SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--How does an Army veteran go from selling pantyhose from the basement of his home in Wisconsin to becoming a franchise savant? It is a long and crazy road that Amazing Lash Studio regional developer and franchisee Dennis Conklin has been on, and he wouldn’t change it for the world.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, after high school Dennis went into the Army and did his tour of duty in Germany. While stationed there he met and married his wife, Rosemarie. They had three kids, Gabi, Dennis Jr. and Danielle. Upon leaving the Army and with a family to support, Dennis began looking for sales opportunities and started Sheer Delight, a pantyhose company. “Here I am, this macho military man peddling pantyhose – but could I sell,” said Dennis. It started out from the basement of his home in Greenfield, Wisconsin, and later moved to a warehouse, which Rosemarie oversaw as the business grew – and grew. “Pantyhose were a staple to women in the '70s, but as style and fashion changed, pantyhose were not an everyday item for women,” said Dennis. Always looking for opportunities and looking to get out of the cold, Dennis moved his family to Arizona and next ventured into the skin care business with Forever Young products, selling massage creams and lotions. For the next 15 years he had much success in building his business until franchise fate intervened.
In 2005, Rosemarie came home after a massage at Massage Envy and told Dennis about the new and first-to-market member-based concept. Intrigued, he began his due diligence and looked to sell his Forever Living products in the clinics. After an initial meeting at Massage Envy corporate, his creams and lotions weren’t in the clinics, but his confidence in the brand was. He bought regional developer and franchisee rights to San Diego without ever stepping foot into a Massage Envy. “This was such a unique business model, and I knew I wanted to be part of it from the start.” As the business grew at epic speed, in 2007 Dennis reached out to his youngest daughter, Dani, to come on board. “I was 20 years in the corporate world and was currently the district manager for Young’s Columbia in Seattle when I got the call from my dad to operate the clinic in Carlsbad,” said Dani. “I was excited about the brand and working with my father.”
After successfully building the Massage Envy brand in San Diego, in 2010 the father-daughter team signed on to become the regional developers and franchisees for European Wax Center (EWC).
With the franchise market providing several solid opportunities, in 2012 Dennis signed on to become the regional developer of The Joint…the chiropractic place in San Diego and Orange County. “This was being operated by the original Massage Envy team, who I was very confident in,” said Dennis. He grew the brand until an opportunity to sell it back to the franchisor was offered, and he took it. “It remains a solid business model, but I wanted to focus on my Massage Envy clinics and our EWC growth.”
In 2014, they sold their regional developer rights to the European Wax Center concept but continued to own and operate three centers. This dynamic duo found their next brand-building opportunity, Amazing Lash Studio. “My dad asked me to fly to Houston to meet with Edward Le, co-founder and CEO of Amazing Lash Studio, and as I had been hooked on lash extensions since 2006, I was really excited about the concept,” says Dani. “It was a fabulous meeting, and I returned to San Diego, shared my excitement with my dad and we were all in. It has been nothing but amazing since the get-go.”
Their efforts have not gone unnoticed in any of the four brands with accolades including 2 Million Dollar Club and strongest sales closing at Massage Envy and Brand Ambassador at Amazing Lash Studio.
They sold their regional developer rights to Massage Envy last year. “It was time to focus and grow our new concepts, as it really takes 150% in the beginning,” says Dennis.
What does this franchise duo see in their future? “My dad most likely will retire in three years when he turns 80 and go full-time into driving my mom crazy,” says Dani with a grin. “I will continue to build the businesses I have and work with all these great franchisees while looking for unique brands, and of course have fun doing it!”
About Amazing Lash Studio
Amazing Lash Studio was founded in 2010 by Edward and Jessica Le, with a vision to be the leading provider of affordable eyelash extensions. Amazing Lash Studios are retail salons that apply semi-permanent eyelash extensions with a proprietary, patented process to the clients’ own lashes, replicating the curve and size of natural lashes. The concept began franchising in 2013, and to date has 183 open studios in 27 states, and has recently earned the rank of #5 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top New Franchises.
For additional information go to amazinglashstudio.com.