After 26 years working for FASTSIGNS, Melanie Martinez decided to invest in her own business and now runs FASTSIGNS Crawley Centre.
Melanie joined FASTSIGNS in 1994. Her objective was to save enough money for a deposit on a house and then she planned to return to her previous career as a freelance artist.
Melanie formed a strong working relationship with the then owner of FASTSIGNS Crawley, who allowed her increasing responsibility and in 2010, when that franchisee decided to sell the business, Mel was offered the opportunity to take over. Although Mel wanted the opportunity then, having just become a mum, she didn’t feel the time was right and the franchise moved into new ownership. Mel continued to work for the business in a part-time role as she brought up her young family. In 2018, the franchisee of the centre decided to retire and this time, Mel knew she couldn’t miss her chance again.
Mel comments on taking ownership, “I knew I’d missed out on the earlier opportunity. I wish I had been braver back then, knowing what I know now, franchising could have really helped me create a positive work-life balance but the timing just didn’t feel right.” Mel continues, “When I was just an employee of the centre, I loved my job and I loved helping business, but now it’s personal and I’m glad I was able to put the groundwork into developing relationships with my customers.”
Mel has found stepping into ownership has been liberating. “When I worked in the centre, I had so many ideas for how I would do things, I of course had to get permission from the franchisee”, Mel reflects. “Now I have the confidence of my own convictions and I can press ahead with the changes I want to implement.”