Kerry and her husband Dusty came to us thinking they wanted something in the fitness/health space or even something like Crumbl Cookie. As we talked with them, they realized a service based business was probably a better fit for them. They ended up purchasing Blue Moon Estate Sales in Omaha, NE.
In this video Kerry shares what it was like going through the validation process with Thoughtful Franchise Brokers and how she and Dusty came to choose Blue Moon. She also talks about the success they’ve had early on and even purchased more territory within a few months of being open!
Here is a shortened version of some of the answers Kerry gives in the video.
Q: What is your background?
A: Mental Health. I did behavioral health and then I was a probation officer for the State. I was also in the army for 6 years as a Behavioral Health Specialist. My husband Dusty has been active duty for 22 years and is retiring this month!
Q: Why were you looking for something new?
A: I was tired of working for other people and focusing on other people’s dreams. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in those jobs so I walked away from my Director of Marketing position for a restoration franchise. I had no plan set in place, but a mutual friend introduced me to Charista and Kevin.
Q: How did you choose Blue Moon?
A: I think Kevin and Charista pulled 10 different franchises that we may be interested in. Charista asked me what my thoughts were on upscale garage sales and among other options, we fell in love with Blue Moon. Both my husband and I saw it was a great fit because we could help others, be part of our community and help during stressful times. It’s also fun!
Q: Was there anything that solidified your decision to go with Blue Moon?
A: We knew that we wanted to be entrepreneurs but the really good thing about signing on with a franchise is that it’s plug and play. It really is. You get to still be an entrepreneur and make it your own but you don’t have to start from scratch. It was so lucrative for us because we could buy into a nationally recognized company and make it our own but still have that backing. Blue Moon is large enough to have that backing but small enough to feel like people actually care. You’re not just a number. Janet made the process of buying Blue Moon so fun. She was helpful and kind and that made us more interested as we were digging deeper. Once we decided that’s where we wanted to be, they had the CEO of Best Life Brands call us. The whole experience was relatable and we could see that everyone really cared. Nicole, the head trainer at Blue Moon made it fun and interesting and that solidified that we were in the right spot. The training is extensive and any questions you have they are right there with you.
Q: Do you see your background/experience helping you in your business?
A: It’s really unique. Every single house and family is a different situation. We deal with really stressful times sometimes. Someone could be moving to assisted living and they want to hold on to their belongings and memories but it’s not safe for them to be living at home anymore. Other times they have just lost a family member and they are overwhelmed with the items in the house so you need to be very understanding and empathetic.
Both my husband and I want to help and we want to offer that servant heart to help our community. We’re also a veteran-owned business and that helps other veterans see they can do something like this too.
Q: What was your experience like working with Thoughtful Franchise Brokers?
A: As soon as I met Charista and Kevin it was like they were long lost friends. You could tell they really cared about our wellbeing and it was just easy. I pick up on energy very well and as soon as we walked in we felt welcomed and heard. They were listening to us every step of the way. They were very attentive to any questions we had. We actually have a text thread where we check in and there’s laughter and jokes.
I resigned from my job at the end of July and 2 weeks later they were showing us franchise options. They made the process fun and exciting. We were ready to be entrepreneurs. I knew they had an extensive background doing this and we trusted them and we are so grateful.
Working with them, it was like we had our own personal business guide. To protect us too. One cool thing was that Charista was on the phone and took word-for-word notes on our call so we didn’t miss a beat. We could fully be engaged in the conversation and then we were able to look back at the notes. Kevin and Charista are both relatable, phenomenal human beings and they wanted what was best for us. They knew we were veterans, have a family, I had just left my job and they did everything they could to support us. We knew we were in the right place at the right time with the right people.
Q: How is business going?
