Today, Junk King is supporting International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and one that marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.
International Women's Day and Women in Business
International Women's Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. It is not country, group or organization specific, and today it represent all women everywhere.
At Junk King, we pride ourselves on our commitment to encouraging, supporting and fostering women-owned businesses. In fact, almost 20 percent of all our franchise operations throughout the United States are owned and operated by women.
In what has traditionally been viewed as a male-oriented industry, these women have achieved great success not only in building and growing their businesses, but in helping to change the face of the industry.
Highlighting Women Junk King Owners
We talked with some of our team members, women who own and operate Junk King franchises in various parts of the country. They spoke of the challenges and rewards of running their own business and of their personal journeys to business ownership as women.
Here are their stories.
Renee Ferguson - Junk King Dallas
Coming from a retail and corporate sales background, the world of business was not new to Renee. But being the owner of a junk hauling business certainly was.
Her commitment to being a hard worker, getting the job done, and keeping a healthy sense of humor has served her in a number of roles already.
What led you to consider becoming a Junk King franchise owner?
"I had looked at franchise opportunities and, because I did not want anything that had to do with food and my husband wasn't keen on a nail salon, we really loved the idea of junk.
I loved going to estate sales and garage sales and I just love rescuing things and the idea of recycling things. We strive to recycle, donate, redirect so that we can keep all this stuff out of our landfills. The whole approach of Junk King and the model really appealed to us."
Today, Renee is the 100% owner of a certified Women-Owned Business and works alongside her husband, having opened the doors of her Junk King Dallas franchise in August of 2012. Renee attributes much of her own success in life and in business to a mentor and role model.
"I had a fantastic female role model. She showed me humor, she showed me how to do it, you know, and how to overcome problems. And, and I think the most important idea was to get the job done, organize your thoughts, set forth a plan and move forward boldly to achieve the results you need to accomplish."
What advice would you give to women who want to become a business owner?
"Well they have to give 110%. There's no shortcuts. And using their experiences to build upon their foundation for their business. You have to do something, I think, that you like because you're going to be married to it, so you better love it because there's going to be good days and bad days and you just have to keep forging ahead. So you have to have a lot of tenacity."
What advice would you offer a teenage girl considering her life ahead?
"I see that most girls sit back and listen because we're afraid to say something. As I've grown older and matured and have more experiences, I am not as intimidated by speaking out. My advice would be don't be afraid to speak your mind and your confidence will develop as you share your ideas and your thoughts and listen. Listen to what other people have to say. You may make mistakes along the way, but if you learn from those mistakes - and it comes with growing and maturity - you'll blossom."
Yoko Stone - Junk King San Diego Downtown
After more than a decade as a retail visual merchandiser, Yoko had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom for 12 more years before she and her husband found themselves searching for a new business opportunity.
They knew that it needed to be something that was recession-proof, offered longevity and just had to "feel right." In addition, they both agreed that they wanted to create a legacy, to leave the world better than they found it.
After her husband, Bruce, discovered Junk King when he needed a junk hauling job done, they were both intrigued by the Junk King model.
A longtime resident of the San Diego area, Yoko noticed a deficiency in her community – the lack of a reliable, environmentally friendly, efficient junk removal service. Because of that, Yoko was eager to become a part of Junk King and offer her community the best junk removal solution.
"We were thinking, wow, this is, you know, quite a concept. He did some research. Then we started doing calls and finding out from different franchises what it was all about and then, in 2017, we decided 'Let's do this.' So that's how that happened."
What obstacles have you encountered as a business owner because you're a female?
"Probably one of the biggest is not being taken seriously. I think that could be partly because of my personality. But also because I'm short and female and sometimes a little bit reserved. I think sometimes I'm not taken as seriously as maybe a guy in this business."
How have you overcome that?
"This is something that we worked with our daughters on since they were born. We wanted to raise strong, independent women. So throughout their lives we would say things like, 'Well, if ballet was any easier, it would be football.' You know, trying to instill in them to have that kind of attitude that they can do anything and, a lot of times, better than a boy.
When we started Junk King and I knew that I was going to be out there being in operations, we made goals. We've worked tirelessly towards those goals."
Operating her own environmentally friendly business is important to Yoko. And preserving the beautiful landscape, and natural sights of San Diego is of utmost importance to her and her team.
Tiffany Bryant - Junk King Chattanooga
Being an entrepreneur comes naturally to Tiffany. Both she and her husband have been entrepreneurs over the years, having owned and operated a yogurt and deli shop for five years after they were first married.
After they sold that business, Tiffany opted to become a stay-at-home mom for the next 16 years. Yet, even while she was home with four children she still remained entrepreneurial.
Together with her husband, they managed some rental properties and fixed up a few others over the years. But taking on a Junk King franchise was really her first big foray back into entrepreneurship on a larger scale.
What has it been like as a woman in a traditionally male-dominated industry?
"I'd say that in the male dominated industry for junk collection, it's communication styles. I talk quite a bit and a lot of our crew, they get their point across to me very quickly. I still deal with some assumptions from men, but usually they're accepting."
Tiffany notes that, although junk removal may still be seen as a male-oriented field, women increasingly fill many roles in the industry.
"There's lots of women behind the scenes in junk removal. They're not right out front like me, being a business owner, but I get to know many of the great women who work with our guys at the dump. Then there's more women that take care of our crews coming in and out of recycling centers. They're not physically handling all the junk day to day. I don't physically handle all the junk. But that's alright. (laughs)"
Selecting the junk hauling business as a career choice may not seem to be a typical path for women. But Tiffany says she had looked at several different kinds of businesses and when she saw the range of jobs in Junk King, what they did day-to-day and their mission to recycle as much as possible, she really liked that.
As a Junk King owner today, Tiffany enjoys the variety that comes with the different people she meets. There's always something different going on each day and she's inspired that it's a multifaceted business.
"We don't just remove people's stuff. We do a whole lot more throughout the day as well. We've seen several customers go through critical transitions in their personal lives and then they ask us for help."
What advice would you offer a teenage girl considering her life ahead?
"Oh, I think it's a great time for them. I'd tell them they have a lot of time. They have time to explore and look into things that they're interested in doing; just to look and find out how many different types of work there may be.
They have time to explore and they need to use that time wisely so that they can gather as much information on the types of jobs that are out there, career skills they may need. So really use that time wisely to search and explore, to find and gather up information for themselves."
Junk King is Looking for Highly Motivated Professional Women
Junk King is looking for women (and men!) who are excited to join a dynamic organization committed to serving its customers, its franchise partners, communities and the planet.
Our discovery process is designed to provide you with all the information you need in a four to six week process to determine if we are a right fit for each other.
If you are interested in taking the next step, simply go to our Franchise page and fill out and submit the form to the right.
Get Rid of Your Junk While Doing Good
No matter where you are, your local Junk King team can provide efficient, safe and eco-friendly junk removal services to make the whole process easy for you. Our experienced junk removal teams can quickly and easily remove most any and all junk you need to get rid of.
We do all the heavy lifting and we’ll make sure that everything that can be reused is disposed of at a proper recycling facility.
We will call 15 minutes before our professional and insured removal team will show up at your home or office and, when we arrive, we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your items take up in our truck.
You point and we'll haul your junk and other items into our junk removal trucks, and with no hidden fees.
Ready to get rid of your unwanted junk? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. You make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).