TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® CEO Jeff Wesley is participating in the 7th annual Dapper Dads Challenge and Fashion Show hosted by the Sparrow Foundation’s Women Working Wonders (W3). He is among the roster of Michigan business and community leaders competing to support women’s health through the fundraiser.
These dads campaign to receive $5 votes that benefit W3 who strive to support the physical and psychological health of women throughout mid-Michigan. In addition to taking part in a runway fashion show in downtown Lansing, Mich., the top 13 contestants are featured in the Dapper Dads calendar.
Previous TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Dapper Dads include Executive Chairman Brig Sorber and President Randy Shacka, who claimed 13th place in 2015.
“Randy is pretty dapper, and so was Brig!” said Wesley. “It would be great to stay in the top 13 but at the end of the day, I hope Dapper Dads raises more money for a good cause. If that happens and I can contribute, that is a good day.”
The opportunity to give back to the community and help those in need is a core value TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® holds near to our hearts.
“I am most excited to help Sparrow. As a hospital it is so important to so many people to continue to expand in scope and capabilities. Many people, families, and this community depend on the support. Dapper Dads allows me the chance to give back on behalf of myself and TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®,” said Wesley. “Plus it may be a little fun!”
Having admitted to never being in a runway show before, he joked it never quite made it on his bucket list but is sure it will be an unforgettable experience.
Jeff’s not the only one making playful jokes, his two daughters, Erin and Emily, are getting in on the fun, too! They have been sharing first-hand why they think he is a Dapper Dad with reasons ranging from his great taste in wine to playing in the snow. The girls have also shared heartwarming stories such as how he always puts his family first, has taught them how to cook, and that he has a good heart.
“I love my daughters, they are two of the biggest blessings I have in my life. To walk, laugh, cry, and celebrate life’s journey with them is one of the things that I have to celebrate and thank God for every day,” said Wesley. “I am so blessed for who they are. I will take every minute of goodness I can get with them.”
You can support Jeff in the Dapper Dads Challenge by voting for him until Wednesday, June 8! Attend the fashion show to watch him work the runway at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, June 9 at Kositcheck’s in downtown Lansing, Mich.
Moving can be very stressful. Aside from hauling heavy furniture, balancing cardboard boxes full of fragile items, and struggling to stay organized amidst all the chaos, moving between homes can also be financially demanding. An unexpected major expense can really derail your yearly budget.
There are ways to keep spending under control, however. If you have an upcoming move in 2016, use these tips to prepare yourself so you don’t feel the sting of excessive moving expenses.
1. Change your mindset
Treat your home budget as if you were running a business. Not only will you take money more seriously, but you’ll discover plenty of new ways to look at spending. To start, make sure all major expenses are justified by weighing the total cost against the potential returns. Develop a reserve fund in case some element of the move goes amiss. Pay close attention to each expenditure, and eliminate those that aren’t working.
When you treat your family finances as if you were a professional accountant, you’ll quickly find yourself more prepared for any unexpected moving expenses that may arise.
2. Cut costs wherever possible
If keeping your move costs as low as possible is a top priority there are ways to minimize the expense. If you plan on keeping the same phone and internet services, then you can take your equipment with you. You can pack your belongings yourself, schedule a shut off date for utilities to avoid paying for time you are no longer there, cancel or forward any magazine and news subscriptions, and be sure to be ready when the movers arrive.
Not only should you cut costs that directly relate to the move, but also those that arise indirectly as a result of the move. It may be tempting to eat out or take quick sightseeing excursions when you’re in transit, for example, but those options cost more money than making sandwiches and playing board games in the hotel.
3. Get quotes from more than one reputable mover
Every moving company has different rates, and some of them are much higher than others. Do keep in mind that cheaper isn’t necessarily better and you will get what you pay for. The most important part is understanding what you are buying, what is included in the rate. Conveniently many companies such as TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® offer free online estimates but you’re always welcome to call. Be cautious when considering nonprofessional movers, as scammers and thieves abound. A truckload of lost or stolen belongings will end up costing you much more than the services of a reputable company. Take the time to read reviews of the company and ask friends or family who have used the movers how their experience was.
