5 Things We Learned from Our CEO & Co-Founder Kelsey Stuart

Franchise Business Interview got the chance to interview Kelsey Stuart, Bloomin’ Blinds’ co-founder and CEO. Explore some of his favorite stories, some challenges he faced, as well as what he looks for in possible franchise owners. We broke down the top 5 things we learned from this through interview:

1. His Favorite Franchise Success Story

Celebrations and success have always been a cornerstone for Bloomin’ Blinds. Although we celebrate every success our franchise owners have, Stuart had the chance to delve into one of his favorite success stories. “One of our favorite success stories involves one of our owners that is a combat veteran. This owner is a very smart guy. He came in as a franchise owner, [kind of] cruised through training, and thought he was smart enough to not need much for coaching. He struggled for sales and growth. After almost entirely exhausting his reserves, this owner finally came to us for help and we were more than happy to help him. Two years later, he just bought a second territory.”

2. His Most Difficult Moment Encountered

Of course, with any franchise, some difficult moments have to be faced. When asked about difficult moments he has encountered, Stuart shared a challenging moment in his career. “The most gut-wrenching moment was when we had to close down a franchise location because our franchisee was taking deposits and not providing the product. The owner was creating a bad reputation for the brand and customers were being avoided and lied to. We had to protect the brand and the customers and terminate his franchise agreement, that was a hard day!”

He goes on to share, “It was difficult at first as we had to learn this whole new industry. We had to learn the impact of wrong decisions from one person and how one franchise partner can affect the entire brand.”

3. The Average Day of a Bloomin’ Blinds Franchise Owners

When you’re exploring franchise opportunities, it’s important to understand what goes into the daily operations of an owner. Of course, no day is boring at Bloomin’ Blinds with our hands-on owner approach.

“We primarily want our franchise owners to start off as an owner-operator. There’s a need for the owner to be heavily involved in the business, window coverings are more technical than anyone ever imagines before they come on board. If an owner has never done the work themselves, then how can they lead their team? This is a really nice job at first. We love owners who are willing to come in and get their hands dirty, learn how to scale, and then add employees to the business. With time and volume, owners then add staff and management of the staff to their day-to-day team.” Stuart has seen owners grow and become industry-leaders, with little to no experience with window coverings beforehand.

4. Bloomin’ Blind’s Goals for The Future

As 2020 has been a difficult year for many, Bloomin’ Blinds has been able to prove it’s recession resilience and dedication to our communities. When asked about what goals he has for the franchise model in the future, Stuart shared, “We want to be a household name. Right now, there is one household name in the industry — I am grateful for what these pioneers have proven to be possible, but now we see a path to take what they have done, yet do it better. It’s a lot of fun to see our owners succeed and meet their goals. ‘We have a saying: I can’t buy my boat, until 7 of you guys buy yours.’ If we keep the focus on the franchise and the owners, then we can create a healthy system that will thrive!”

5. The Ideal Franchise Candidate for Bloomin’ Blinds

While we look towards the next year, we are excited to continue the expansion and growth we’ve had this past year. When asked about the ideal franchise candidate, Stuart shared some important things the leadership team looks for. In short, “Someone who is willing to come in as an owner-operator and who has the ambition to scale.”

He goes on to explain that there are a few pieces to this, as it’s not as simple as it may seem. Through achievement and education, we can identify someone who has the ambition needed to grow their own location in their community.

“The window covering business requires someone who has a high aptitude for multi-tasking. Owners must live in a suburban market. We don’t need someone who is a contractor. Repairs and installs are always the first concern but honestly, the repairs and installation techniques are the easiest part to learn as it’s very visual. Learning the products and the mental exercise of multi-tasking is the biggest challenge to overcome.”

You can read the whole interview on Franchise Business Interviews’ website, here.

Current Blind Repair and Sales Franchise Opportunities

If you’re ambitious, ready to get your hands dirty, and join our franchise family, give us a call! You can also explore our blog to learn more about what it takes to invest in Bloomin’ Blinds or the full story behind our franchise.

When you’re ready to get started, give our team a call at (855) 908-4047 or contact us online.