Juggling Franchises and Family – Celebrating a Mother Who Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way
Family comes first for Serina Daniel, but that doesn’t mean the family business suffers. It means she’s become an expert at running two Milex locations and a household by taking advantage of the flexibility of franchise ownership.
Serina and her husband Albert own the Milex location in Frederick, Maryland and the Milex/Alta Mere location in nearby Boonsboro. Their son, Joshua, is 15-years old and was just a toddler when the couple opened their first store in 2007. Serina admits the balance between business owner, mother, homemaker, and wife is not always divided equally.
“Although it’s frustrating at times, I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Serina. “I think it’s safe to say that I share this sentiment with many great women worldwide.”
Joshua grew up around the family business and witnessed first-hand the hard work and dedication his parents have put into running their business together. He’s proud of the effort his “mama bear” puts into juggling the business and taking care of him.
“She’s always there for me,” said Joshua. “She goes to all my games, after-school activities, and teacher conferences – all while being a successful business owner. At work, she’s very confident and professional in the way she carries herself and interacts with the customers and staff at the stores,” he said. “She is really good at what she does, and that makes me proud.”
Serina says the role of being working mother is constantly evolving, even more so these days as the coronavirus pandemic has forced schools to cancel in-person classes. She gets up early in the morning to make sure Joshua is set with his remote schoolwork before heading to the family’s Milex store in Frederick.
“The recent transition to online classrooms and homework has added another dimension to the learning process,” Serina said. “Fortunately, Joshua was up to the challenge. He’s quite proficient with online technology, so that part of the transition came quite easy for him. The bigger challenge, at first, was finding the self-discipline required to complete his work in a timely manner.”
“This is where I come in,” she continued. “I wouldn’t say I am an expert in technology, but I have access to monitor his schoolwork. Together we make a great team, whether he realizes it or not.”
Serina will work in the office until about 4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. each night before returning home to make dinner and help with homework. Her responsibilities at both stores range from accounting and human resources to customer service. It keeps her quite busy, but she says creating her own schedule is a big advantage to owning and operating your own business.
“I truly appreciate the flexibility that comes with our family owning the business,” said Serina. “It affords me the opportunity to attend school functions, schedule doctor visits for my son, and even plan visits to the vet,” she continued. “In the end, everything gets done.”
Since the beginning, Joshua has been around the business that his parents have grown over the last 13 years, which exposes him to the hard work and dedication that the four-time Milex Franchisees of the Year pride themselves on.
“We’re proud that we are able to provide a career and full-time income for the employees at both of our stores,” Serina said. “We’re also glad we can offer perks to reward our employees like Christmas dinners or closing the shop early to take them out for crabs.”
“It’s been pretty fun from the beginning,” Joshua said. “Whenever I show up to one of the stores, the staff will greet me and welcome me there.”
In any business that encompasses an entire family, children will typically help where they can. Joshua is no exception.
He has assisted Serina with some of her administrative duties such as organizing and filing papers and matching bills with invoices. He also sweeps and mops up around the store, takes out the trash and helps Albert in the shop by refilling fluids. Lately with school out, he has done more manual labor and helped his father in the garage with oil changes or changing tires. He will continue to do more of that this summer as a paid employee.
Serina is proud of her son and feels like he would be a great asset to their team, if he decides to go in that direction with his career.
While no one knows what the future holds, the immediate future means there are Mother’s Day celebrations on the horizon for this busy working mom. While there are no specific plans made yet, Serina says family time is what she looks forward to most of all.
“I’m sure Albert and Joshua will come up with something!” she said with a laugh. “Maybe cooking out on the grill or having a fire out on the patio. This is what we work hard for, so let’s enjoy it!”