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Stephen and Candice Bland Rediscovered their Freedom and Passion by Growing their Fibrenew Franchise

Stephen Bland - Owner-Operator Fibrenew LexingtonIn 2020, Stephen needed a change. After 22 years covering all bases in a retail environment–working his way up through the frontline, human resources, and eventually landing in a management role–the inconsistent hours and lack of control over his future were taking their toll.

The problem was, Stephen wasn’t sure what to do next. He wanted to ignite his passion once again, he just didn’t know precisely how (or where) to do that.

He figured leaning into a nine-to-five was the best plan, which at first made sense based on Stephen’s extensive corporate experience. But, seeking inspiration and wanting to keep his options open, he and his wife, Candice, became members of the Master Builders Academy–a nonprofit forum focused on taking ownership of one’s finances and future.

It was there, among a sea of like-minded success seekers, the idea of franchising was first floated. For Stephen and Candice, the wheels began to turn.

This was a direction the couple hadn’t yet considered. It was uncharted territory, but the flexibility and variety in franchise opportunities offered a whole new world of excitement and potential. Their intrigue grew; the possibilities seemed endless.

Stephen and Candice knew they wanted a business with low overhead. They considered everything from a cleaning service to staffing to cabinet installation. But the more they dug into their list of options, one name consistently stood out–Fibrenew.

“Franchising sounded like something that really suited my goals,” Stephen reflected. “I wanted to work for myself, mainly, and I wanted something with low overhead and flexibility. So Fibrenew became the clear choice.”

The decision was made. And the journey had just begun.

“Franchising sounded like something that really suited my goals. I wanted to work for myself, mainly, and I wanted something with low overhead and flexibility. So Fibrenew became the clear choice.”

It was mid-pandemic, so Stephen attended Fibrenew’s intensive two-week franchisee training program virtually. And though he felt his competency level was enough to start lining up jobs, a hands-on approach is really the optimal way to learn the necessary skills in this line of work.

Thankfully, Fibrenew was there to help. Stephen was impressed by the level of ongoing support he received from the team. His neighboring Fibrenew operator, Matt Brown, even showed up to Stephen’s first job to ensure his success.

“Throughout my entire experience, I’ve always felt I could pick up the phone anytime and receive the support I needed from the Fibrenew team. It really does feel like a family,” Stephen remarked on his experience.

This continuous coaching and careful attention from the team instilled in Stephen the confidence and resources needed to hit the ground running.

Once his confidence was there, Fibrenew Bluegrass Lexington was ready to roll–poised for exceptional growth with a hungry, skilled, and motivated owner at the wheel.

“Throughout my entire experience, I’ve always felt I could pick up the phone anytime and receive the support I needed from the Fibrenew team. It really does feel like a family.”

Stephen started out as essentially a one-man show–steadily building his business to the point where he could no longer handle everything solo.

Even with so much on his plate, Stephen never once considered this a challenge or stress. Instead, he saw that the benefits he got out of his business were directly proportional to the amount of effort he put in. And that having “too much to do” in regard to your own business is exactly the position a successful entrepreneur wants to be in. Needless to say, Stephen was hooked.

“I feel like I have control again. In the past, even though I worked long hours, they weren’t benefitting me personally beyond a paycheck,” Stephen said. “Now, every hour I put into building my business is a reward in itself.”

Invigorated by his success, Candice stepped into the role of handling the administrative side of their business. Since then, they’ve even employed a full-time technician to execute manual jobs.

What’s next for Stephen and Candice? The sky is the limit. Even now that Fibrenew Bluegrass Lexington operates as a well-oiled machine, Stephen says it’s no time to rest. He plans to shine the spotlight once again on marketing and growth to achieve even greater success than he already has.

“I feel like I have control again. In the past, even though I worked long hours, they weren’t benefitting me personally beyond a paycheck. Now, every hour I put into building my business is a reward in itself.”

When asked what he could say to inspire hopeful entrepreneurs considering acquiring their first franchise, Stephen responded: 

“Freedom, passion, more time with family, more financial success, more control and stability. If I had known this opportunity was there sooner, I would have done it, no question. The risks are there, but so are the rewards. If it’s something you’re thinking will benefit your future–just do it.”

Stephen and Candice Bland can be reached at 502-744-0082 or at bgl@fibrenew.com. Check out Fibrenew Bluegrass Lexington’s website for more information.

A Fibrenew franchise might be right for you, too!

Are you looking for a career change? Ever thought about running your own business that earns you a great living, gives you more freedom and flexibility, and is environmentally friendly?

Let’s talk. The possibilities are endless. Own your future, own a Fibrenew franchise.

Get in touch with us today.

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Meet the author

Julian Foulds

Marketing Communications Specialist

A marketer first, a writer second, I enjoy finding unique, data-driven ways of demonstrating Fibrenew’s values while providing our community of franchisees with the resources they need to be consistently successful.

See other posts by Julian Foulds