What began as a technique to pay lifeless lease on three shuttered Sylvan Studying areas has changed into a brand new alternative for Jonathan and Sarah Ellis as they give the impression of being to develop their eyelash extension and forehead care model through franchising.
“It was dire there for a minute, I’ll be sincere,” stated Jonathan Ellis as he detailed how, after shopping for 15 Sylvan Studying facilities within the North Dallas and Austin, Texas, markets he was simply beginning to generate profits when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Pressured to shut for 3 months, he stated he nonetheless needed to cowl payroll, lease and different bills, and when digital courses “by no means actually took off from a monetary standpoint,” exhausting selections needed to be made.
In a position to promote 12 of 15 models to neighboring franchisees—“Principally it was a fireplace sale,” he stated—he was left with three areas within the Austin space and what finally grew to become Sincere Lash was born.
Ellis was a 3rd era McDonald’s operator earlier than entering into the Sylvan system. (For a time, he additionally had Enterprise X, a coworking franchise, and Signarama models.) His grandfather, Rodgers Ellis, opened in 1969 what was simply the fourth McDonald’s restaurant in Texas, and Ellis was serving to his dad run their 19 areas till 2018 when the household offered its shops.
In developing with Sincere Lash, Ellis was searching for a cost-efficient technique to give new life to his remaining retail house. The eyelash extension enterprise mannequin, which had caught with him since studying about it years prior, made sense and he was in a position to first convert his house in Bastrop, a part of the Higher Austin metro, for round $15,000. What was Lash Goddess grew to become Sincere Lash in 2021 as he ready to franchise the idea, and the model lately signed its first franchisees, Jonathan Ambiz and Holly Johnson, who will convey Sincere Lash to El Paso.
Sincere Lash provides lash extension, tinting and carry providers together with forehead lamination, tinting and waxing. Ellis and his spouse, who’s chief working officer and likewise a pediatric nurse practitioner, need to construct a “tremendous sturdy regional model” in Texas, the place “there’s loads of market share” even with the presence of Wonderful Lash Studio, The Lash Lounge and others.
“There’s not a metropolis that’s not exploding,” stated the lifelong Texan of inhabitants and enterprise development throughout the state.
Having realized from profitable McDonald’s franchisees in his father and grandfather, and after working his means up the ranks in that enterprise, Ellis stated he’s been in a position to construct stable infrastructure at Sincere Lash with a mannequin aimed toward owner-operators. He’s developed proprietary techniques to get areas open shortly whereas conserving bills down.
“Our differentiator is low value of entry. In case you take my franchise payment out, you possibly can open one among these for lower than $25,000,” he stated. “Throw in that payment, and also you’re speaking $40,000, $50,000.”
Heidi Stein, who has greater than a decade of expertise within the spa trade and was herself a lash stylist, joined the corporate final fall as director of franchise gross sales. The corporate, stated Ellis, needs to usher in franchisees who’re decided to construct a profitable enterprise, received’t draw back from challenges and possibly have a “COVID story” of their very own.
“We’re going to seek out the individuals on the market who need to roll up their sleeves and grind it out. And who received’t roll over when these exhausting instances come,” he stated as he recalled the mentality of the businessman behind McDonald’s. “Ray Kroc at all times referred to as it ‘grinding it out.’”
Now because the franchisor, Ellis stated he has a “household first, household enterprise mentality” and believes in working carefully with homeowners who share his imaginative and prescient for making a model with endurance.
“Sincere Lash may be very a lot a life’s work of, that is who we’re, that is what we imagine in, that is the place we’re going and do you need to come alongside.”