Quamisha Nelson’s Smoothie King franchise in Jacksonville, NC is more than a business – it’s an ongoing way to pay homage to her husband, Joshua, who was killed in action while serving with the United States Army in Afghanistan.
After the loss of her husband, Quamisha understood that something meaningful had to come from the tragedy. She knew whatever step she took next in her life would be to honor his memory.
As a newlywed trying to figure out her next steps in life, Quamisha never thought her career path would lead to business ownership. Initially, a teacher by trade, the now successful Smoothie King franchisee uses her business to become a true pillar of her community.
“As a 23-year-old widow with no prior entrepreneurial experience, I took a leap of faith and used the money we received from the veterans benefit settlement to open a business,” said Quamisha. “I wanted to use the settlement so that our family members and the community as a whole could be rewarded for his sacrifice.”
Paying It Forward
Even though Quamisha made the transition from school teacher to business owner, she never forgot her roots. Quamisha has leveraged her Smoothie King location to help set children up for success in her community. In 2014, she launched an annual fundraising event called Summerfest with the purpose of providing underprivileged children with school supplies and uniforms.
“So far, we’ve been able to provide over 10,000 backpacks full of supplies to local children,” said Quamisha. “Our first year, Smoothie King was so excited for our cause that the corporate office even helped donate money for us to buy additional backpacks.”
When Quamisha first joined the Smoothie King family, she still opted to teach part-time. This was her first venture into entrepreneurship and she wanted to find her footing first before fully committing her time 100 percent. However, once her Smoothie King location became fully established, Quamisha left teaching and focused her energy on running her business full-time.
“As hard as it was to step away from teaching, I knew it made sense,” said Quamisha. “I knew that our location was growing and that I needed to devote my time to managing it.”
Choosing the Right Business Model
When deciding on a business to invest in, Quamisha realized the risks and challenges associated with building a business from scratch. That’s why she opted to look into franchising as a viable option.
“I chose to franchise because it’s less stressful,” said Quamisha. “Why re-invent the wheel when you can be part of an established system and gain the opportunity to help it grow even more?”
She looked into the franchising options available and did her due diligence on all of them. Ultimately, Quamisha
chose to invest in a brand that she believed in and that held a special significance to her.
“My husband and I both loved smoothies, so Smoothie King seemed like the perfect fit,” she added. “I know if he was still here, he would be just as happy operating a Smoothie King as I am. And I knew in my heart it was a great way to honor his legacy.”
Quamisha is a multi-unit operator who has found a real purpose in her business and even plans to eventually open up to 20 Smoothie King locations state-wide. She’s been able to turn her husband’s sacrifice into a business opportunity that enables her to give back and help create a better future for the children in her community.
What’s your purpose? Learn more about becoming a Smoothie King franchisee here and download our Franchise Kit.