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Women Winning with Franchising – Closet Factory

Polly Lestikow - Women Winnig with FranchisingMeet Polly Lestikow, co-owner of the Closet Factory Denver franchise, along with her husband Mark. Closet Factory Colorado has been providing homeowners with the highest-quality, personalized storage solutions for 25 years. Her pride in her business shows in every way – from their reviews to their employee relations to their results.

Closet Factory has become a leading closet company franchise with locations throughout the United States. Their national network of Franchisees are dedicated to creating the best custom closet organizers possible, and continue to be the leading innovator of truly custom home organization solutions. This is an affordable franchise with good territory still available nationwide. Reach out to Your Franchise is Waiting to learn more.

1. Tell me about your background

I graduated from George Washington HS in Denver, went on to Colorado College and graduated from CSU with a degree in Food Science and Nutrition. I obtained an MBA in Marketing from Arizona State University while working full time as a clinical dietitian. I worked in dietetics for 20 years before my husband and I purchased a Closet Factory franchise.

2. What was happening in your life that caused you to want to own a business?

My husband and I have strong leadership skills, have always been open to risk and were confident that we could build a strong team and be successful. Mark had been traveling a lot in his previous positions and wanted to enjoy the young years of our 3 children. It was important to us that our business was Denver based and did not require a 24/7 commitment.

My husband started our business as I focused on our children, aging parents and worked part time in dietetics. As our company grew I became frustrated with my career that was not seeing any growth in opportunity or compensation and chose to join Mark in sales and sales management.

3. Why franchising (did you consider a startup)?

We were impressed with the business model and the strong focus on marketing and sales that Closet Factory offered. Neither of us have a background in manufacturing or home improvement, which has been beneficial in our success.

4. Why Closet Factory – did you look at any other options?

We considered many options, but many of them were in the food service world. I knew that space very well and did not want to go there. I grew up in a very organized household and I always valued the tools and skills that my mom used in keeping us all straight. Closet Factory offers so many tools that make a huge difference in how people live their lives. It has always been important to me to do meaningful work and I love that our clients love what we do for them!!

5. What would you have done differently now that you know what you know?

When I began managing our sales force, I took a number of great courses in sales and sales management. I’ve developed a good hiring process. I try hard to hire well and fire quickly, but I don’t always follow my own rules. If I had to do it over again, I would be more rigorous in the hiring and management process.

6. What’s the best thing about owning your own business?

  1. Providing meaningful work for 65 people and helping them support their families.
  2. Making our customers delighted that they chose to work with us. We celebrated 25 years in business in January.
  3. Achieving financial success to support our family, our athletic and travel goals and providing financial support to many charities in Denver.

7. What’s next for you?

I have recently stepped down from sales management and will focus on design and sales which is my true passion. We are grooming our youngest son to buy us out and run our business. He has a strong background in finance and marketing and is a clone of his wonderful father! Mark and I will continue in our roles in business development, marketing and sales for me.

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