4. Predict major upcoming expenses
Factor your moving expenses in with any big ticket purchases you plan to make throughout the year. Being aware of upcoming costs can help you to shift things around in your budget enough that you won’t have to scramble for extra money at the last minute.
If your schedule allows, booking your move on a weekday versus weekend is typically cheaper as there is more demand for moving on the weekend. If you have the flexibility, you may also consider timing your move to fall during a less financially stressful time of year.
5. Track your finances using an app
Budgets can be hard to follow, especially when you’re juggling receipts and bank statements. By using an app to simplify the process, you’ll be able to review your budget more often and stick to it more naturally.
Mint is one such financial tracking app that makes it easy to keep tabs on your income and expenses. You can easily create budgets and get a bird’s eye view of where your money is going, as well as manage your bills and monthly expenses.
6. Take only what you need
Moving can be a great incentive to do some spring cleaning, and getting rid of unnecessary possessions can make your move easier and cheaper. Take the opportunity to do a large eBay sale or an old-fashioned yard sale to recoup some of your expenses. You may find that the money you make can heavily subsidize your moving costs.
If you can’t sell all your unneeded items, donate the rest to charity and claim a deduction on your yearly taxes to save even more.
7. Claim work relocation expenses on your tax return
On the note of deductions, the IRS may allow you to claim a moving deduction if you are moving for employment. As long as the distance from your old home to your new workplace is at least 50 miles greater than the distance from your old home to your old workplace, you’ll likely qualify.
This deduction applies to all reasonable moving expenses, including the cost of the move, hiring a professional moving service, and insuring your possessions. You can also deduct several other expenses, including the cost of temporary lodging or the cost of storing your possessions at a facility.
With a little time and careful planning, you can ensure a smooth, successful transition to your new home without breaking the bank.
Alice Williams is a digital communications expert for AT&T with an MA in Communication Studies. She writes extensively on communication, business and tech and is currently based in Salt Lake City.
Congratulations, you’re a homeowner! The next best thing to transforming your new space and making if feel like a home, is filling it with all the people you love. Say “cheers” to your new house, it’s time to celebrate with a housewarming party!
Prep your home
Don’t wait too long to host your housewarming party, if you want your home to be absolutely perfect, you might never have one! Do be sure you are mostly unpacked with personal belongings put away. Having boxes cluttering the way for your guests will be uncomfortable and take away from the beauty of your new home.
It’s okay if each room isn’t fully put together yet, but remember to at least have a clean hand towel, soap, and toilet paper in the restroom.
Feed your friends (they’ll love you for it)
There are so many options, and all equally delicious! You can never go wrong serving drinks and buffet style appetizers such as pigs in a blanket, sliders, veggies, and mozzarella bites. Other crowd pleasers include a backyard barbeque, going potluck style and asking that everyone bring a dish, or roasting hotdogs and s’mores over the fire.
Who to invite can be tricky, especially if you’ve moved long-distance and don’t know many people in the area yet. This is an ideal opportunity to meet your new neighbors and co-workers in a fun, casual setting. If you’ve only moved a few blocks away, your friends and family will be excited to come and celebrate your new home.
If you’re extremely crafty, grab paint swatches from your local hardware store to create themed DIY invitations. If that’s not your thing, send a quick e-vite!
It’s a party, have some fun! Our favorite ideas and housewarming activities include:
Set out recipe cards for guests to share their favorite with you.
Place an address book out to gather your closest friend’s addresses.
Set up yard games such as corn hole, badminton, volleyball, or jumbo Jenga!
Get the kids involved and put them in charge of giving tours.
Create a playlist to play in the background and keep up the energy.
Buy a few disposable cameras for guests to capture the fun. You’ll enjoy the surprise of seeing what was taken.
Most importantly, enjoy having your friends and family over to help warm your new home! If you have any housewarming party ideas or tips, we’d love to hear them! For more inspiration, check out our Pinterest Housewarming Party board.
