Fern Carty Dawkins recently opened her first Smoothie King franchise in Pearland, Texas. After moving to the U.S. from the Virgin Islands with her family when she was 15-years-old,
She attended undergraduate school at Emory University in Atlanta, and soon after Dawkins earned her law degree at the University Of Arkansas- School Of Law at Fayetteville.
“I always wanted to own my business but thought it would only become a focus once I retired,” said Dawkins. “I was engaged and planning to move from Bentonville (Arkansas) where I was working for Walmart as an in-house attorney in its Health and Wellness legal department."
There, Dawkins practiced healthcare law and essentially supported the pharmacy, clinic and vision center businesses in Walmart stores for four years.
“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,” said Dawkins. “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.”
She moved to Houston with her husband in the spring of 2015 and decided to form her own holdings company, JM Carty Holdings, LLC, with the idea that she would purchase and manage franchises. Smoothie King was the optimal investment and the perfect franchise opportunity to begin building her portfolio.
Dawkins remembers the first time she walked into a Smoothie King nearly ten years ago. The team member recognized she was unfamiliar with the menu and chose to make her the Caribbean Way smoothie.
“It was the best smoothie I ever tasted,” Dawkins recalled. “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.”
Fern is planning to secure two more Smoothie King stores by the end of 2016, with future projections of opening at least ten stores in the next five years. She’ll be hosting the Grand Opening event for her first location Oct. 24, 2015.
“I want to focus on growing Smoothie King first before I venture into other brands,” said Dawkins. “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.”