Our Just Between Friends Franchisee of the week is Tyona Albrecht, owner of JBF, Spokane, Washington.
“My husband Matt and I have 4 kids, ages 12, 10, 4, and 2. I don’t know if there is a better job out there for me! My husband and kids are all part of this business and my 4 year old LOVES to go to ‘Mommy’s toy store.’ I joke that I am my own best customer! I LOVE shopping at JBF and look forward to it every spring and fall. I truly believe that if you love what you do it will show and success will soon follow,” says Tyona.
How did you get started with JBF?
I purchased the Spokane and North Idaho franchises in October of 2007 from a previous owner who introduced the JBF concept to our area. I had just quit running a daycare that I had for many years. I had just had my 3rd child and wasn’t sure what God had planned for me next. I told my husband, Matt, that the franchise was for sale and he immediately said, “You should buy that. It would be perfect for you.” I had NO computer skills, but knew I loved JBF, bargain shopping and being involved with my community. Plus, I was willing to learn!
There was nothing like this in the Inland Northwest and the community immediately embraced the concept! When I purchased it, I immediately expanded the already great venue and added more racks. I let everyone know how much I loved JBF and would continue to grow. The Spokane sale grew so quickly that I decided to sell the N Idaho sale to focus my time and energy to make Spokane the biggest and best sale in the entire Northwest!
There is nothing like JBF in our area. Shoppers show up and are in awe! They have so many questions and are instantly amazed at the concept, organization and quality of JBF. JBF is such a blessing for so many people, whether it is the charity who receives the donations, consignors, shoppers, my staff and ultimately to my own family. I hear so many stories each sale about how families don’t know what they would do without JBF to help make ends meet. I am so proud and humbled for all the wonderful things JBF has done in Spokane.
With social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn so relevant in how we communicate, what effect do these media outlets have on your business?
Facebook has been the BEST tool to help spread the word about the sale. Our biggest advertisers are our shoppers, consignors, and volunteers who already know and love JBF so Facebook is the perfect fit. I love that I can ‘talk’ to my customers instantly, answer questions and they can see photos of the sale so they get a visual of what a sale looks like. Facebook has saved me time as well since many of the email questions I get are now answered on there for everyone to see.
JBF is a family business and we rewarded ourselves for our hard work with a trip to Disneyland!
When did you personally feel you were successful with JBF?
I knew JBF Spokane was a success a couple years ago when the sale had grown so big so fast that I had to hire 25 staff people to help run the sale. I know that without the great team that I have put together, the sale would not be what it is today. It is wonderful having the same core group of people, who love JBF as much as I do, return for each event and know exactly what to do. Lead volunteers helped with consistency and gave me the opportunity to delegate. The sale is so big now that they are my eyes and ears and let me know what can be improved and what is working great.
I make a 3 level goal for myself for sales for each event – 1-expected, 2-great, 3- out of this world . At my spring 2011 event, I reached my highest goal! I couldn’t help but cry in disbelief. I set an even higher goal for the fall 2011, now that I know I can achieve it!