Fast-Fix Franchisee Profile: Chris Whitehurst
Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repairs at The Avenues Mall in Jacksonville, FL
How long have you been with the brand?
The location has been in the mall since April of 1996. I started working there in January of 2000 while I was in high school. I was looking for a part time job and fell in love with the way the work at Fast-Fix always challenged me. I learned something new every day. At a certain point, it was time for me to make a decision about college or to work full time. I didn’t want to sit in another classroom, so I decided to hunker down and do something I was really enjoying – working with jewelry and watches. I began working there full time, and by age 19 I was managing the day to day work whenever the owner was out of town. In 2005, when I was about 23, the owner was looking to retire and sell the store, and I was ready to buy. I have now been working here for 16 years. I want to hire people who remind me of myself when I was young – who seem to have a love for the business.
What was your first job ever, before this?
I bagged groceries when I lived in Tallahassee. I moved to Jacksonville in 1999 at the beginning of my junior year of high school.
What made you stay with the brand?
I knew the store was profitable because we had a lot of business – it was a niche business. I learned the trade from the ground up and knew what improvements I wanted to make, so I saw this as an opportunity to help put my ideas in action.
What were your perceptions of franchising before starting the process?
By the time I bought the store I had an idea of how franchising worked. I have family who owns a McDonalds in New Jersey. When I first got into it I didn’t totally know how it worked, but I have learned a lot.
Are you involved with any charitable organizations? As a business or on your own?
Not presently, but we have made donations to the Special Olympics in the past.
What’s next for you and your business? Do you have any development/expansion plans with the brand?
I would like to open two more locations down the road. The St. Johns Town Center is one I have been looking at. I know the brand is planning development in St. Johns County, too.
Tell us about your family, and any hobbies or activities you take part in within your local community.
My mom is a Cuban immigrant who moved here at age 9. My dad is an engineer. I grew up in Tallahassee for 16 years then moved to Jacksonville. I am a passionate Florida Gator fan and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
ABOUT FAST-FIX JEWELRY AND WATCH REPAIRS®
Established in 1985, Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repairs® is the world’s largest and most trusted consumer choice for jewelry, watch, eyeglass frame, and smartphone repair services as well as custom jewelry design and personalized engraving services. Fast-Fix has more than 150 locations in the United States, England and Ireland, including more than 100 franchised locations. Each store is staffed with industry certified expert jewelers, watchmakers, watch repair professionals and smartphone technicians who provide high quality, timely services, often in less than one hour.