Joanne Hilliard, a family nurse practitioner in San Antonio, Texas, is driven to help people in as many ways as possible. She became a nurse to help people get back on their feet again. She became the owner of two SportClips franchises to help people look better. And when she wanted to help people feel better, she added Smoothie King to her franchise portfolio.
While working as a nurse at trauma center in San Antonio, Joanne experienced a life-altering event – both her parents died within six months of each other. Grappling with mortality issues, she started looking for investment opportunities that would provide for a financially sound future for her three children. Understanding that owning the right franchise can be a sound investment, Joanne researched several concepts. She did her due diligence for a year before deciding on SportClips, a fast-growing men’s hair care salon franchise in 2005. Part of its appeal was that she could work on developing the business while remaining a nurse.
While the business opportunity appealed to her, so did the opportunity to help people achieve a look they desired.
“I opened locations in 2006 and 2007, but continued my career in nursing,” she said.
Joanne owned two successful locations and was going to open a third SportClips. However, she decided to pursue a masters in nursing to become a family nurse practitioner. Opening another location would be extremely difficult during the two-and-a-half year commitment, so she delayed it. Another franchisee came in and opened it.
“I love medicine and helping people as well,” Joanne said. “It was a very difficult time making the decision.”
The Perfect Fit
However, Joanne was not done opening franchises and helping people. Her entrepreneurial spirit was still strong while completing her master’s work, but there were no longer any SportClips opportunities in the San Antonio area. Joanne decided to diversify her portfolio, but she wanted to invest in another concept that helped people. This time, Joanne wanted to help inspire people live a healthy and active lifestyle.
“It was time for another investment,” Joanne said. “As I entered my final semester of school, I began looking for another concept that would parallel what I was already doing in my nursing career and with SportClips – which is helping others. Smoothie King was a perfect fit for that.”
Joanne opened her first Smoothie King in 2015 and her second in 2016. She bought her third, an existing location, in February 2017.
SportClips and Smoothie King have similar missions that were important to Joanne.
“The very foundation of both brands is educating and helping others meet their goals,” she said. Stylists at SportClips perform consultations to find out what the customer is seeking. At Smoothie King, team members inquire what their guest’s purpose is – weight management, meal replacement, or pre-workout, post-workout or nutritious snack.
“The stylist and team member are both doing the same thing,” Joanne said.
Both brands complement each other with simple operations, too, which has allowed Joanne to continue working as a nurse.
In addition to inspiring guests to live a healthy and active lifestyle, Joanne wanted to be within a short driving distance of her franchise locations. After completing her master’s degree, that was no longer possible with SportClips. But, it was possible with Smoothie King. All her Smoothie King stores are in the San Antonio area.
Serendipitous Smoothie King
Joanne’s Smoothie King locations are doing well, especially the one Joanne opened in 2016, which is across the street from the University of Texas Health Science Center.
“I can see the school of nursing, where I got my degree, from my Smoothie King store,” she said. “Everything has meaning for me. It’s not about opening businesses, it’s about helping people. It’s about putting things into play that will help everybody.”
Want to become part of our growing brand? Learn more about becoming a Smoothie King franchisee here and download our Franchise Kit.