From helicopter pilot to Fibrenew franchisee

Genevieve Alexander is the first to admit that she gets bored easily, and that’s exactly why she chose a career as a helicopter pilot. Both Genevieve and her husband, Drew, who also happens to be a helicopter pilot, enjoyed the exciting lifestyle and travel that comes with a pilot’s career until the demands of home and family became too much. “Our work-life balance was not balanced at all. I needed a serious lifestyle change,” she says. So Genevieve looked to franchising for her next step. On her list of “must-haves” was financial freedom and a flexible schedule.

Although Genevieve Alexander enjoyed her career as a helicopter pilot, the demanding schedule was not ideal for her growing family.

When Genevieve first heard about Fibrenew, she says she wasn’t really excited about the concept. “Leather, plastic and vinyl restoration didn’t sound very sexy,” she says. But as she dug deeper, she discovered a lot about Fibrenew that she really liked. “I loved the fact that I could scale the business at my own pace,” she says. She also liked the possibilities for different types of jobs and clients. “No two days are ever the same. I love that part,” she says. 

What ultimately sold Genevieve was the corporate team. “It was very obvious to me that they really care,” she says. “They are always coming up with new ways to improve things and help franchisees succeed.” 

One of the company’s newer initiatives is a podcast that allows Fibrenew’s more than 200 franchisees share their experiences, tips and best practices. “It really helps give me ideas for the business. There are so many applications and such a vast client base for this service,” she says. 

Taking the leap to franchise ownership

A risk taker by nature, Genevieve was true to form and opened for business April, 2020, at the onset of a world-wide pandemic. “Sometimes, you just have to go for it,” she says. 

As a Fibrenew franchisee, Genevieve Alexander is able to enjoy an ideal work-life balance.

Because of social distancing restrictions, Genevieve started her business slowly, working mostly out of her garage when she wasn’t homeschooling her two children. “My husband is very supportive. I call him my ‘VP of Miscellaneous Stuff.’ He even helps with jobs sometimes on his days off,” she says. “This business gave us the lifestyle change we needed. We couldn’t be happier,” she says. 

Genevieve has her sights set on scaling her franchise by adding more trucks and staff. “I plan to grow this business big time,” she says.              

     “No two days are ever the same.”   

Besides the fact that she’s usually decked out in Fibrenew swag, no two days are ever the same for franchisee Genevieve Alexander. The former helicopter pilot says she wouldn’t have it any other way. The leather, plastic and vinyl restoration franchise has given her an interesting, in-demand business with financial freedom and a desirable work-life balance. 

The benefits of a mobile franchise

Some days, Genevieve works out of her home and takes care of smaller jobs (like repairing stools, chairs and cushions) for residential customers. Other days, she hits the road in her Bozeman, MT territory, working on-site for a range of commercial clients including car and RV dealerships, restaurants and medical facilities, such as dental offices and physical therapy centers. When she’s not working in the field or from home, Genevieve works on the business out of a rented office space. Genevieve says Fibrenew is a perfect fit for her because she’s a hands-on person. “This is definitely not a lazy person’s type of business. You do have to get out there and work,” she says. 

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 20 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. She serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill reports on industry news and helps Franchisors spread the word about their brands.
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