Franchisee Holly Stewart relishes the opportunity to use her platform to help other moms

-Written by Erik Sargent

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The moving industry at times can seem like a male dominated industry, but at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, this is anything but the normal when it comes to day-to-day business.

The company was founded by Mary Ellen Sheets, who started the company in 1985 when her two sons, Jon and Brig, were looking to make a little extra spending money. Since then, the company has grown to become the largest franchised moving company in the world, and women have played a tremendous role in the company’s success. Continue reading

Balancing business and family, how franchisee duo makes it work

Written by Jessy Howe

Windemuller Family

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.

Windemullers with Truckie

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.

Windemuller Family

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.

Three generations of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® businesswomen

Written by Jessy Howe

Shayna, Lisa, and Connie of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Macomb County, Mich.

Shayna, Lisa, and Connie of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Macomb County, Mich.

In 1991 Connie Howe made the decision to quit her day job and become a franchisee, opening the doors of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Macomb County, Mich. As she began to grow the location, it naturally evolved into a family-run business. Now with a fleet of 12 trucks and three generations later, the location is about to celebrate their 25th anniversary!

Connie’s daughter and now franchisee, Lisa Gaber, remembers helping her mother from the very beginning when she had decided to join the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system.

“I began by working at home, out of my basement, because I was raising two young daughters. The guys would start the day by coming to my home, where I would hand them the paperwork and ‘dispatch’ for the day! I have done pretty much every job there is to do from driving, moving, packing, marketing, bookkeeping, and managerial duties,” said Gaber. “After several years, my mom and I decided to venture out and open another franchise in Florida. We owned and operated the Fort Myers, Fla., franchise for 13 years until we sold the location to make it easier for Connie to retire.”

After deciding to sell the Fort Myers franchise, Connie’s son Dave became the newest family member to join the team. Most recently, they opened a secondary location within the Macomb County borders, even further expanding the brand and serving their community.

“Working with my mom allowed us to learn together how to run a business from the ground up,” said Gaber. “It helped us grow both as businesswomen and as a family entirely.”

Gaber’s daughter, Shayna, now has the same opportunity to learn what it takes. Shayna began six years ago as a customer service representative before working her way up to an in-home consultant. She currently works as the marketing manager handling a wide range of responsibilities including grassroots efforts, social media, and cause marketing campaigns.

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s annual Movers for Moms® campaign is in full swing with more than 300 franchises collecting essential care items for moms in need. The items are then delivered to local women’s and family shelters just in time for Mother’s Day. With their 25 year history in the community, they are no stranger in helping support it.

“The past couple of years we have been working with two different shelters since we have such a large territory. The first is Turning Point, Inc., which is a shelter for women and children that have been victims of domestic violence. Our second shelter, which we started working with last year, is a non-profit that we are very involved in and actually do two moves weekly for. Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team, or MCREST, is a traveling shelter that has local churches host them weekly with food, shelter, and transportation. Last year, we had incredible community and staff participation and were able to deliver TONS of boxes of amazing gifts to both shelters,” shares Gaber of their local Movers for Moms® efforts. “It holds a special place in our hearts to help mothers as we are in a business and franchise both started and run by women.”

While some find it hard to even imagine working with their family, the three women have proven how to successfully make it work.

“We’ve worked all these years together without an argument or even mild disagreement,” said Howe. “It has been a very great experience to work with my family.”

Like her mother, Gaber is appreciative that it has been relatively easy for the family to work together without much strife.

“We get along well and have found a good balance in our positions,” said Gaber. “One of the most difficult things about working with so much family is knowing when to ‘turn it off’ and stop talking about work and enjoy family time together.”

Lisa and Connie enjoy golfing and traveling, while Shayna and Lisa find fun in cooking and simply spending time together. As for Mother’s Day celebrations, you’ll find the trio eating brunch and spending a quiet afternoon relaxing in each other’s company.

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.