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Army Veteran Finds New Opportunity, Builds Retirement Vehicle With Footprints Floors Franchise

After three years of service, 17 years in the insurance industry and time spent running Airbnbs, David Weaver found his next growth opportunity with two Phoenix Footprints Floors territories.

After U.S. Army veteran David Weaver bought his third Airbnb property, he thought he would finally be able to transition out of the insurance world and enjoy the fruits of his labor. Then, inflation skyrocketed, people began spending less on travel and he had to offload the properties. Fortunately, the equity he had built in the homes positioned him well to make his next investment, and he found himself looking toward franchising.

Soon, he learned about Footprints Floors*, the 150-plus-territory flooring installation franchise led by U.S. Air Force veteran Bryan Park. While the flooring industry was entirely new to Weaver, Park’s story resonated with him and he felt confident that the support of a franchise system would empower him to succeed in this new journey. So he invested and, early this April, Weaver launched two Footprints Floors territories serving the Phoenix area.

1851 spoke with Weaver to learn more about his journey to franchising and goals for the future.

1851 Franchise: Frame your personal story for us. What did you do before franchising, and how did you decide franchising made sense for you?

David Weaver: I joined the Army straight out of high school. After that, I spent 12 years as a chemical operator, then I went to college. I spent the next 17 years as a financial advisor and an insurance agent and, during that time, I acquired some properties that I used as Airbnbs. I ended up with three homes in the Valley, and I enjoyed that so much more than finance and insurance. 

I had hoped that the fourth home would be the magic number and allow me to do the Airbnbs as my primary job, but that was right around the time that interest rates shot up. It didn’t make sense for the investment model, and occupancy kept dropping, so I decided to sell. I had so much equity in the homes that selling them gave me the resources to do my next thing. Footprints Floors was so different from anything I’d ever done, but it seemed to be a good choice.

1851: What was your perception of franchising prior to becoming a franchisee, and what do you want people to know about franchising now that you are in it?

Weaver: I didn't have a whole lot of knowledge about franchising. Through some of the initial meetings, I learned about the royalties and other costs.

I think people should know that when you start thinking about franchising, you have to consider what all you get. Once I was set up with a franchisor, I had my website, marketing resources, relationships with distributors and customer service representatives. There are a lot of things that, independently, I wouldn’t have had access to. You might get there eventually, but I’m absolutely comfortable with the fees given what I’m receiving in return.

1851: What made you pick this brand? What excites you most about this company?

Weaver: Their ability to grow was the biggest exciting factor for me. To start in Denver and become the leading installer in the state of Colorado and a national brand — they’ve come a long way. I’ve got a great territory and I’m excited to see that kind of growth for myself.

I’m also an Air Force brat, so that was part of my decision, too. Bryan’s story was a major contributor to my decision to choose this brand.

1851: What do you hope to achieve with your business? What are your plans for growth? 

Weaver: I’m trying to grow my business as much as possible. My hope is to figure everything out in terms of staffing so that, 15 years down the road when I’m tired of getting in the truck and driving all around town, I can have a team to do that for me. Optimally, this will become a retirement vehicle for me and I can have staff to run the territory while I enjoy my coffee and relax.

1851: What makes veterans a great fit for the Footprints Floors model?

Weaver: Having that background of consistently getting up in the morning and getting to work gives you the discipline that helps you succeed in the military and in civilian roles. You might not be shining your shoes every morning after you retire, but you can tap into the discipline when you need it to help with the business.

Also, Footprints Floors doesn’t make a big deal of it, but they do offer a discount on your territories if you’re a veteran. That was a huge help to me and it means a lot that they recognized my service. It’s great any time that veterans can get recognition.

1851: What advice do you have for other people thinking about becoming a franchise owner?

Weaver: Just do as much research as possible. Get informed. Talk to people who are already in that specific franchise, and make the best decision you can.


Upon his return to Littleton, Colorado, after serving in the U.S. Air Force, Bryan Park noticed that Denver’s flooring industry lacked a higher level of customer service and sophistication. So, in 2008, he founded Footprints Floors, which today specializes in installing hardwood floors, tile floors, backsplashes and laminates. With more than 150 territories, Footprints Floors offers franchisees a robust support system, including a call center, flexible hours for work-life balance and a low cost of entry with outstanding economics.. For more information about the Franchise Times Top 500 brand, visit

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.