OpenWorks is a top franchise for minorities and immigrants. In fact, our CEO and Founder, Eric Roudi, is an immigrant himself. At OpenWorks, each month we choose to highlight a different top minority franchise owner. A recent article in franchising.com showcases the opportunities for minorities in franchising.
Kate Vulkova is the co-owner of the OpenWorks franchise in Seattle alongside her husband Georgi Kardashev. They moved as a family to the U.S. from Bulgaria in 2001 after winning the “Green Card Lottery” just minutes after their son was born. In 2004, the couple found their success in OpenWorks, and 12 years later their business is stronger than ever.
Q: Why did you choose OpenWorks?
A: OpenWorks is PERFECT for immigrants. I wanted to run my own business, but I didn’t feel like I knew how to obtain clients from a sales and management perspective. And on top of that we had the language barrier to deal with — I knew limited English and Georgi knew even less than me. But OpenWorks provides tons of support for its franchisees, and not only that, but OpenWorks actually provides its franchisees with clients from the start.
Q: How did you find out about OpenWorks?
A: When we first moved here, we had to find work. My husband didn’t speak much English, and so he started working for a janitorial company. It was a crazy experience for him — moving from being the mayor of our city and a restaurant owner in Bulgaria to a janitor in America. We knew we wanted to start looking at owning a business — Georgi had been a business owner most of his life. It was through his janitorial job that he found out about OpenWorks. We discussed the opportunity for months before speaking with an OpenWorks representative. In 2004, we decided it was time to buy.
Q: What is your job as an OpenWorks franchise owner like?
A: We work out of our home office, which is nice, and we serve a lot of accounts now that our business has been open for 12 years. Georgi does all the special jobs like waxing and flooring, and he trains others in the franchise system so they can do it right, too. He also starts all the new accounts and trains all the employees. I am the one who handles the administrative and finances side of things. I speak with OpenWorks, handle the hiring process — all the “backend” duties of running a successful business.
If you’re interested in starting an OpenWorks franchise of your own, visit our Franchise Opportunities page to learn more or fill out our franchise inquiry form below and a member of our Franchise Development Team will contact you.