This Blingle! Franchisee Moonlights as a C-suite Executive

This Blingle! Franchisee Moonlights as a C-suite Executive

The Lighting Franchise Designs, Installs and Maintains Outdoor Lighting for Homes and Businesses

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Gretchen Seal leads a Blingle! lighting franchise by day, and by night she works remotely as chief financial officer for a global enterprise operating in a half-dozen nations. Her career tracks could hardly be more different: In the C-suite role, she works for a technology company that keeps her busy with Zoom calls across many time zones. Her small but growing home services business designs, installs and maintains outdoor lighting for homes, businesses, landscapes, pool houses, pergolas— you name it — in Central Texas.

Seal works closely with her Blingle! team honing best practices and boosting business development for Blingle! Greater Austin and occasionally makes site visits to her clients’ properties. An important part of her strategic business development has been raising the franchise’s profile at seasonal trade shows.

The Day-to-Day

Seal’s operations/sales manager Dawn Cobler co-stars at those trade shows. But more important, Cobler takes care of most day-to-day tasks during the Blingle! franchise’s business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Blingle! attracted Seal because “I wanted to be part of something new and exciting with the greatest potential for scalability. The owner’s genuine willingness to partner on this journey together toward success was a driving factor as well.”

Blingle! Franchise
Gretchen Seal (center, in white boots) is surrounded by her family of fans: her grandchildren, daughter and two sons, and her children’s significant others.

Seal has support from her family as well as the franchisor. “My son and son-in-law are engineers and work in construction management, and I consult them about buildings and such. My youngest works in finance so we talk shop. My daughter designs and plans our clients’ events. They all own businesses as well. We fill in for one another in all of our adventures.” Seal hopes that her Blingle! franchise will someday be a legacy business for her children and grandchildren.

A Rewarding Business

In building her franchise, which has been open since August 2021, Seal says she has had to be patient in setting up the proper business infrastructure to support long-term success. But she’s already enjoying the rewards of a home service business. During its year-plus of operation, she has particularly enjoyed “meeting people of all different backgrounds and experiences, and the satisfaction of developing a solution together to meet their needs while learning more about the community we serve.”

A passion for community relations is a key prerequisite for Blingle! franchisees. The company also expects franchisees to have strong people skills and business acumen, especially in management. Lighting experience isn’t required because all Blingle! franchisees receive in-depth training to prepare them for the launch and operation of their businesses.

Blingle! has been franchising since 2021, but company founder and President Mike Marlow has more than 20 years of experience in lighting design and installation under his tool belt. Marlow started the business under the name Heroes Holiday Lighting (renamed Blingle! in 2021). Customers appreciate that the franchise’s certified designers and installers use premium products. And franchisees are wowed by the national call center, multichannel online marketing and high-tech resources that enable them to do everything from find customers to handle finances.

Blingle! All the Way

Blingle! franchise

Blingle! is a turnkey franchise that functions as a B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) service. Its franchisees design, install and maintain outdoor lighting as follows:

  • Permanent and temporary lights on the exteriors of homes and commercial buildings
  • Landscape, patio, porch and outbuilding lighting, both permanent and for special occasions
  • Holiday lighting installation and take-down for Christmas, Halloween or any special day the client may choose
  • Event lighting — from summertime soirées to spring weddings, graduation parties to birthday celebrations… and more

HorsePower Brands

Blingle! is part of the HorsePower Brands portfolio of complementary home services franchises. All HorsePower Brands franchises have in-demand services and simple business models. Other concepts in the HorsePower Brands portfolio include Mighty Dog Roofing, Gatsby Glass, Groovy Hues Painting and Heroes Lawn Care.

For more information about the Blingle! franchise and HorsePower Brands, visit or

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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning journalist who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. She also held reporting and editing roles at The Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer newspapers.

Before Mary began covering franchise news and trends as a staff writer for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine, she developed articles on topics ranging from lifestyle, education, health and science to home projects, horticulture, gardening, interior design and architecture. These articles included her reporting on academic news at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, when Mary worked in the marketing department of the Texas A&M Foundation. She continues to be a news junkie and subscribes to several publications.

Today Mary and her husband are empty nesters living on Galveston Island near Houston. The couple’s blended family – scattered around the United States – includes five children, four grandchildren and two very spoiled, very barky miniature schnauzer rescues.
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