Choosing to close the chapter on one career path in order to start another can be daunting, leaving many people unsure of their next move. For Ed Weatherford, that meant leaving a 14-year long career in the sales and management sector of the hotel furnishings industry. But, Ed didn’t plan on leaving his years of experience behind him. Instead, he leaned into his passion for sales and design and chose to look for an opportunity that would allow him to learn about it even more.
When it comes to choosing a new career path, it’s essential to pursue not only a business that aligns with your goals and values but also fuels your passion. Thanks to expertise furnishing hotels with everything from carpeting to window coverings, Ed was able to easily identify the industry he wanted to join – and found the perfect way to bring his passion for design into his daily work.
“Everything fits and comes together like a puzzle,” explained Ed. “Window coverings were always both a functional challenge, as well as a decorative challenge and I enjoyed that. Going into window treatment sales and my own business just seemed like a natural next step.”
Finding a Franchise that Fueled Passion and Customer Connection
While Ed initially looked into starting a business from the ground up, he realized that franchising was a much better option and began researching window treatment franchises. Although Ed came across several different franchises within the industry, one quickly stood out from the rest: Bloomin’ Blinds.
“I thought it would be smart to have a proven business model and national brand recognition behind me. Plus, I loved the idea of having access to a supportive network of franchisees, so I started looking into window covering franchises,” said Ed. “Bloomin’ Blinds immediately popped out at me – when I dove deeper into the website, I just had a great feeling about the brand and leadership team.”
As Ed continued to look into Bloomin’ Blinds, he saw how important customer focus, integrity and honesty were to the brand, and – after having an open conversation with brand CEO Kelsey Stuart – knew it was meant to be. The two talked about the importance of finding solutions that work for customers, as opposed to simply selling them a product, and Ed was impressed by how passionate Kelsey was about staying focused on creating a strong customer experience, which leads naturally to more sales.
“Everything Kelsey and I discussed got me more and more interested in the Bloomin’ Blinds opportunity. This is a company that believes in high integrity and a certain sales method and operations highly similar to mine. Kelsey just hit all the right spots.”
The Value of a Supportive Corporate Team
Once Ed was officially on board, Kelsey, Kris and Kevin Stuart – the brothers that helped found the business – got right to work preparing him for success and Ed was amazed by how in-depth their training and franchisee toolkit were. The leadership team made sure that Ed had access to all the necessary tools he needed to succeed, from videos to scheduling software. Ed immediately felt the support of the team and saw how essential the knowledge he was given was to his success as a Bloomin’ Blinds franchisee.
Thanks to years of hard work building a strong franchise, Kelsey, Kris and Kevin all have their areas of individual expertise and make sure they’re available to chat anytime a franchisee has a question about everything from installation to repairs or product questions.
“They’re always looking to improve the brand. Plus, I know I can pick up the phone and call them for anything,” explained Ed. “Whether it’s calling Kelsey about a product, Kris about a question on installation or Kevin for repairs, I know I’m getting the best knowledge out there and that support is invaluable.”
Ed began his journey with Bloomin’ Blinds at the beginning of 2019, and with a little under two years of full operations under his belt, can attest to the importance of listening to and following the guidance of the Stuart brothers – and has continued to excel within his local community in Colorado.
“If you follow what Kelsey, Kris and Kevin have developed over their time with the company and utilize their support structures, your biggest problem is keeping up with the growth and call volume – and that’s not a bad problem to have,” said Ed.