A: We’re only a year into this and we already have 2 other territories. We had our first sales in October of 2021 and by February 2022 our corporate office approached us. We were doing so well that they approached us and wanted to offer more territories at a discounted rate since we were such go-getters and they wanted to extend that invitation. We thought about it, and we wanted to be the #1 estate sale company in the Midwest. We looked for the next biggest cities around us which were Sioux Falls and Kansas City and decided to purchase those 2 territories. Once we launched our business, my husband’s parents actually bought part of our business in Sioux Falls. They are running that location and we do some consultations, but they own that portion. We’ll be rolling out the Kansas City location in the next month! It all happened so fast and I look at what all we’ve done in just 1 year already.
Q: Have there been any surprises or challenges with your business so far?
A: Estate sales are such a unique niche. It’s a niche that everyone needs but they just don’t know that they need it. The first couple of months there wasn’t anything really happening and we questioned if we made the right choice. But then all of the sudden the floodgates opened and it was like drinking through a fire hose. That was an interesting experience. We didn’t know anything about estate sales and it was all new to us. It’s surprising to see how many people show up to an estate sale. That was really cool. And regulars – we have regulars who show up to every single sale and it’s a fun event every weekend. Some of the older community – that is their social time. They come to see and get out of the house and have fun. The business side of things, the biggest challenge has been to manage employees’ schedules. Obviously, as you know, labor is the biggest cost for any business. So you have to figure out the balance.
Q: What does your involvement or day-to-day look like?
A: Our goal is to be the owners, not as much to be in the day to day, but instead be the background and marketing side. That is the format they want you to have – that the owners should be doing consultations and marketing, and then let your staff do the estate sales. We hired our first FT employee 8 months in – we’ve had all part-time staff up until then. On day 1 I had to go out into our community and tell people estate sales are not just for people who have died. That’s what people correlate them with. Instead they are for people who don’t want to take all of their stuff and move it. Some people want to just sell all their stuff first before they move. Or they are for people who are downsizing, divorced, transitioning a loved one out of the home, or if you have a massive house and you don’t want a massive house anymore and you want to move to an apartment. Any type of transition really. So I had to educate our area and teach them the Blue Moon way and how we do things differently. We wanted to be a very relatable company. We want people to walk through the doors and feel like we are their friend. That’s what we want. We want people coming to the sales to like who’s there – friendly and outgoing and not hoity-toity.
Q: Can you speak about your financial success?
A: The first year is always difficult. We’re not in the red and we’re definitely in the green, but it won’t be as profitable as we want until this next year. Now that we know how it’s rolling out and how to do them properly, we’ll do the consultations more efficiently. For example, some homes take a lot more effort – a lot of unboxing, hoarding situations, and we’re gearing away from “take everything” to just taking the ones that we know will be higher profitably. With that said, we are definitely in the green. Out of all the Blue Moon locations, and there are 70 plus, we have not dropped down from the Top 10 since we’ve opened our doors. Our profitability is there and it’s only going to go up as people know that we are here. We’re only a year into it and we have a crazy following. We have people sending referrals to us that we’ve never met and it feels really good.
Q: What would you say to someone who is considering buying a franchise?
A: The best thing I can say is have no fear and do it. Do your financial assessment and figure out how much you can spend on a business and give that to Kevin and Charista. They are going to find something that will work for you. They are in it to benefit you. They want you to succeed and for you to be happy. It’s all geared toward your goals, your current goals, future goals, and what you want to do with your time. I would recommend them time and time again to anyone who is looking to start a franchise.
It’s a plug and play method. I was not confident in starting a business because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. But when you work with them, it gives you so many options. And if none of those work, they can find some more for you to consider. You’re going to find all of these things that you would have never thought of. Ten years ago I would have never thought I would buy an estate sales company. But when I dove in I realized I get to help people, be social, make my own schedule, interact with people, treasure hunt – that’s fun! I would tell people to take the chance. And eventually we’ll probably buy another one. Once this is up and rolling more we’ll probably come back and say “Hey what’s next? Let’s do something else”
Kevin and Charista are legit. Everything from start to finish. They are great humans, outside of their business, they are parents and great people. They are relatable, down to earth individuals that make it fun and they truly want what’s best for you.