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Bosnian Refugee Realizes the American Dream with Fresh Coat Painters Franchise in Michigan

Looking for a new opportunity to support his family, Saudin Hodzic is opening a Fresh Coat Painters franchise to serve residents of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

By Erica InmanStaff Writer
8:08AM 02/12/24

Saudin Hodzic moved to the U.S. in 1998 as a refugee from what is now formerly known as Yugoslavia. Despite arriving in a new country with practically nothing but a fresh start, Hodzic didn’t let that stop him from crafting a future filled with resilience, determination and success. 

Hodzic spent nearly two decades working in the hydraulics industry before leaving corporate life behind to pursue the American Dream. Hodzic opened his own remodeling business and saw success, but he was yearning for more. His passion and dedication eventually led him to Fresh Coat Painters, the industry-leading residential and commercial painting franchise. After meeting with the leadership team, Hodzic decided it was the right opportunity for him and he signed on. 

Now, Hodzic is preparing to open the doors to his very own Fresh Coat Painters franchise within the next few weeks, where he will serve residents throughout Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

1851 Franchise recently spoke with Hodzic to learn more about his inspiring story. 

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

Hodzic: I spent around 18 years in the hydraulics industry, but I hit a ceiling. Money was always tight and I craved more freedom. I ran my own remodeling business on the side and felt confident in my ability to turn it into a full-fledged source of income. The corporate grind wore me down. I wanted to be my own boss, so I decided to look at franchising opportunities and that’s when I discovered Fresh Coat. 

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?

Hodzic: I always believed franchising was an easier route compared to starting a business from scratch. Franchising just seemed like a more reliable, professional and safer option. 

What I’ve realized since becoming a franchisee is the invaluable support it offers. Standing out and marketing yourself as an independent business can be tough. However, with franchising, there’s a dedicated team backing you up, making the journey less solitary and more supported. 

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

Hodzic: The primary draw was the people — both the team behind the Fresh Coat brand and the fellow franchisees. Additionally, the flexibility of operating this business from home appealed to me and complements my remodeling business. 

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

Hodzic: Over the next three to five years, I aim to establish a sustainable business that can thrive without my constant presence. Later on, I want to involve my two daughters and son in the business and give them options for their future. 

1851: What is the one thing about your story you want us to know?

Hodzic: I experienced war as a child. I’m originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina ex-Yugoslavia and came to America in 1998. Having arrived with practically nothing, I’ve managed to build a successful life with two homes, cars, a loving family and now, two successful businesses. 

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

Hodzic: Just go for it. There are positives and negatives in everything, even to franchising, but in my opinion there are more benefits to operating a franchise than starting a business from scratch. It’s a win-win. 


Fresh Coat Painters, the residential and commercial painting franchise under the Strategic Franchising Systems umbrella, offers a low-cost, high-margin business model that gives entrepreneurs from all walks of life the chance to become successful business owners in the communities they serve. Since starting in 2004, Fresh Coat has expanded to over 170 franchise locations nationwide. Thanks to its unparalleled professionalism and affordable business model, it has become one of the leading concepts in the booming residential and commercial painting segment. With continued year-over-year growth, Fresh Coat is well on its way to achieving its overall goal of becoming a truly iconic painting brand. 

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