Mom and pops are not what they used to be. Thanks to franchising, families can launch businesses together without all the trial and error of starting from scratch. A franchised business makes ownership much more accessible and less risky than starting from scratch. These days, families can walk into a proven concept they know nothing about and find success.
Here, we talked to two families who never dreamed they would sell and produce decorative boulders for a living, but fell in love with the concept and are happy Boulder Designs franchisees.
The business is truly unique and simply describing the concept doesn’t do it justice. You really have to see the custom boulders for yourself. Once you do, you’ll understand why people go nuts for them.
For residential customers, the boulders add character and personality to homes with patriotic images, cute messages, or logos from favorite sports teams.
For commercial clients, a boulder can turn a company’s entrance into a landmark. Made of sand, the custom-made creations look just like stone, but the come at a much lower cost.
As a franchise opportunity, Boulder Designs offers a niche business that’s simple to run. For people who like building relationships and don’t want the hassle of hiring a lot of employees, this is a perfect opportunity.
Here, two families share their experiences with Boulder Designs and describe how they each run the business in their own way. The Torrey family takes a large scale, commercial approach while the Sims family focuses on residential customers.
The Torrey Family
Boulder designs, Woodlands, TX
Why we chose boulder designs
While walking through a franchise show, John and Lisa Torrey were drawn to the Boulder Designs booth. “The boulders were really striking,” says John. The company’s CEO, Butch Mogavero was running the booth and sold the couple on the concept. “We could tell that Butch was passionate about the business and really cared about franchisees. We loved the niche concept and flexibility. After years of traveling for business, I was ready for a better work-life balance,” says John.
About their business
Both John and Lisa (above, far left and second from left), have strong sales backgrounds which they use to develop business. Focusing mostly on commercial clients, they create custom boulders to accent the entries of corporate buildings, restaurants, and other local businesses. Their son, James (above, far right), runs operations and plans to take over the business once John and Lisa retire. Robyn Alex (above, second from right), serves as Creative Director. She makes digital proofs using Photoshop to help clients visualize their products, and then brings them to life with her creative talents.
Mike & Cynda Sims
Boulder Designs, Hamilton County, GA/TN
Why we chose Boulder Designs
Cynda Sims (above, left) first discovered Boulder Designs on Facebook and she loved the idea. “I had to have one,” she says. After talking to the local franchisee, she was gung-ho on the business concept and convinced her husband, Mike (above, right), to retire early and launch their own location.
About their business
Focusing mostly on residential clients, the Sims exhibit regularly at local festivals with “cash and carry” boulders. They sell about 40-50 rocks per show. They create them ahead of time, with fun sayings such as “home sweet home” or “mom’s garden.” They also have licensed the rights to use collegiate logos and sell boulders displaying local college teams from Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. Besides creating residential rocks, the Sims use the process to make other items like stone benches (right), flagpole bases, and signs for the entries of housing developments. “The possibilities are endless,” says Mike. They even started creating memorials (human and pet) and head stones. “We charge a few hundred dollars for what typically costs thousands at cemeteries. Our customers are grateful for the option,” Mike says.