Another Entrepreneurial Journey: Meet Jeffrey and Michelle Thompson

I’m Teri Villanueva, FranNet’s territory consultant for San Antonio and Austin. I’d like for you to meet a recent client of mine, Jeffrey and Michelle Thompson, who own the Red Wing Stone Oak franchise in San Antonio, Texas. Early this month, the couple were the subject of a news interview with KSAT-TV, the local ABC broadcast affiliate. Excerpts from the segment are paraphrased below, but you can watch the full interview here, entitled “Military couple’s business aims to help veterans make smooth transitions back into civilian life.”

Thanks to the assistance provided by Teri Villanueva of FranNet of San Antonio & Austin, Jeffrey and Michelle Thompson are embarking on a whole new entrepreneurial lifestyle. Below, in their own words, the couple share the story of their FranNet journey…


Jeffrey and Michelle Thompson are both veterans of the U.S. Air Force who recently made the decision to retire after 20 years of duty. Like many veterans who transition back to civilian life, the decisions of what to do next can be tricky and even overwhelming.

On Becoming an Entrepreneur

Jeffrey was well aware of the risks in deciding on an entrepreneurial future. “I would be lying if I said I was a little bit afraid, right, I mean, that’s normal. A lot of late nights discussing this with my wife and our family, you know, having conversations about what’s next.” His wife Michelle drew upon her experience in formulating a mission to accomplish a goal. “You have to really take a step back and figure out, OK, what do I want to accomplish in life? Because being in the military and surrounded by the military, you’re focused on one thing and that’s the mission and once that’s taken away, you have to figure out what’s your mission.”

Why Franchising?

Jeffrey was sold on the idea of owning a business of their own. “When we came to this opportunity, we were thinking about the fact that most of our career, it’s been leadership and project management. And those two skills are the essentials, I guess, of business ownership as well.”

How FranNet Helped

Working with Teri Villanueva, who manages the San Antonio and Austin market for leading franchise broker FranNet, the Thompsons needed to find a business opportunity that aligned with their values, their motivations, their work-life balance, and their investment level. After reviewing multiple franchise concepts, a clear favorite emerged in the Red Wing boot company. Jeffrey explains, “Because we’d spent so much time with the Air Force, we were looking for a company who had the same type of long history and strong organizational culture, so we decided that Red Wing was the right fit for us.” What stood out to the Thompsons was Red Wing’s on-brand culture, consistent with the values they shared during their time in the service, as well as the company’s commitment to the hard-working segment of American workers.

Where Do You Stand?
Jeffrey and Michelle are quite optimistic about their future as business owners, confident that they’re doing their part to contribute to the local economy. Jeffrey agrees, “I always think about the post-pandemic environment right now. We’re kind of helping the economy get back on its feet. I think cutting a path and then showing other folks that it’s possible is really encouraging, so we’re looking to do that through this organization for the years to come.”

For more information, please visit Jeffrey and Michelle Thompson’s Red Wing Stone Oak store on the web.

Jul 21, 2021