MEET DAVE AND EILEEN MCKNELLY
Dave and Eileen McKnelly are the proud new owners of Made in the Shade in Tallahassee. They moved to Florida from rural Vermont in 2018 after visiting Tallahassee and fell in love with the area, the people and, of course, warm weather and sunshine were a big influence as well.
The McKnelly’s come to Made in the Shade with a diverse professional portfolio. Eileen has an extensive background in project management working specifically in the computer industry before starting and building a highly successful dog grooming and boarding business. Dave comes from a sales and relationship management skill set that included high profile companies such as Apple, IBM and most recently, Microsoft.
Made in the Shade is not the first time Dave and Eileen pooled their talents. In 2010, they purchased a General Store in Vermont . The store thrived and grew under their stewardship by adding a catering service and a 36-seat café behind the store overlooking the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
What hobbies/interests do you enjoy doing in your free time?
In our spare time we enjoy family time, cooking, Bar-B-Q, gardening, swimming, traveling, beach time, boating/fishing, woodworking, meeting new people and giving back to the community.
Tell us about your family and their interests
We have been married for 22 years and have three awesome kids. Ian, who is 20, enjoys reading, cooking, and exploring. Tegegn, age 19, is going to school and working part-time, and daughter Jessie, 13, is a high school Freshman and is enjoying learning to ride and take care of horses. The family is rounded out by three dogs, two kittens, and a bird!
What appealed to you about the Made in the Shade opportunity?
We were initially attracted to the Made in the Shade non-traditional franchise business model. We spoke with current Made in the Shade owners about their experiences with MITS that increased our interest to know more. But what locked our focus on this opportunity was our introduction phone call with Cathy. Cathy’s win-win approach to business and people coupled with her demonstrated desire to see people succeed are in lock step with our mind set on how a business should be operated and managed.
What are your immediate business goals? (Year 1)
- Learn the product lines, installation techniques and the business success model, while providing superior customer service.
- Deliver at least 8-10 qualified home consultations per week and gain a 50% close ratio. This should help build a foundation for our brand to achieve 1 million dollars in sales in year 2.
- Develop strong partnership ties with business trading partners and network with the community.
- Learn, learn, learn!
What are your long-term business goals?
To become the go-to dealer for all window treatment items in the Tallahassee area, bring family members into the business and grow business to $3 million by year 5.
What is your best MITS contact number and business email?
Company phone number: 850-945-8348