Like us on Facebook for more helpful tips and updates. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!
May is National Moving Month and at mortgages.com, we talk a lot about what goes into moving including finding the right realtor, house hunting, and negotiating. But what happens when you’ve done this and you realize your new town is quite different from where you used to live? Like, really different. Don’t let homesickness set in. With a little planning you can settle in and make it feel like home in no time.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but unpacking is a lot of work. Once you’ve already put in a days work, it’ll be tempting to leave things in boxes while you take a break. Suddenly, that break turns into years and you’re scrambling to find that piece of art your mother-in-law gave you to quickly hang up before she visits. It’s much better to bite the bullet and unpack everything within the first week. Not only will it be one less thing hanging over your head, you’ll also be surprised at how much more at home you feel once everything is put away.
Get the kids settled
Be sure to take time and communicate with your children about this big change. It’s also important to see how they’re feeling throughout the process. To help them settle in, this is the time to get them into sports teams, summer camps and clubs, or school activities. Being the new kid is rough and it’s even worse if you don’t have any way to meet people. Plus, you get the added bonus of meeting other parents when you drop your kids off. Who knows, you might just make some new friends yourself. Our friends at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® have excellent tips for moving with kids!
Find a group
Regardless of whether or not you have kids, it’s always important to take some time for yourself in a new town. Join a group, take a class, or start introducing yourself around the neighborhood. If you’re not sure where to begin, start with your city or county’s website to find classes or join a group on a site, such as Meetup.com.
Stay in touch
Keeping in touch with people from your old town will help you feel connected and supported throughout your move. If they live close enough, invite them over for a backyard BBQ once you’ve settled in. They’ll enjoy visiting your new home as much as you love being there! If you’ve moved long distance, set up a Skype date, give them a call, or go old school and write a letter.
Embrace your town
Yes, it’s important to stay in touch with your old town, but don’t get stuck in the past. Really embrace the culture and lifestyle in your new town. Find out where the favorite local hangouts are. Go to all the festivals you can. Take some time to just walk around and visit the local shops and restaurants.
Remember to think of this exciting new beginning as an adventure. So long as you make the effort, you’ll feel at home in no time at all!
Kylee Della Volpe writes about real estate trends, real-life home owner stories, and personal finance for mortgages.com. As an adult, she’s relocated from Maryland to Colorado to South Carolina.
Garage sale season is upon us! In an effort to de-clutter your home of items you no longer need while making some extra spending money, we’ve gathered our top tips to throwing a rocking sale!
Choose the date
Many communities have “neighborhood sales.” If your area does this, take advantage! Traffic will be busier than normal and those who are out are ready to find your treasures. Have your sale over the course of two days, Friday and Saturday typically have the best results, and be ready for customers early. 8 a.m. is usually a great time to start.
We recommend pricing everything you intend to sell. With people making a mess of your tables all day, you’ll be thankful each item is tagged. Pick up sticker price tags from your local dollar store, they usually have a selection of blank or pre-printed price stickers to choose from. Masking tape is a great price tag alternative. Go with “easy-to-pay-for” prices. What I mean by this is tag your items at .50 cents, $1, $5, and so on. Not .30 cents or $1.70. Lastly, price to sell! This is something my mom has always said when it comes to yard sales. You will not get $15 for your worn jeans, even if they are in good condition.
Make it a family affair
Ask your family and friends if they’d like to get in on the fun! Chances are they’ve accumulated some junk as well. Because multi-family sales are larger, they are more appealing to those driving by and provide incentive to stop. Keep items separated when selling by putting that family member’s initial on the price tag. Keep a notepad at your cash table with columns for each seller to jot down who has made what.
Prepare for the weather
Unless you are in a garage or barn, set up a tent or canopy if possible. You’ll have a shady area to cool down on a hot day and a place to move your items if it rains. Cover your tables with tarps overnight to avoid the trouble of taking your set up down just to put it back together the next morning.
