Thank you, to all of you that have been pushing me to get back to actively making jewelry again, after my detour through franchisee hell.
For anyone thinking of buying a franchise, my only advice is DON'T!!
It is not like a normal business. When it fails, you can't just quit, unless you are willing to declare personal bankruptcy. It is a whole other world that comes closer to indentured servitude than your own business. A recent newspaper article (6/19/15 - Contra Costa Times) quoted a study that said "71 percent of California franchisees operate at a loss or are just breaking even".
What you don't realize at the beginning is that the franchisor is not in the same business as the franchisee. And when the franchisor does not own and operate any of the units themselves, they become completely out of touch with the issues the franchisees are facing.
So, if you are considering purchasing a franchise, listen to the unhappy owners you meet and factor in what they have to say. The franchisor will tell you that they don't follow the systems or that they don't work hard enough, but that is not the entire story. Multiple unit owners will tell you some locations work out and others don't - and there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason why sometimes.
Purchasing a franchise can easily turn into a black hole sucking in all your time and money. While I achieved many positives from owning a Curves franchise, it was supposed to have been a business, not a charity. Be very careful of signing a franchise agreement if you can't afford to fund it throughout the length of the agreement.
I'm happy to be almost recovered from my time as a franchise owner and ready to get back to all the other things that had to go by the wayside during that time period. I look forward to getting new creations up on the website. Thank you for your patience!