Thank you to Mr. Appliance of Leesburg and Martinsburg for answering a few of our questions.
Congratulations on being named a finalist for Virtual Business of the Year!
The 24th Annual Loudoun Small Business Awards will be on November 1, 2018 – Tickets/More Info Here
1. Tell us your story of how your company got to where it is today?
In December 2011, I received orders to Afghanistan. My orders were for September 2012 for 330 boots on the ground. At that time, I was a Project Manager in charge of a large contract for my company with the government. I was given assurances that my job was safe and that it will be there when I came. When I came back in October 2013, the company did not give me my job back until January 2014. When they took me back, I still had my position, but they installed a person above me. That person was doing my old job. Eight months later, we had lost the contract I had worked hard to win again and keep prior to leaving for Afghanistan. At this point, I was still a Reservist. In October 2014, I was coming back from duty in Florida. I had a layover in Atlanta. Consequently, I went into the USO. There, all four military newspapers were talking about a program “Boots to Business Reboot.” The program was an initiative by the Small Business Administration to get more veterans into business. I called the program and went to Boston for a presentation. I was then put in touch with a franchise coach. Eventually, we decided that ProTect Painters (a painting franchise) would be the best fit.
In December 2014, we bought our franchise. We opened our doors in March of 2015. In June of 2015, the parent company we were a part of (Service Brands International) was bought out by the Dwyer Group. Since Dwyer already had a painter in our area, we realized that we would not be allowed to continue. Our options were to leave for another area or shut down. At the same time, an episode of “Undercover Boss” was on TV. They featured the Dwyer Group and their CEO Dina Dwyer. We liked what we saw from the Dwyer Group in the Undercover Boss episode.
In August 2015, we made a proposition to the Dwyer Group. We proposed that if they buy our franchise, we would buy one of theirs. They agreed and we eventually found that Mr. Appliance would be a great fit for us. In December 2015, ProTect Painters of North Loudoun County died and Mr. Appliance of Leesburg and Martinsburg was born. We opened our doors, officially on June 1st, 2016.
2. What would it mean to you and your company to win a Small Business Award?
It would be a huge honor and great achievement for us. It would validate all our hard work and long hours we have dedicated along the way to make our business successful.
3. If you weren’t running your own business/working at this business, what would you be doing?
Ed: I would probably be a program manager running a contract. Which I was doing prior to owning this business.
Amy: I would probably do some kind of catering
4. What book are you reading right now? / What is your favorite book?
Ed: Zombie Fallout Series by Mark Tufo
Amy: Any cookbook
5. If you have 24-hours off, and your family was out of town, what would you do?
6. What is the smallest thing that has made the largest impact on your business?
The gratitude we show our customers by sending a handwritten thank you card after the completion of every job.
7. What did you want to be when you grew up as a child? / What was a childhood dream that you had?
Ed: After watching TOP GUN, Ed wanted to join the NAVY and fly jets.
Amy: I wanted to have a catering business.
8. Who is the one person that has influenced you the most in your career?
Ed: My “Best Mans” father. He was a “straight shooter” and “blunt” person. You did not have to guess with him. He told you what you did not want to hear.
Amy: Although there have been so many people who have come and gone in my life, my husband has remained the one person that has always been by my side and supported me.
9. What is your favorite thing about running a business in Loudoun County?
Loudoun County has such a variation of environments that one day you can be in the mountains, or in a desolate area or in a urban area. The different areas provide such a variation that it makes it hard to get bored with the scenery.
10. If you’re not in the office where can we find you?
Spending time with our kids and family.
11. What is your favorite weekend activity in Loudoun County?
Go to visit some new places to go walking or driving through the country parts of Loudoun .