Trust me when I say that appearance does matter. People are more willing to stop when they see you have items nicely set out. Put your children’s toys in one area, books and movies in another, fold men’s clothes on one table and women’s clothes on another, you get the idea. An organized sale makes it easier to look through, and buy!
Let people know!
Post to Facebook on community garage sale pages in your area, or perhaps your town’s Facebook page shares these type of updates. Purchase an ad in your local paper- normally no more than $10- and include when, where, and a brief list of items your selling. Descriptions can be as simple as “women’s clothes, baby clothes and toys, antiques, furniture, tools.” If you choose to have a multi-family sale, be sure to mention this. Most importantly, put signs out near busy intersections and at the end of your street to help direct people. Use large letters and stick with simple wording such as “Garage Sale” followed by your address and directional arrow.
Include your kids
If you have children they can easily be part of the weekend. Bake cookies the night before and set out a cooler of bottled water for them to sell, or set up a lemonade stand. They’ll love having their own job and will be occupied throughout the sale.
Donate what’s left
Pack up the items you are left with at the end of the weekend and donate them to a shelter or organization in your community. If you are in need of cardboard boxes for your donation items, visit your local TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to choose from a variety of sizes.
Do you have any garage sale tips to live by? We’d love to hear them! Like us on Facebook for more helpful tips and updates. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!
It’s officially spring which means the only thing many of us want to do is get outside to enjoy the sunshine, breathe in the fresh air, and begin working around the house. Thanks to this wonderful time of year, we’ve compiled our favorite budget-friendly project ideas to give your home instant curb appeal!
Update your front door
Give your home an easy update by putting a fresh coat of paint on the door. This is a much easier update than repainting your entire home and selecting a bright, fun door color can easily transform your look.
Perhaps one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do is plant flowers and spruce up your landscaping. Before purchasing flats of flowers or potted plants, be sure to think about where you’d like them so you know if you’ll be buying for full sun or partial shade.
With these ideas, you’ll find a renewed love for your home and want to show off its mini makeover to all your friends and family! For more curb appeal inspiration follow us on Pinterest and like us on Facebook. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!
Finding and using self-storage can be a daunting task, and if you’re looking for storage you probably already have your hands full. Maybe you’re undergoing a life change such as a move or military relocation, or maybe you simply are trying to restore order to a home that’s overgrown with clutter. Whatever your reason for self-storage, here’s the lowdown on the self-storage basics.
Why use self-storage?
One of the most common uses for self-storage is for home use. When a homeowner or renter realizes they have accumulated more than they can comfortably keep in their home, they may turn to self-storage to help manage the chaos. Some people seasonally rotate their items between their home and storage unit, including summer and winter wardrobes, swimming pool supplies or holiday decorations.
You may also consider self-storage if:
You need to store personal or business documents in a safe place
You’re a service member or college student with frequent moves
You’re a car collector or boat owner
How do I choose a storage unit?
When selecting a storage unit, while location matters, it isn’t the only critical factor. Also ask yourself which amenities you may need. For example, if you have any items that are sensitive to heat, cold, dust, or moisture, you may want to ensure the storage unit is climate controlled. Items that need climate control may include:
Additionally, think about when you are hoping to access your belongings. Some storage units have fixed hours, while others have 24-hour access. If safety is a concern, ensure the facilities have surveillance cameras, ample lighting, security fences, or management that lives on-site.
What size storage unit do I need?
For determining your storage unit size, make a list ahead of time of the items you would like to store. Units can range in size from 5’ x 5’, which is like a standard closet, to 10’ x 30’, which can contain the contents of a 3- to 4-bedroom house. In-between, there are sizes comparable to standard and large walk-in closets, as well as those that can hold the contents of multiple rooms or a small home. When choosing a size, be sure to go for something a little bigger than the items you actually have so that you are able to walk around freely as needed. Also leave some room between the walls and stored items for better ventilation.
Do I need self-storage insurance?
