I met Judy Klein at a holiday party for Realsource affiliates, a group we are both members of. During our conversation we found that we had quite a bit in common, particularly that our businesses happened to focus on different ways of dealing with “stuff.”
Where SIR JUNK takes unwanted items away, Judy’s business iCAN rents pods for portable storage and moving, offering customers a cost-effective way to handle belongings they want to keep during a move, renovation, or crisis situation.
Besides finding common ground on the ‘type’ of businesses we run, we also found we had a similar mindset in running them. Both SIR JUNK and iCAN are independent businesses in industries that are filled with franchises. In our conversation we found out how that locality and independence are some of our greatest assets.
Visit their website at https://www.icanstorage.com/
- Favorite place to travel?
- Any national park. Give me my hiking boots and a mountain and I’m a happy girl.
- Favorite actor/actress?
- Tom Hanks. With very few exceptions, if he’s in a movie you can pretty much count on it being good.
- Favorite movie?
- Wizard of Oz. Doesn’t everyone want to go over the rainbow now and then? That, and Shawshank Redemption. Every time I watch it I pick up another nuance.
- What is something you love about the town you live in?
- It has a small town feel while being close to the city and to Harriman State Park, where I get my hiking in.
- Favorite restaurant in Bergen County?
- Any place in Ridgewood. I love being able to “bring my own!”
- What is the inspiration/story behind iCAN?
- After owning a staffing business and living corporate life for 30 years, we sold the business but weren’t ready to retire. We were looking for something completely different, where each member of our team – my two eldest sons, my husband, and I – could use each of our different skill sets to maximum advantage and where we could deal directly with consumers and build relationships with other businesses. It was quickly evident after a little business research that there is an enormous need for portable storage and moving services. And so iCan was born.
- What have you found as some of the major benefits of being a local (non-franchise) business?
- First of all is flexibility: the flexibility to provide the level of service that guarantees a great customer experience and therefore a great recommendation; the freedom to add services where we see an opportunity, such as iBins, our new service where we rent large plastic bins for moving, and autonomy, the ability to say yes to our customers, for example when they want a delivery to a fairly distant location – we are not bound by territory constraints.
- What are some of the challenges?
- So far the biggest challenge has been a “happy problem” – keeping enough containers in inventory to meet demand. Apparently a lot of people really like excellent service, quality products, and expert delivery!
- Good story about your work?
- This one’s a little funny – we got a call from a divorcing couple. They needed two iCans delivered to the driveway of the house they were selling: a 16’ unit and a 20’ unit. I’ll let you guess who got which one!
- What is something about your line of work that people wouldn’t know?
- It’s actually extremely rewarding. You meet people at the best of times – for instance, in the excitement of doing a new construction project – and in the worst of times, like a flood or fire. Across the board, they are unbelievably grateful for the assistance and reassurance we provide, knowing that their things will be safe at an uncertain time.
- Hobbies or other things you do for fun?
- I love winter. I’m an avid snowboarder (as are my boys), love to snowshoe, hike, bike, and run – I’ve got 6 half marathons under my belt but no, that doesn’t equal 3 marathons. That distance is NOT on my bucket list!
- If you had an attic full of junk who would you call…SIR JUNK or the Tasmanian Devil? And then Tasmanian Devil is in the middle of a tornado?
- Sir Junk is the nobility of junk removal. I like to tell people, if you want to save it, call iCan; if you want to toss it, Sir Junk is your man.