Losing Her Job Led to Something Better
When Julie Kapugi’s corporate job was moved overseas, she didn’t panic. “You can always control your response to things. I always try to be positive and look forward. Losing a job is not the end of the world,” she says.
In fact, it’s something she wishes happened sooner. The self described extrovert spent 10 to 12 hours a day cooped up in her home office with little to no social interaction. Today she is out in the community making connections with people and growing her business. Kapugi is the owner of Fibrenew Asheville, a mobile leather repair and plastic and vinyl restoration service. She regularly networks with other business owners in her area, but what surprises her the most about her new position is how an everyday conversation with someone can lead to a job. “I just did a quote for my bank teller!” she laughs.
Fibrenew Asheville has a good hold of the automotive and residential markets. The area is considered a destination spot, so it consists of many upscale second homes. Kapugi has been creating relationships with local upholsterers and interior designers in order to grow her referral base with the renovation and design industries. The next phase of Fibrenew Asheville’s expansion will be in the commercial market — being a vacation destination, there are numerous restaurants in the area Kapugi already has her eye on approaching.
Some may think of Kapugi’s leap from corporate consultancy to hands-on leather, plastic and vinyl restoration technician to be a giant shift, but that’s not how she sees it. “Goal setting, scheduling, organization, knowing your priorities for the day … all of that tracks over to owning your own business,” Kapugi explains. With an education in engineering, Kapugi has always enjoyed puzzles and working with her hands, which were two characteristics that led her to the Fibrenew franchise. “It’s the business itself,” she says. “It just resonated. I always think when something resonates with you, listen to it.”
The positive changes in her life were facilitated by the encouragement of Fibrenew head office and other franchisees. “You’re not just thrown out there on your own. I’m so grateful for the support!” Kapugi admits she could not be happier with her decision to become her own boss. Owning a business like Fibrenew Asheville led to the discovery of a surprising perk: it’s better for your health than sitting at a desk all day. “It’s not healthy to be behind a computer for 10 hours a day. I’m moving more and walking more. I no longer have the aches and pains I was having before. I feel great!”
With a renewed sense of purpose, Kapugi schedules family time and is thankful for the flexibility of her business to do so. They regularly volunteer with local charities and community initiatives as a way to meet new people and give back. Kapugi looks forward to growing Fibrenew Asheville one client at a time.
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