coverings could be fun? Well, it was amazing! Immediately, we saw Cathy’s love for people and seeing them achieve their dreams of business ownership. We were welcomed into “the family” and spent day after day feeling more encouraged and excited to begin. The classes were so well organized – Matt and Josh were excellent teachers as well as Kori from Webtegrity and a few vendor representatives. We even took a field trip to a new construction home and learned the basics of measuring. The open and honest conversations, sharing of helpful tips and new ideas, and overall depth of the information we covered gave us so much encouragement and placed the much needed “wind in our sails” to begin.
The constant support that was available then continues now. The “family” that Cathy and the others referred to from the very beginning is truly what it is! We have a private Facebook forum that all franchisees can go to with questions and receive almost instant support from one another. The encouragement and support system that exists within this company is unlike any we have ever seen! Though our journey is still just beginning, we have full confidence that the tools for our success have been handed over and the rest is up to us! We are so thankful to have found Made in The Shade and are proud to be part of this family!
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