Generally, self-storage units do not automatically provide self-storage insurance. We highly recommended you research insurance options before storing your items. Even if a self-storage company is highly secure, floods, fires and other natural disasters could still happen. Your first stop should be your homeowner/renter’s insurance policy, as you may already have coverage. If not, you may be able to purchase add-on coverage at a better price than if you were to purchase directly from a self-storage company.
The next step if you are unable to secure insurance through your current provider is to see what kind of insurance the self-storage facility can provide. If you have items of high value, either monetary or sentimental, it may be worth the investment to pay more to insure these items. When insuring your items in storage, be sure to always include a detailed and current list of the stored items and their values.
Self-storage packing tips
If you decide to pack and move items on your own, organization and forethought are key. Try sticking to boxes that are the same size for easy stacking and avoid plastic bags, where contamination can breed. Be sure to fill out the boxes completely to avoid caving, but not so full that your boxes are overflowing. If you have oddly-shaped items, fill in the empty spaces with newspaper or packing material. Be sure not to pack your boxes so heavy that you are unable to lift them, and be sure to choose the right type of container material. For example, you may consider more heavy duty boxes for your books.
Stack books rather than standing them on-end to protect the spines.
Plates, on the other hand, should be stacked on-end and wrapped individually.
Use bubble wrap for framed art and criss-cross masking tape for mirrors and other glass.
Don’t forget to label your items and mark boxes as fragile as needed. You may consider drilling down your contents even more with a brief list of what’s in the box.
Clean, polish, wipe and treat items before their relocation to preserve and keep germs away. Cover furniture with tarp or sheets.
Take apart bed frames and other furniture for easy transport and storage. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® recommends taping all the pieces to the main base during the packing process to avoid misplacing them.
Self -storage alternative
Sometimes moving your home requires additional space and added flexibility. An alternative option to storage is seeking out availability from a moving company such as TWO MEN AND A TRUCK. They provide secure onsite storage facilities whether you have just a few boxes or countless crates and furniture. This option is a perfect fit during home renovations, downsizing or during transitional living between homes.
Moving your items to self-storage
When it comes to loading the moving van, place heavy boxes at the bottom and fragile items on top, with rarely used items toward the front of the van. This way, during the unloading process, the least-used items will be pushed behind more frequently used items. Keep highly valuable items out of plain view to deter theft, and place fragile items on top of heavier, less fragile boxes.
Depending on your schedule and budget, you may decide it’s worth the investment to hire professional movers to pack and move your belongings. If this is the case, be sure to thoroughly research the moving company before entrusting them with your items. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® frequently moves items in and out of storage and arrive with fully trained, uniformed movers to ensure the process is completed with care and efficiency. If you move frequently, you may even be interested in mobile storage, where movers come to your home and pack and store your items in a cube that travels with you.
And that’s it – you are now ready to take charge of your self-storage future! Whether your life is in transition or you just need some of your space back, self-storage units help make daily living a whole lot easier.
Decluttering your closet can be quite the task and it’s definitely not the most fun weekend activity. Often times there never seems to be enough room and the mess always works its way in, despite our best efforts to find a place for everything. Through a mixture of personal trial and error and Pinterest inspiration, we’ve gathered some of the best ideas on mastering the challenge of a clean, organized closet you’ll never want to leave!
Clear out your clothes
The best way to begin tackling your closet reorganization and gain additional room is to clear out clothes. Begin by trying on everything! Yes, everything.
Keep the item if: you love it, you wear it often, it is flattering, or if it has sentimental value.
Throw the item away if: it is damaged beyond repair. If it has a minor blemish such as a missing button, this is a quick fix. If it has a rip or permanent stain, it goes in the garbage.
Donate the item if: it is in good condition, you no longer wear it, it no longer fits, or if you just don’t need it.
If you’re like me and can find a “good” reason to keep everything or there is just an item you’re feeling a bit indecisive about, put it in a bag. In three months, revisit the bag and items inside and reevaluate your decision to keep, donate, or toss out.
