Fern Carty Dawkins always wanted to own a business, but she often considered the dream a lofty one—something that would only be attainable in her older years.
While working for Wal-Mart in Bentonville, Arkansas, Dawkins practiced healthcare law while supporting the pharmacy, clinic and vision center in the Health and Wellness legal department. Her immersion into the Wal-Mart culture and exposure to its headquarters and founder’s vision continues to be a driving force in the development of her dream. Dawkin’s has embarked on that dream by opening her first business, a Smoothie King location in Houston. Dawkin’s is looking forward to many more business ventures and Smoothie King is just the beginning for her!
How did you learn about the brand? Why did you choose an opportunity with Smoothie King?
One of the things I learned while working for Walmart was that its founder Sam Walton intricately understood his business by living and breathing the retail industry. He truly believed in what he was building and loved what he was doing. I wanted to take the same approach and focus on something I was passionate about with a brand I could get behind. Franchising was always something that I was interested in and made the most sense for me because franchises come with existing and well-established blueprints for their businesses. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel when there were many brands out there that I frequented and that I truly loved. Although I did not have a fresh idea for a new business, I knew that I could execute more than one franchised business.
Interestingly, I still remember the very first time I walked into a Smoothie King nearly ten years ago. I vividly recall not knowing what to order, and the team member told me he’d make me something that would change my life. He made me the Caribbean Way and it was the best smoothie I ever tasted! Little did either of us know at the time, that Smoothie King would in fact change my life one day in such a big way. Once I decided the best route to start my franchising career would be to form a holding company, I knew Smoothie King was the first franchise I wanted to look into. Taking together what I learned from Sam Walton, focusing on what I truly love and the fact that Smoothie King is a health-based company, this is without a doubt the right move.
What is your end goal with Smoothie King? I envision my portfolio to be built on health and wellness based businesses such as smoothie/ juice bars, chiropractic practices, fitness centers, massage/spa facilities, etc. Health and Wellness continues to be a growing industry as people are more focused than ever on living a healthier and more active lifestyle. That is Smoothie King’s mission and I’ve incorporated that mission into my company.
The plan is to secure two more stores by the end of 2016, with future projections of opening at least ten stores in the next five years. I want to focus on growing Smoothie King first before I venture into other brands. However, I already have my sights on a few other businesses and I regularly research other brands that I love so I can start getting behind their mission.