September 10, 2019


Here at Creative Colors International, we talk a lot about family. That’s because family is important to us. So is community. Today, we’re going to share with you a story that’s a great example of one CCI franchise helping another and how that action not only benefited BOTH franchises but was also a major money-saving win for an entire tax-paying community.

The story starts with Creative Colors International franchise owner Andrew Bensimon. Andrew is an owner/operator, meaning he owns the business and does all the work himself. (It’s one of the unique benefits to the CCI business model: YOU get to decide if you want to have employees or not!) Andrew was presented with a fantastic opportunity: representatives from the Berkley County Public Schools contacted him for help with their damaged and deteriorating seats in the system’s crucially important school buses.

Now, any parent can tell you that kids are rough on vehicle interiors. Imagine what hundreds of them can do to a school bus! “The most common areas of damage came in parts of the seats closest to the aisle, particularly in the front or rear corner of the seat,” said Andrew. “The seats become worn over time, or a seam splits and comes open. There was also damage that comes from the students poking holes in the seat with a pen or pencil or pulling on the upholstery.” The repairs are not just a matter of comfort and appearances; the buses will fail state safety inspections if they have tears or damage to the seats. The work had to be done in order to have the buses in service for the next school year.

Did we mention that Berkley County Public Schools is the largest school system in West Virginia? Those buses are important!

Andrew knew the job was big, and on top of that, the turnaround demand was quick. “The school year ends around mid-June, and then the buses go back to the central depot for inspection. Everything needed to be completed by mid-August.” That first job included inspecting 247 buses and repairing 470 items during the summer of 2018.

As a crew of one, Andrew knew he would need help to get that much work done. “I knew there was no way I could have done the job just by myself. I didn’t want to turn it down because it was a great opportunity, but I had to figure out how I could make it happen,” said Andrew.

Naturally, he turned to his Creative Colors family. “I am fortunate to have a very supportive and proactive owner about two hours from me. Jim Faber (owner of the CCI franchise in nearby Richmond, Virginia) saw the value and the potential in this work. I asked if he would like to collaborate on the project and assist with manpower and he jumped at the opportunity.”

After being pleased with Creative Colors’ work on the buses in 2018, Berkeley County increased the standards to fix additional damages this year.  Together, Andrew and Jim replaced more than 1,500 items from the fleet over a span of six days this summer.

“It is a big relief having a company that will take care of these repairs to the seats of our buses,” says Brian Potts, Assistant Director, Department of Transportation for Berkley County Public Schools. Potts estimates that the school’s partnership with Creative Colors International saves the school system (that’s YOU, the taxpayer!) between $10,000 to $20,000 per year by having all the buses inspected and repaired at the same time.

“By making these repairs, Andrew is making sure every student in Berkley County travels in the safest and most comfortable manner possible,” added Potts.

In the end, the collaboration turned into a win-win-win: a win for both franchise owners Andrew and Jim, who understood the value of supporting each other, and also a win for the client, in the form of thousands of dollars in cost savings.

“I feel that collaboration is one of the most underrated values of franchising,” said Andrew. Their work shows the benefits of working together.

As for the school system, the benefits are obvious. “Having a company like Creative Colors do this work is putting the ultimate faith in someone to provide for a child’s safety,” said Potts.

Family and community coming together for the win!