Go by season
Out with the cold, in with the warm. Store away your bulky sweaters, boots, and scarves in a box (or suit case!) during the spring and summer months. When the weather begins to cool down again, clear your closet of shorts, swim suits, and sandals and replace them with your cold weather items. If you’re in need of a storage box for an inexpensive price, we carry a wide variety, including wardrobe boxes!
Keep the floor neat
Floor space is commonly overlooked as an area for organization. Consider investing in a shoe rack to neatly place shoes or line up baskets or bins to store your swim suits, ties, or hats while keeping them out of sight.
Use the door to your advantage
Display accessory items by purchasing over the door hooks to hang belts, ties, bags, and scarves. Over the door jewelry organizers and shoe bins can also be a huge help, especially since shoe organizers can store almost anything!
Organize in a way that makes sense
There is no right or wrong way to organize your closet as long as it is done in a way that makes sense to you. But rest assured, once you find your organization method, getting ready each morning becomes so much easier. Some of the most common ways to organize are arranging by color, sleeve length, or by type of item. For example hanging all button-up shirts, followed by all t-shirts, followed by all sweaters and so on. Another idea is to categorize sections such as work clothes, dress clothes, casual clothes, and workout clothes.
Once you’ve found a process that works for you, hold yourself to it! This might be the most important tip in mastering closet organization. Revisit the status of your closet every few months so your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
If you have any closet organization tips we’d love to hear them! For more closet inspiration and tips, visit our Pinterest board or like us on Facebook. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!
Movers For Moms® is a community program that is a spring tradition for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. The program has been very successful and has spread to all TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations in 39 states with more than 300 participating franchises!
You may already know that three out of 10 women are victims of domestic violence. Movers For Moms® is committed to helping support women living in women’s or homeless shelters by providing essential care items for the past nine years. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® works closely with local community partners such as banks, stores, schools, and other organizations to collect items women need in their day-to-day life. Essential care items including soap, shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant are donated by the general public into boxes provided by TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and then delivered to the local shelter recipient just in time for Mother’s Day.
“Movers for Moms® was extremely instrumental in providing a wonderful and meaningful Mother’s Day for the Shelter’s participants,” says volunteer and resource coordinator of the Naples, Fla., Shelter for Abused Women & Children. “Without community support like this, the Shelter would not be able to provide our life changing programs and services, and we certainly would not be able to create such a special day for all of our survivors.”
This support extends its reach far beyond mothers in need. As we work to support mothers who are struggling, we in turn support others that depend on these women including their children, parents, and friends. An important part of the process to help build strong communities and families is doing our part to give back. Giving back is a core value that TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® employees embody and live by.
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Chair Melanie Bergeron shares the importance of the program and coming together is reaching moms across the country.
Each year our numbers continue to grow and it brings us great joy to know we are helping to positively impact lives. If you would like to get involved with Movers For Moms® or learn more, please visit twomenandatruck.com/movers-for-moms and like us on Facebook to stay updated with current program happenings!
March is Women’s History Month, so we’d like to take some time to celebrate our leading ladies: TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/International, Inc. Founder Mary Ellen Sheets and Chair Melanie Bergeron.
Mary Ellen Sheets
Brothers Brig Sorber and Jon Sorber began moving people in the Lansing, Mich., area using an old pickup truck as a way to make extra money. Their mom, Mary Ellen Sheets, drew up a logo for them and put an ad in the weekly community newspaper to help with their new found venture. The stickmen logo still rests on every truck, sign, and advertisement to this day.
Once the Sorber brothers left for college, Sheets found herself taking calls for moving services. She decided to continue booking local moves while working as a full-time data processor for the State of Michigan. In 1985, she decided to make things official and purchased a 14-foot truck for $350 and hiring a pair of movers to assist in the boys’ absence. This is the only capital Sheets has ever invested in the company.
After her first profitable year, Sheets generously donated her $1,000 profit to 10 different charities. It is this spirit that gives meaning to the company’s motto “Movers Who Care®” and led to the core value of “Giving Back to the Community.”
