Air Force retiree enjoys flexible schedule that comes with business ownership in New Hampshire
After retiring from the U.S. Air Force, Carinae Samsel found herself living in Colorado Springs with little certainty about her next career steps. When looking to consign her kids’ gently used items, Carinae’s neighbor introduced her to the Just Between Friends consignment sale in Denver. The very first time she participated in a sale as a consignor, she knew she belonged in the JBF family and could see herself as a franchise owner. Carinae, with her husband (also retired from the Air Force), then decided to move their family across the country to New Hampshire, where her sister lived. After her previous positive experiences with JBF in Colorado, she looked to see if there were any JBF sales located near their new home. When she discovered almost no JBF presence in New England, Carinae decided to do something about it. She and her sister, Gienah, purchased the new franchise territory together. The two have been building the Southern New Hampshire Just Between Friends franchise ever since. As working mothers, Carinae and her sister bring an important perspective to their Just Between Friends franchise. “For one thing, I’m a consistent consignor myself — I’ve got four kids to consign for, so I know how it is from that side of things,” Carinae says. “Being a JBF franchisee is good for me and fits with my lifestyle and family, and I can also connect with my customers. As mothers, my sister and I understand our shoppers. We can empathize with many of the issues that come up — what moms are looking for, what they need, or what they want because they’re the same things that I want.” In New Hampshire, owning a Just Between Friends consignment event franchise has given Carinae the flexibility to spend time with her children as she builds her business. During the busy season of a sale, she’s grateful to have support from her sister. The two complement each other’s strengths, and together they’re determined to serve and love the families in their community through their Just Between Friends franchise.
Support for Just Between Friends franchisees comes from all sides
Carinae has support not only from her biological family with her sister as a partner but also from the rest of her new JBF family. “Support from all the other franchisees is amazing,” Carinae says. “Everybody helps each other. Having that advice and those lessons learned from other franchisees has been such a huge help.” As one of our newer Just Between Friends franchise owners, Carinae also attributes the growing success of her business to resources provided by the Just Between Friends leadership team. “They’re always working to improve things. Just last year, we got an upgraded website that is so easy for our shoppers to navigate. The leadership team is always asking for our input and checking to see what we want or need. If you have any questions, they’re always right there. They get back to you right away.” Just Between Friends also has a mentoring program in place for new franchisees, which Carinae says has helped her get on her feet more quickly. “Before I had my first sale, they set me up with a mentor that I can talk to, one-on-one. My mentor is there to give ideas and be a sounding board. I love that the mentor program is included in our resources as a franchisee — we don’t have to pay anything additional for that extra level of support.” As for the future, Carinae Samsel hopes to continue serving families in her community through this unique business. She recalls meeting a young couple who had a baby on the way, and they needed to begin purchasing a large volume of items on a tight budget. “They had shopped for everything they needed — pretty much everything but a crib. They were so scared they weren’t going to have enough. I rang them up, and as I told them the total, they just started crying. Not only did they have enough, they even had a dollar left! I get teary just thinking about it,” Carinae says. The potential to help more families in that same powerful way is what keeps her motivated to grow her business.
Make a difference in your community with a Just Between Friends consignment event franchise
A one-day sale grossing $2,000 in Shannon Wilburn’s (CEO and co-founder of Just Between Friends) living room in Tulsa is growing into a nationally recognized brand. Just Between Friends has 153 franchisees in 30 states which host hundreds of events in the United States, as well as one city in Canada. We’re proud to report that in 2016, system-wide sales totaled $29.1 million. Our growth is a result of several factors. Just Between Friends serves families who have children from infancy to middle school—so our customers are likely to stay with us for several years. According to thredUP, a leading online shop that sells lightly used women and children’s clothing, 86% of parents would dress their children in secondhand clothing, and half of millennial parents believe that buying secondhand clothing is an eco-friendly way to shop. Being that millennials make up our core demographic, Just Between Friends is on the cutting edge of how and why people are going to shop for children’s clothing and equipment going forward. There’s never been a better time to start a Just Between Friends consignment sales event franchise in your town. We’re eager to partner with individuals who have a passion for helping others and giving back to their communities, and also have an entrepreneurial interest in business ownership. Find out more by visiting our research pages or request a copy of our free Franchise Information Report.