By Staying True to Her Ideals, Eckles Created a Franchise That Empowers Others
As a mother of five, entrepreneur and businesswoman, Clean Juice co-founder Kat Eckles subscribes to a theory of “leading with love.” Along with her husband and business partner, Landon, she has grown her organic juice-bar business to almost 200 locations. At every step, she maintained a values-based culture of family and caring with her staff, her franchise partners, and the employees and guests at each Clean Juice location.
Eckles’ strong convictions have enabled her to always put family first, help others and serve a product she believes in. Through franchising, she empowers others to do the same. “Franchising exists where business, brand and family converge. When you buy into a franchise, you have an opportunity to find an ideal work-life balance with a brand you are passionate about,” she says. “For some, that means raising children, spending quality time with a significant other, or caring for elderly parents.”
“Our mantra is to help others and give our staff, franchise partners and their employees something bigger than themselves to work toward.”
Helping others is deeply rooted in the Clean Juice philosophy. “Once we were in a position to help others, we did,” Eckles says. The new Quarters for Kids program, for example, allows Clean Juice guests to add 25 cents or more to their order to fund various projects in local communities. “Our franchise partners and staff are intimately involved in giving back. Our mantra is to help others and give our staff, franchise partners and their employees something bigger than themselves to work toward.”
Lessons in Entrepreneurship
Leading by example, Eckles has demonstrated to her children that you don’t have to sacrifice what you believe in to be successful. She has given her kids a unique view of the joys and challenges of building a business and has instilled a love of entrepreneurship in them.
She also made a conscious effort to teach her kids to recognize, understand, think about and overcome challenges at an early age so that they are better able to handle bigger challenges as they get older. “I tell my daughters what my father told me, ‘Nothing too good or nothing too bad lasts for long.’ Lessons in entrepreneurship can be woven along the way but are based on building confidence, trust in oneself, connecting with that inner voice we all have and not being afraid of failure through effort,” she says. “The effort and the failure can be learned from and applied throughout life as their journeys toward success continue.”
Eckles says that good leaders should be tenacious, organized and have thick skin. Her advice to her franchise partners and anyone in a leadership role is to empower others. “I would tell all leaders to focus on giving their team something to work on that is bigger than any one person and acknowledging their role in others’ collaborative efforts.”
Clean Juice’s Value-Based Culture
Following her passion has led Eckles to the life she wants, and she encourages everyone to do the same. “At Clean Juice, we all have a passion for organic, clean foods and beverages. We hope to inspire more people to integrate more healthy, good options into their diet. It makes such a difference in your mind, body, and spirit.”
For more information, visit the Clean Juice franchise website.