When a friend who shared a spot with Mary Ellen on the 1988 graduate business panel at Michigan State University recommend she franchise the business, she consulted with an attorney on the idea.
In 1989, Sheets awarded the first location outside of Michigan to her daughter, Melanie Bergeron, in Atlanta, Ga.
Melanie was living and working in Atlanta as a pharmaceutical sales representative before deciding to take on a franchise. She ran the business out of her apartment and as it turned out, the service was in demand and the company began to grow! In 1991 she became the vice president TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and in 1994, she was named president of the company. She now serves as chair of the board and has been a member on the Board of Directors since 1996.
Among the set of company’s core values is The Grandma Rule®, in honor of Mary Ellen’s mother Helen Eberly, or more commonly known as Grandma Eb. In the early years of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® when Mary Ellen was in need of a space to keep her trucks, Grandma Eb welcomed her to park the trucks in her backyard. She played an important role helping with various business duties and handling the move sheets and money movers would leave in a box on her back porch. Before long she was referred to as the “Yard Boss.”
As each of these amazing women has been honored with numerous awards and recognition through the years, they have never stopped learning and growing as individuals and businesswomen. We caught up with them in a Q&A interview!
How has working alongside one another strengthened your relationship? What have you learned from one another?
Mary Ellen: Melanie and I have almost been Velcroed together, not only as mother-daughter, but because of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. We traveled together non-stop, visiting franchisees, conferences, and speaking engagements and have many, many shared memories … touching and hilarious. I had the determination to develop TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® in the beginning, but Mel had the drive that took it to a higher level. She is the ultimate professional.
Melanie: We did a lot with pure passion and survival instincts. We didn’t have money then for outside resources. My mom taught me to work hard, wear lots of hats, be optimistic and have fun in the process. She led me by example.
Have you ever faced any gender-related roadblocks in your career?
Mary Ellen: The first gender related roadblock was more like the Alps! Moving was a man’s business, from beginning to end. None of the “good old boys” wanted some upstart women coming in and meddling in their field. They did everything they could to stop us – some very dirty tricks. We inched a long, chin held high, and never gave up. I decided early on it was more important to focus on our customers and put worries about the competition and what they were doing on a back burner.
Melanie: My mom never let the gender thing get to her. Focus on the customer. I have been exposed to many male business groups. I have learned so much by listening and learning from their best and worst practices. The key for all business people is to not just listen and learn but implement. I see a lot of analysis paralysis.
What advice would you share with young women preparing to begin their career?
Mary Ellen: I’ll leave this question to Mel. It was easier for me, I was 46 when TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® first began, single and my kids were grown and out of the nest. I didn’t have to contend with all of the young family issues.
Melanie: Get in the habit of taking care of yourself now. Chances are if you want that career you will work hard for it and get it. So … career will be time consuming, marriage, kids, life. It will be very important for you to find balance to have energy in all areas. For me, I got up very early to work out, pray, and have peaceful reflective time. It made be a better person all day.
What are your favorite things to do?
Mary Ellen: I’ll be 77 this year, so my entertainment is simple. I have always loved to read, watch movies, and boating (as a passenger!). My husband and I spend the winter in Florida. We enjoy visiting with friends and family.
Melanie: I find joy in my quiet morning time, praying and reflecting – everyday. I love to cook! I can’t think of anything more relaxing than chopping vegetables. I love to be with family. I love animals and little kids. I love to be active and doing anything outside. I’m pretty simple!
Mary Ellen: I am beyond blessed. I thank God every day for our success and am proud we have provided good jobs for so many, and of course, good moving services for our customers. I wish my parents could see. I loved them so much.
Melanie: God has blessed my family and TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. I’m so thankful. I’m thankful that God is the center of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and it continues to bless others in quality service, job creation, career opportunity, and relationships.
Thank you to our leading ladies for your dedication and leadership! Without the determination and hard work of Mary Ellen and Melanie, and all those who have played a part in TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s growth, we would not be where we are today.
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!