Like Mother, Like Daughter – Creative Colors International’s Success Rooted in Family Ties

August 7, 2017


Creative Colors International isn’t JUST the nation’s leading on-site repair and restoration franchise. It’s an American success story. It’s a story about triumph and perseverance. Empowering women. And it is a family affair. Creative Colors International’s founding began with a story many people are familiar with, out of necessity.

In 1975, Jim and JoAnn Foster worked together at an Illinois manufacturing plant in town outside of Chicago. JoAnn resigned when Jim received a promotion. One month later, in a stunning turn of events, Jim was fired, leaving both unemployed.

For five years, the couple took on odd jobs just to pay the bills and make ends meet to support the family. Miserable, overwhelmed and stressed, JoAnn made the bold and daring decision to invest in herself.

J&J Creative Colors was established in 1980 when JoAnn turned an ad she noticed in a newspaper into her own company. Within months, the company was creating so much business that Jim quit his 50-plus hour a week job to join his wife.

From day one, women have played a pivotal role in Creative Colors International and it’s always been a family affair. For Terri Sniegolski, who is an owner of Creative Colors International, she never imagined still being involved with the family business dozens of years ago. “I clearly remember my parents talking about business at the dinner table when I was in my late teens, and I HATED it,” says Sniegolski. “The first time I worked for them I still lived at home. The business dinner talks now went beyond the dinner table. I couldn’t get away from it.”

Little did she know her parents were planting seeds. Those seeds started to sprout in the mid 1980’s as she was pursuing a legal career that she felt a strong urge to get involved with the family business a second time, but she was concerned about her family’s inability to separate personal and business matters. It’s that experience, that shapes her current policies.

“I try to stay focused on what I am doing at the present time,” says Sniegolski. “When I am at the office, I try to stay focused on business and the task at hand. Once I leave the office, I try not to glance at my phone once I sit down to dinner with family. Business in the evening, and on weekends, always comes down to what the family is doing, my motto is ‘Family First.’”

It’s that perspective that helped Terri embrace working for her family’s business. And that’s when the company really started to blossom. In the early 1990’s Terri used her legal background and years of field experience to help create a franchise-model of her parents’ company, Creative Colors International. That decision gave other blue-collar entrepreneurs the ability to create their own million-dollar company. To date, the nation’s leading on-site repair and restoration franchise has grown to 76 locations in 28 states.

“Women are visionaries,” says Sniegolski. “When we decide, we tend to come up with hundreds of different scenarios and how they will play out. We look at the whole picture rather than just what is in front of us. We are confident when we make decisions because we have played things out in our mind multiple times and know how we arrived at that conclusion.”

Sniegolski is fond of her past, but is always looking toward the future. And she is confident in Creative Colors upward trajectory, crediting, President Mark J. Bollman, her siblings, the entire corporate staff, and all franchisees for their consistent hard work.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about where we are at Creative Colors International,” says Sniegolski. “We are in an extremely fast growth pattern right now – sales are up and our franchised territories have increased 33% the first six months of this year. And with the growth of the franchise owners, we have set new goals regarding the amount of national accounts we want to sign and employees we want to recruit around the country by the end of the year.”

After more than 25 years leading a multi-million-dollar empire, Sniegolski can pinpoint her success both in and out of the office, to one person.

“If I had to pick a specific mentor who has been the most powerful influence on my life from a personal and professional perspective, it would be my mom,” says Sniegolski. “She taught me how to think like an entrepreneur, to not be afraid of risk, and to value family and personal relationships above everything else. I can’t thank her enough for the role she’s played in my life and everything her and my father did to set Creative Colors International up for lasting success.”

Could you see yourself joining a family-based franchise lead by executives as open, honest, committed and transparent as Terri and the entire CCI corporate team?   If so, get started by visiting http://www.CreativeColorsIntl.com/ or give us a call at 708-478-1437.