Suit and Tie Need Not Apply: How CCI Makes Blue-Collar Work A White-Collar Experience for Employees

August 28, 2018

Sometimes family-owned businesses get a bad rap, and people assume nepotism, entitlement and dysfunction are par for the course. At Creative Colors International (CCI), the nation’s leading on-site repair and restoration franchise, nothing could be further from the truth. Built on a 38-year history of providing superior customer service and superior employee retention, CCI has developed a reputation as a service company that does blue-collar work and provides a white-collar experience, not just for customers and franchise owners, but employees as well.CCI Corporate culture is "professional, but laid back."

With 82 locations in 28 states with 160+ mobile units operating across the country (and still growing!), CCI has established itself as the industry leader in repairing and restoring leather, vinyl, plastic and fabric. But it’s also established itself as one of the best family-owned franchise businesses around, boasting employees who have been with the company for 20 and 30+ years. No one stays with a company that long if they don’t like coming to work!

We sat down with company president and co-owner Mark J. Bollman to learn more about what makes CCI so special to employees.

How would you describe the “culture” at CCI Corporate?

Professional, but laid back. We are not a suit and tie company. Never have been, never will be. We are a service-based business that does blue-collar work and offers white-collar service to customers and opportunities to employees and franchise owners. We provide great restoration services, but our main focus is creating great customer experiences. People are our priority. Our founders started this company with a belief that if you focus on taking care of your employees and the customers, profits will follow. That has proven to be true at CCI.

Mark, you are a member of the family in a family-owned business. How do you convey that “family” feel to non-family employees?

It’s not the name or bloodline that matters here. The bottom line is how we treat each other, and that’s with respect. We give everyone a chance to be their own person and empower them to do their jobs. There is no micromanagement here! We encourage open communication and are very sensitive to family time, emergencies and personal growth. Every employee receives that same level of consideration and empathy. We want to treat our staff the way they want to be treated. Of course, there are daily duties and job responsibilities that need to be managed, but we don’t believe in over-working our people.

What is the average tenure of an employee?

New franchise owners and employees are always coming on board and in our corporate locations we have technicians that have been with the company for 20 and 30 years. Our office manager has been here 24 years. I would say the average tenure is around 15 years. A lot of this is because we strive to give employees an opportunity to make excellent money. Sure, we have perks like flex-time off, paid holidays, bonus, health insurance, 401K etc., but it’s not always about the benefits offered, it’s about the pride in which someone does their work, and then being acknowledged and appreciated for it. Also, people enjoy the great work environment where everyone gets along and has fun.

Do you have to be a franchise owner to fit in at CCI?

No, you do not. Opportunities exist around the country to be a certified service technician performing repairs, or in outside sales, or even staff at corporate offices.

Technician at CCI mends a leather chair Are there growth opportunities within CCI? (outside of being a franchisee)

Yes. Technicians who perform work in the field may choose to retire from the field and then become a corporate team member and help support our franchise network by becoming a field consultant, outside salesperson, or even a trainer depending on how many years of field experience they have. We have many employees who have grown with the company, which lets us know we are doing something right. It isn’t just luck that we are still around. Hard work, great employees and a great service that is needed in the marketplace makes the growth potential at CCI limitless.

There are currently openings for certified service technicians nationwide. If you are interested in becoming part of the Creative Colors International family, we’d love to hear from you! Apply Online Now!