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Why This Caring Transitions Franchisee Continues to Thrive After 12 Years of Business Ownership

Charlene Blanton, a Caring Transitions owner in Myrtle Beach, is always looking for new ways to scale her business and help more clients navigate life’s difficult transitions.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 2:14PM 04/19/23

Seeking to expand and diversify her business during the 2008 economic downturn, Charlene Blanton, an experienced executive in national sales, decided it was time for something new. After discovering 280-unit downsizing and relocation franchise Caring Transitions while moving her grandparents and dealing with her father's passing, she knew it could be a great business model in her community of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  

“Moving isn't easy, especially as you get older — it is one of the most challenging experiences a person can go through,” said Blanton. “Our job is to connect the dots and provide resources, expertise and training to make the journey easier. Based on my personal experience with my grandparents, I saw how their possessions and uncertainties became detrimental to their lives. So when I talk to potential clients, I tell them they are actually gaining independence by moving and downsizing, not losing it. They get to make all the choices, and our role is to provide the services and expertise to make it easier for them.”

The Journey to Caring Transitions

Before franchising, Blanton worked in the hotel business and national sales, selling meeting spaces to national associations like the American Medical Association, American Dental Association and the National Association of Teachers, accommodating groups from 30 to 3,000 people. 

“I traveled all over the country representing hotel chains like Weston, Hilton and Holiday Inn,” said Blanton. “To put myself through college in Charleston, I worked the front desk at a small inn, learning everything from housekeeping to waitressing. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English, I was hired by Hilton Hotels as a guest services manager and eventually transitioned into a sales role. I stayed in that position until I got married and had children.”

The decision to franchise came when Blanton and her husband, a general contractor, both became certified in universal design and age-in-place design. “This, along with personal experiences of moving my grandparents and my father's passing, prompted us to start our own Caring Transitions business,” she said. “We wanted to be a trusted resource and help others through a process that we knew was difficult from personal experience.”

But Blanton made sure to do her due diligence before signing on the dotted line — and she liked what she saw. 

“The demographic trends and growing needs of Baby Boomers made Caring Transitions an appealing choice,” said Blanton. “We could have started our own business, but partnering with a national brand ensured greater accountability and trust. In most states, move managers are not regulated by the law, so there are no requirements for background checks, general liability insurance or workers comp. Anyone with a truck can say they are a move manager. Caring Transitions, as a national brand, requires that accountability. It gives me the ability to say, ‘Hey, I have chosen to partner with this franchise that has these standards in place so I can be a trusted resource.’”

Caring Transitions also provided a solid business model and support system, Blanton says, including collateral, systems, training and procedures. “We could still make it our own, but we weren’t reinventing the wheel,” she said. “The support from the brand and other franchisees allowed us to run our mom-and-pop business with greater accountability.”

A Mission with a Purpose

Blanton officially signed on with Caring Transitions in 2008, and over the past 12 years, her and her husband have continually reinvented and scaled their business to serve more clients while maintaining a high level of service. 

“For me personally, there is nothing more satisfying than helping a family cross the finish line,” said Blanton. “These people are unable to move forward because they feel stuck. In our experience, our grandparents' world had become limited, and they didn't want to move. The process of moving seemed too daunting. They worried about what would happen to their belongings. It was all so overwhelming that it prevented them from enjoying the lifestyle they deserved, and their world became more isolated. Eventually, it turned into an emergency, and they couldn't go back home. They didn't get to choose where they were moving or what items would move with them.”

Today, Blanton says her primary mission is to help families through difficult transitions and emphasizes the importance of restoring dignity and control during the process. 

So, after over a decade of franchise ownership, what is Blanton's advice for others just looking to get started? “Remember, you are buying a business, so work the plan,” she said. “Use the support and resources available to you, and don't be afraid to ask for help. While it is hard work, leveraging the resources and expertise you are paying for can help ensure your success.” 

To learn more about the costs to open a Caring Transitions, visit