Our team of Spiffy Franchises got bigger when the Sierts and Sablans signed on as co-owners in San Jose back in April. Since then, they’ve been so hard at work with fleet clients that their window to launch consumer business shifted. Now, they’re finally fully operational and spreading the word with friends, family, and the local community.
We spoke with Alina and Lucille about their mission statement as entrepreneurs, how they went from opening one franchise business to learning about Spiffy, and their experiences launching a Spiffy franchise. This interview was conducted before the launch of consumer services in San Jose on August 11, 2021, and has been edited for clarity. You can download the full version here or via the “Download Here” button below.
So, you’re one of our earlier franchise groups but have been focused on growing your fleet business since April. How has the preparation for launching consumer services been?
Alina: We're just onboarding our technicians. We have two now and are looking to add two more. So we're still building our team but are so excited to launch for consumers right now.
Lucille: Our friends and family are all starting to get word that we're opening this business. In the first few months, we really just wanted to get grounded and get used to just owning two businesses and managing both. LeanFeast is our first business and Spiffy is our second, plus we've got our families growing in the process. What's funny about all this is that we're San Jose natives, so a lot of people who see us hiring and training new employees are starting to ask questions about Spiffy. What's it all about? What do we do?
The word is getting out and I think we're ready to unleash the secret. We're a lot more comfortable now letting people know that we're doing this.
What led you down the road to come to Spiffy as a group of franchise owners?
Alina: We have an entrepreneur mindset, but we're very willing to say mission-driven. Lucille and I, and our husbands Matt and Eric, we've met through church. We actually helped launch a satellite campus in San Jose, one of the third campuses for our church. And we just shared the same vision of wanting to help our community and make a bigger impact, but in doing so with a bigger platform. With the stage of life that we're in, specifically with me and my career, I wanted to leave corporate tech and focus on being an entrepreneur, a social entrepreneur. Our mission has really been our social causes, which include food insecurity, homelessness, empowering women, and fighting racism. Beyond that, we've also been growing our businesses to give back and make a bigger impact in our local and global communities.
Lucille: Being able to give back to the community, as Alina said, but even on the development side with women empowerment and young leaders, we've been able to use both of our businesses for people that are just getting into the work field. That's really big for us. We partner with the YWCA and a lot of other avenues to help the community in this way. So we're starting with the young group of up-and-coming leaders as well with high school kids, new college kids, and college grads. Then giving people a shot in the women empowerment and development in leadership stage. We want to be at the forefront of that as business owners and as women.
"With the stage of life that we're in, specifically with me and my career, I wanted to leave corporate tech and focus on being an entrepreneur, a social entrepreneur. Our mission has really been our social causes, which include food insecurity, homelessness, empowering women, and fighting racism."
What was the onboarding and training process like for you? How did you bring that training experience back for your kids?
Lucille: Eric, my husband, did the training on the east coast. When he came back, he sent out Brandon [Oxendine, Corporate Trainer, Spiffy Labs] out for a week and he trained the rest of the crew, including us and the kids. He was impressed with us being so family-owned and operated. The week he was here, he was like a member of our family.
My kids have automotive experience, which made it easy for them to lead the way. My son was working at O'Reilly Auto Parts, totally into cars, and he quit his job to come work with us. Then my daughter, Leah, was supposed to go into a fashion design program in high school, but she couldn't get into the program. The only program that she could get into with automotive, but she wanted to get into the school. And so she signed up for the automotive program and planned to switch. Well, she ended up just finishing up the auto motor program while she was in high school.
So when we open the business, it was a natural transition for both of them. They picked it up really fast. To bring all the training from Spiffy back to my kids and then everything with the work ethic even the values with Spiffy, which is in line with even our values as a family for both of us. It was just fun, we wanted to make it fun for them.
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience so far?
Alina: Everyone at Spiffy has been super supportive and such great resources for us. We can't thank the Spiffy team enough, honestly. Anytime we had a question or concern, they've been there to support us.
Lucille: Launching a second business, on top of managing another, is not easy at all. But knowing that everybody at Spiffy is on the ride with us makes it feel just that much better. It’s easier to be confident moving forward with this team supporting us.
Thank you so much to Alina and Lucille for chatting with us about their unique challenges and experiences as San Jose Franchise Owners. Their enthusiasm and hard work are infectious, and we look forward to great success in their market!
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Posted in Franchising