Just Between Friends franchise allows Melissa Cook the freedom to be an entrepreneur, wife and mom—all at the same time
Michigan resident Melissa Cook came across Just Between Friends (JBF) like many franchisees do; she was a JBF shopper first. Right from the start, Melissa knew that JBF was something in which she could invest. She served as a team lead for the Grand Rapids, Michigan events for several years, but it wasn’t until 2014 that she had the opportunity to be even more involved. After the previous franchise owner decided to sell the business, Melissa Cook and her sister-in-law, Melanie, went in together to purchase it. In the three years since, Melissa and her family have worked tirelessly to become one of the top franchises in the JBF system, and they’ve recently purchased a second territory in Kalamazoo, Michigan. But don’t worry—it hasn’t been “all work and no play” for Melissa. In fact, the balance she enjoys in her life is one of the biggest reasons why she loves operating a Just Between Friends franchise. Melissa has three sons who are five, seven and nine years old, and she’s been able to create her own schedule balanced between work and family. “With three young boys, the biggest benefit for me is the flexibility that JBF offers me,” she says. “It allows me to volunteer in their classes. One of my boys is in preschool, and we have two days a week in the mornings that I can do fun activities, just with him—like taking him to the children’s museum or the zoo.” Melissa and her sister-in-law run the business together, and Melissa’s husband is involved around event times. While Melissa certainly appreciates this time spent with her own family, she’s also grateful for the family environment she’s found within Just Between Friends. From conversing with other franchisees around North America to reaching out to the Corporate team, Melissa is confident that she has the relationships and resources she needs to continue running her successful business and pushing it to new heights. “If you have an issue and you need to talk to somebody, the team is going to make themselves available to you. It’s unbelievable. That fact alone is worth its weight in gold to a franchisee.”
Just Between Friends franchisees find financial success and personal fulfillment through their businesses
When asked what makes Just Between Friends stand out from the competition, Melissa immediately has two things at the front of her mind—the efficiency of the events themselves, and the company’s dedication to serving communities and charity partners. Unlike some sales that are arranged by vendor and make it difficult to find what you need, Just Between Friends consignment sales are arranged to make shopping—and managing the event —easy. She says, “In our area most other events are the indoor garage sale type of setup. Being a mom of three boys, I knew the first time I went to one of those I would never do it again. I don’t want to shop every table that’s in a venue and try to find what I’m looking for. Finding a JBF event where it was set up as a department store, where you could just go to where you needed to, it was huge for me.” The most important thing, though, is the company’s heart to serve communities in every way possible. Like many Just Between Friends franchise owners, Melissa’s business has a charity partner. Running a JBF sale also presents ample opportunities to serve the families in her area. “The biggest thing would be the dedication that we have to our community and our charities,” she says. “It’s really what sets JBF apart in all the right ways.”
Learn more about Just Between Friends consignment sales franchise
In 1997 Just Between Friends founder and CEO Shannon Wilburn held her first living room sale with friends. Twenty years later, the company has grown to have more than 150 franchisees with annual sales exceeding $29 million. With the children’s consignment industry booming and growing larger by the day, the demand for Just Between Friends franchise locations has never been higher! If you have a heart to serve your community and have dreamed of having your own business, purchasing a Just Between Friends franchise could be a perfect fit. We’re eager to add more than 15 new franchisees before the end of 2017, so now is the time to join one of the fastest-growing franchises in North America. Find out more by exploring our research pages or requesting a copy of our free Franchise Information Report.