It doesn’t take much to talk the talk of giving back to your community. Actually stepping outside your comfort zone and making a difference is a lot harder. Rachel Sherman knows it’s true, but she isn’t scared of a little hard work.
Rachel is the new owner of a TSS Photography franchise in southern Florida. Her business serves the entire tri-county area of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach.
Increasing the personal investments her business devotes to the community is important to Rachel. When the opportunity to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity popped up, she didn’t hesitate to say yes.
Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity
Even without volunteering before, Rachel was no stranger to the mission behind Habitat for Humanity.
“A friend of mine works for a lighting company here in southern Florida that works very closely with Habitat for Humanity,” Rachel said. “His company is a huge advocate for the charity. Through his boss, I learned about Habitat doing a house build with the work done mostly by women.”
Rachel lost no time getting in touch with the representative in her area and finding out more about the project. The more she learned, the more excited she became, and before long she penciled in her business group as volunteers on the project.
“When you sign up, it’s for a four-hour chunk of time,” Rachel said. “We arrived at 7:45 a.m. to learn more about what they expected from us. It was great, they explained how the whole shift works and told us how everything with Habitat works. They explained how they aren’t just giving houses away, but that the family who will move into the house still has a 30-year mortgage, but that it is interest-free.”
Rachel, with her crew of eight volunteers–made up of both her permanent staff and freelancers–were surprised to learn the families who will move into Habitat for Humanity homes also must invest sweat equity into their future homes. Their smiles grew when they learned their project house had a family excited to move in.
“We were painting that day,” Rachel said. “It was really hot too. The heat index was 107 degrees. The Habitat staff kept walking around to make sure we were all drinking enough water.”
Why it’s Important to Volunteer
There are a lot of businesses in southern Florida and you can bet not all of them are working in their community to give time back. Rachel, even as a new owner of her TSS Photography Franchise, realizes the importance.
“I think it is important to have our name out there doing more than just taking pictures,” said Rachel. “I may have only owned this business for a short time, but I worked with the previous owner for about 25 years. You get to know the principals and the league managers. You build relationships with the parents who buy photographs from you.”
Rachel continued to explain some of the families she sees may get photographs taken by her business five times a year.
“Depending on how large the family is, what sports they are involved with and whether we are the ones shooting the photos–some families see us often,” Rachel said. “I want them to know we don’t just provide our photography services. We want people to realize we are here to give back where we can and giving time and energy to help the community.”
Thoughts on Owning a Franchise
Rachel started at 18-years old working with the previous owner of the territory her franchise serves. Several years ago she began to invest, and recently she took the final step to finish purchasing the franchise.
“I like what I do because every day is different,” Rachel said. “I like that we do both sports and school photos. I love watching the football kids and school sessions are simple and efficient. I love working with the people at our headquarters now, they are warm and welcoming. When you ask for something, they help you find a way to get it. It’s not a 9-5, Monday-Friday kind of gig. I like that.”
Interested in learning more about what other TSS Photography franchise owners have to say about their business? Check out this blog about being a mom and running a business at the same time.