Shona Bascon spent almost three decades in the oil and gas industry, working for Shell Oil Company. She loved her time working for the energy giant, the stability it afforded her family and the opportunities she had to advance within the corporate ranks. Her career at Shell spanned roles in public affairs, health and safety, continuous improvement coaching and quality assurance. She later rose to a North American lead role. But the oil and gas industry is volatile and in 2019, Shona decided it was time to move on and take an early retirement package.
With her kids off to college and some newfound time on her hands, Bascon began remodeling portions of her house. She found that she quite liked it, but didn’t have the desire to do all of it by herself. This realization would later play an important role in her franchise selection.
“I guess you could say that I’m a home improvement kind of person,” says Bascon. “It wasn’t long before I realized that I both wanted and needed to stay busy.” Bascon was no stranger to franchising, having owned a residential house cleaning service many years ago. She met Diana Trondsen, FranNet’s Market President for Houston and the Gulf Coast Region, at an outplacement event and decided to get serious about giving the entrepreneurial route another try. She was impressed with how far along the investigative process has come.
“I was impressed that FranNet is only involved in quality franchise concepts,” says Bascon. “The assessment process was a fun exercise and we ended up looking at two finalists. In the end, we went with Gotcha Covered because it was the more scalable opportunity. They didn’t require a bunch of employees or a large inventory to maintain.”
She officially opened for business in January and spent much of her early time networking, learning how to use social media and search engine optimization to her advantage. “I was making sure to represent the brand as best I could,” says Bascon. When COVID-19 began to spread and everything was placed on pause, the real concern began. “I was nervous about starting a business just as the pandemic arrived, but I was pleasantly surprised by what happened next,” she remembers.
Sometimes, tough times can actually produce opportunity. And that’s exactly what happened. “When everyone switched to working from home, people would get on these Zoom calls and take note of each other’s homes, their décor in the background and especially the lighting,” said Bascon. People also noticed their current shades or lack of them weren’t working, driving interest in window coverings and other interior decorating ideas. Needless to say, business and appointments have really picked up. Bascon even had to recruit her daughter to help out with setting up client meetings.
Shona Bascon is glad she put her trust in entrepreneurism the second time around. Her experience with FranNet really opened her eyes to how far the industry has come over the past 20 years. “People like Diana [Trondsen] are noticeably trustworthy,” says Bascon. “They truly want to find the best franchise fit for your lifestyle and goals. There’s a sincerity there that’s both obvious and appreciated. She still follows up with me to see how I’m doing.”
Bascon has high hopes for the future. If business continues to increase, she’d like to expand her Galleria Uptown business and possibly prep the franchise for a legacy handoff opportunity for her children. “But I’ll still be around to do what I do best—interact with the customer to educate them on window coverings,” she says. “It’s what I do best!”
For more information, please visit Gotcha Covered of Galleria Uptown on the web.