Written by Jessy Howe
Multi-unit franchisees Joe and Kate Windemuller are veterans in the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system, having been with the company from nearly the beginning. Joe’s journey began when he accepted a part-time position as a mover in 1991, just three years after the first franchise had been awarded. With his continued dedication to the system and a series of career advancements, he and Kate excitedly took on the opportunity to become franchisees in North Carolina. The pair was a recipient of the Two Million Dollar Club Award at the 2016 TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Annual Meeting and recently was honored during the company’s 30th anniversary celebration.
Can you briefly explain your history with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?
Joe: During college, in 1991, I started as a part-time mover for the Holland, Mich., franchise. In 1995, I moved to Columbia, S.C., to help a friend start the franchise there. I started as a driver, then moving up to general manager as the business grew. After 18 years in Columbia, Kate and I heard that the Winston-Salem, N.C., location was for sale and we were ready to take on the challenge of owning our own business. In 2012, we purchased the location and moved with our one-year-old daughter to North Carolina. We then added a second location in 2014 in Mooresville, N.C. We hope to open a third location in the future.
What do you most enjoy about being a franchisee with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?
Joe and Kate: We enjoy watching our franchises grow alongside other franchises in the system. It also gives us flexibility in life to enjoy our family and be financially sound.
What would you say is the best part of working with your significant other?
Joe: We both have different skill sets which complement each other. Kate handles the bookkeeping, accounts payable, and marketing, while I handle operations, sales, and training.
Kate: It is great knowing you have someone you can truly trust to help make big key decisions in the business. The executives at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/International, Inc., and other franchisees have been great examples that working with your spouse is possible, and can also be extremely beneficial.
How do you find balance between your work life and personal life?
Kate: We try to keep work at work, although it’s hard to do so all the time. Joe works full-time and is very involved in all aspects of the business. I work part-time while the kids are in preschool. We make sure to set aside quality time to be with our children, while having enough time to get our work completed.
As successful business owners, what do you hope to teach your children?
Joe and Kate: From a business perspective, we hope to instill a strong work ethic and ability to work well with others. Also, the importance to set goals in life and follow through on tasks to achieve said goals. To never give up and never stop dreaming.
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, can you tell us about your local Movers for Moms® efforts?
Joe and Kate: As parents we are honored to help moms in need and can’t think of anyone more deserving. We hope that our efforts will help struggling mothers to get back on their feet again and help care for their children and future.
In Winston Salem, our collection of donations will be given to Family Services. To collect donations we have partnered with several local retirement homes, storage facilities, and our customers. In Mooresville our donations will be given to My Sisters Place in Troutman, N.C., and to Family Guidance in Hickory, N.C. To collect donations we have partnered with a local church and elementary school as drop off sites.
Kate, how do you juggle being a wife, mother, and business owner?
Kate: I’ll be honest, it’s hard to find the perfect balance and some days I juggle life better than other days! My kids, ages two and five, are without a doubt my top priority so I wish I could be with them 24/7, but I also want to be involved in the business. It’s exciting to be a part of the growth that Joe’s achieved with our teams in Winston and Mooresville. We work with some great folks so that helps with the time away from the kids. We are blessed to have a wonderful nanny and involved grandparents that take care of the kids while we are both working or traveling for work. When I am at home I try my best to put the phone and laptop away, while they are awake, and just focus on our family. But when the kids go to sleep, we often have to chat about work or hop online to complete some tasks.
Are there any special plans this Mother’s Day?
Kate: Hopefully a low key day outside somewhere with Joe and our kids … and dinner out (so I don’t have to cook or clean!)
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company. Let us move your career forward. Consider investing in us and becoming a franchisee today! Visit franchise.twomenandatruck.com to learn more.