What Does a Parmesan Chicken Sandwich and a Leather Sofa Have in Common?
What does preparing a parmesan chicken sandwich and repairing a worn out leather sofa have in common? More than you think. Ask Michael Carrigan, franchisee of Fibrenew North Naples. As a former executive chef, Carrigan likens the two art forms as such: “I still work with my hands, making sure the product is nice and perfect and the best it can be so the customer is happy with it. There’s a parallel there, with one difference: I can qualify the customer. In the kitchen you’re removed, but now I can discuss and explain with my customers.”
Making the leap from the kitchen to owning his own mobile leather, plastic and vinyl restoration business with Fibrenew isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. Carrigan says as a chef, he put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into his work, but what he really wanted was do invest that into something for himself. He had been looking into several different franchise opportunities when a broker approached him offering assistance. Fibrenew was one of the options presented, and the more Carrigan thought about it the more he was attracted to the low buy-in, low overhead and mobile vs. brick-and-mortar concept.
Carrigan met and spoke to a few other franchisee owners in the south Florida area before attending the Fibrenew Training Program. “The support for franchisees is huge!” he comments. “I noticed that right away. Plus, as a chef I like things neat and organized and clean and tidy — and I could tell by the training facility everything was buttoned up.”
Fibrenew North Naples has a fairly diversified market. Carrigan has dabbled in the marine industry, built quite a following with the classic car crowd, and earned a large portion of the residential market. “It’s an older community, but well balanced. I’ve done golf carts to golf canopies to steering wheels to pontoons boats to couches,” he says. Carrigan suggests to other new franchisees that earning contracts with warranty companies — as he did — is a great way to spread awareness about the Fibrenew brand and fill time slots with revenue-earning appointments.
Carrigan is the first to acknowledge he’s a firm believer in karma, and perhaps this is why his Fibrenew business has taken off the way it has. “I’m not going to lie: I’ve turned down jobs where I could easily just take someone’s money, knowing they could fix it for less themselves. But I don’t want my name to have a blemish. Just be honest, have integrity, show up, return phone calls. Throw it out to the universe and it’ll come back to you.”
Today, as owner of his very own business, Carrigan enjoys the work/life balance he’s settled in to. He hangs out with his son, stays active with jogging and soccer, and tends to his home’s yard more now that he has flexibility in his schedule. Sounds like the delicious balance!
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