Joining Oakleaf was the best thing I’ve ever done!
Since Amanda Feather joined the period and decorative moulding manufacturer, Oakleaf, she has seen it develop into a profitable and exciting franchise opportunity
Amanda Feather started working at Oakleaf in June 2000, and soon realised the potential of getting out on the road and taking product samples directly to customers. She found it easy to get on with Oakleaf’s clients and create good sales opportunities and it soon became clear these visits were proving to be a resounding success. So, when Oakleaf decided to establish its own company-owned operation, Amanda was the logical choice to run it.
“Before joining the Oakleaf team, I had renovated a couple of historic buildings, which gave me a good understanding and skills to transfer to this role,” she says. “Still, all you really need to run a franchise like this is an eye for design and people skills.”
Oakleaf is seeking franchise owners who are practical, hands-on and hard working, with business experience and who recognise the importance of promoting a business. An interest in interiors and a passion for the brand is beneficial and, as the role often involves visiting customers in their own homes and introducing the product at local shows, they should enjoying meeting people, both privately and professionally.
As an Oakleaf franchise owner you will manage the marketing, sales and installation of the company’s unique products within your large and exclusive territory.
New franchise owners attend a one-week course at Oakleaf’s factory, where they learn about all aspects of the business including the product range, promotion (including introduction to mobile showroom/exhibition trailer) and on-the-job training with Amanda.
“I am more than happy to help new franchise owners with anything from sales and marketing to teaching them about the products,” comments Amanda. “Working with Oakleaf isn’t like a job to me, it’s so enjoyable. The team is great, the products are amazing and customers are always happy with the end result.”
Supported by the ‘tools’ provided as part of the franchise package, Oakleaf franchise owners can easily introduce the company and its products – whether personally via the mobile showroom at local shows, or with the help of associated retailers who have agreed to site product displays within their premises.
The Oakleaf product range is of a very high quality and exceptionally unique. Every product that the company makes is copied from originals using a process that was originally developed for the restoration of stately homes.
The Oakleaf range can cater for any cosmetic project, from panelling a dining room or putting in a few beams to a complete home make-over. There is also an exclusive range of accessories such as pelmets, corbels, plate racks and fireplaces. It is the convenience, variety and easy installation of the Oakleaf products that makes it so appealing to customers. Oakleaf can save time and upheaval when compared to a complete re-fit.
Comments received from franchise owners – past and present – have underlined the company's motto that seeing really is believing, and new franchise owners are quick to realise the importance of allowing customers to see the product first hand.
“When converting a barn into my new home I used Oakleaf’s beams, nobody believes me when I tell them that they’re not real,” says Amanda. “It is a great example of how realistic and authentic Oakleaf’s products are.” As well as having a full-time job and various other commitments outside work, Amanda fits in the running of the Oakleaf franchise into her evenings and weekends.
“The great thing about this franchise is that it's so flexible. Anyone can do it and fit it in around their lives – it doesn't have to be a full-time commitment. The best thing about it is that I’ve found there's a real social element to it as well. I’ve met some lovely people and, once a job is over, I've often been invited over for dinner, or a barbecue. I have to say it’s the best thing I've ever done,” beams Amanda.
Reported by Tiffany Brooking