My career started at Hand & Stone just 6 months ago, in September of 2021, when I was hired as the Pre-Opening Project Coordinator. It seems straightforward; I coordinate things in the pre-opening stages of a new spa’s development. It’s that simple and much more.
Prior to H&S, I worked in retail for years, most recently as an assistant store manager at Pottery Barn. To exist in retail for as long as I did, you need a profound sense of humor, self-confidence, the ability to multi-task efficiently, and of course excellent customer service skills. For years, I really enjoyed being a part of the team at Pottery Barn but when the Covid pandemic hit the US, the company laid-off most of the staff, and it became more difficult to manage the customer service issues since much of the merchandise came from overseas. My co-workers were my family, but I was looking to move on. Then one day, I opened my email and saw a message from John Teza via LinkedIn. Best. Day. Ever.
I worked with John Teza at Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, where I was a Pre-Opening Project Coordinator for the East Coast territories. When John reached out to me, he had been with H&S for a year, recently become the CEO, and he strongly believed the company would benefit from a POPC. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet and interview with Kris Smith, Nick Malone, and Maryanne Vizoco. (I remember my interview was the day before I was leaving for Charleston, SC, for my daughter’s wedding.) Fast forward - and here I am, 6 months later, working with an amazing ‘community’ of people which includes co-workers and franchisees, and honored to be the ‘March Employee Spotlight,’ especially to help kick off Women’s History Month.
At Jersey Mike’s Subs, I learned the basics of developing a franchise from the earliest stages of signing the FA, to planning and development, and, finally, every franchise owner’s dream, the Grand Opening of their own business. I learned the relevance of the POPC position, and how important communication is during a build-out, and how much franchisees and corporate departments rely on the information gathered.
My goal at H&S is to guide a franchise owner through the entire process of developing their spa with the least amount of stress and trouble. There’s an abundance of tasks an owner is responsible for. My job is to keep everyone on track – think of me as a concierge. I’m here to support, gather information, keep records, and communicate to corporate as well as the franchise owner. In my brief time at H&S, I’ve worked with over 20 franchisees and have developed great relationships with some amazing individuals. I’m looking forward to tremendous growth for Hand & Stone and I’m excited to be a part of that success.