From Engineer to Entrepreneur With The Designery Franchise

From Engineer to Entrepreneur With The Designery Franchise

HomeFront Brands’ Culture and Support Attracted Rebecca Merola to the Interior Design Franchise

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As her family’s sole breadwinner, Rebecca Merola might’ve been petrified by the prospect of leaving the security of a lucrative career in engineering. Although she was ready for a change, she’d be taking a leap into the unknown and bringing her husband and young children along with her.

After meeting with a franchise consultant who helped Merola zero in on opportunities, she became interested in The Designery, which provides kitchen, bath and closet solutions using state-of-the-art technology enabling customers to participate in and visualize the design process. Merola ultimately spoke with franchisees, The Designery founder and President Casey Ridley, and team members with HomeFront Brands whose “energy, passion and openness” eased her concerns.

Merola also found the partnership with HomeFront Brands to be attractive, “giving The Designery the ability to offer enterprise-level solutions and support to a small business owner,” she says. “Meeting everyone face to face at Meet-the-Team day and actually putting my hands on the product sealed the deal. I truly feel like everyone at HomeFront Brands and The Designery team is trying to build me up and wants the best for me, and it’s incredibly empowering.”

The Designery franchise
Merola’s team comprises herself, her husband, Ted Fisher, and designer Liz Laurito.

Running The Designery Franchise

Merola was up and running with The Designery even before the tentative November 2023 opening of her retail location in Quakertown, Pa. “We have the ability to share 2-D and 3-D renderings of our designs and even text them straight to a customer’s phone,” she says. Merola’s team is composed of herself, her husband, Ted Fisher, and designer Liz Laurito. “All three of us wear the salesperson hat and have been trained in design and design software,” Merola says.

The team makes time for email, texts, phone calls, impromptu meetings, whatever is needed to help.

The training began on day one and included a 120-point checklist detailing everything she needed to get started. There have been weekly team meetings to review progress and important items, “and there’s no need to wait for the weekly meeting if you have any question– big or small. The team makes time for email, texts, phone calls, impromptu meetings, whatever is needed to help. The training is fantastic,” Merola says. “On Monday, I had never even opened the design software and, by Tuesday, I was designing a basic kitchen all by myself.”

HomeFront Brands Culture

Merola also has been impressed by the HomeFront corporate culture. “One of the first things you are introduced to by HomeFront CEO Jeff Dudan is the company’s values: C.A.R.E.S., which stands for community, accountability, respect, excellence and service. Everyone I’ve interacted with has been welcoming, friendly and service oriented. When you’re at headquarters, you feel like you belong. You can also tell the team is focused on growth and committed to excellence, which really resonated with me.”

The Designery franchise

The biggest surprise for Merola was how much stress her corporate job caused her and how quickly it lifted once she quit. Another pleasant surprise was how much of her corporate experience translated into business ownership. The biggest reward has been free time to spend with her children. “No longer am I leaving the house before they wake up and returning in the middle of dinner,” she says.

Merola is excited for the future with The Designery and HomeFront Brands. Once she hits her initial business objectives, she’d like to expand to other territories and possibly add another HomeFront Brand such as Top Rail Fence. “Having all the brands in the same system and sharing data really makes for a powerful partnership and opportunity for growth!”

For more information about The Designery franchise, visit

Booming Kitchen and Bath Industry

The Designery is part of the booming kitchen and bathroom industry. The company’s website boasts of the $199 billion industry, with an annual growth rate of 19%.

HomeFront Brands

HomeFront Brands offers community-based opportunities that inspire and support franchisees to make an immediate and lasting impact. The umbrella company’s home services portfolio includes Window Hero, The Designery, Temporary Wall Systems, Top Rail Fence, Mozzie Dome and BiltRite.  

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Lisa Ocker is an award-winning writer and editor whose career of more than 30 years includes work as a staff reporter at two major newspapers in South Florida, and as a freelance stringer for The New York Times. She has served as editor of the lifestyle magazine, Boca Raton, and Success, a national newsstand publication she helped launch. She now lives and works from Santa Fe, NM.
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