Discovery Point Blog
Franchisee Profile: Carmen Mesa, Owner of Discovery Point Trouble Creek and Discovery Point Terra Bella
Carmen Mesa was on a run with her husband when she first came across Discovery Point. She had a good job working for American Express at the time, but with all of her children grown up and out of the house, she was looking for her next adventure.
“After my children grew up and were off at college, I realized I wanted to find a job that I was passionate about, that could provide me both personal and financial success,” said Carmen. “Once I saw the Discovery Point sign, I immediately picked up the phone and made an appointment.”
After expanding their search to other childcare franchises, Carmen and her husband chose Discovery Point based on the turn key business model and the connection they made with company founders, Cliff and Diane Clark. In the fall of 2007, they opened their first childcare center.
“We loved the flat franchise fee, and that Discovery Point allowed us to make the centers our own,” said Carmen.
With her corporate experience in sales and finance, her husband’s education and experience in business, she knew they could be successful. But even with their backgrounds, they lacked knowledge of the childcare industry and needed guidance in choosing property and oversight of construction. They weren’t sure what to expect and knew they would need some help getting started.
“We had no idea how to put together something this big,” Carmen said. “We had never dealt with starting a company from the ground up, but with Discovery Point we had everything we needed at our fingertips, even the paperclips. With their help, we were able to open our center without a hiccup.”
After seeing the success they had in their first center, Carmen and her husband opened their second center in Florida in the spring of 2010. As the owner of Terra Bella and Trouble Creek, Carmen loves the freedom owning a Discovery Point gives her, personally and professionally.
“I’m a workaholic, but by owning my own franchise, I am able to step out for a couple of hours whenever I need to,” said Carmen.
She credits her staff for allowing her to have the freedom to come in and out of the center as needed. Carmen also praises her staff for providing the best childcare possible for their community.
“You can’t forget that your success comes from your staff. I am only as good as my directors and teachers,” she said.
Discovery Point also allows for Carmen and her staff to create and run their center guided by their own personal vision for childcare. Discovery Point provides the foundational structure with policy and operational procedure, but the owners each implement the standards in a way that best serves their families.
“We have a lot of autonomy when it comes to running our centers, the franchise trusts us to decide what is best for our community,” said Carmen. “But, if we need them, they are there for us.”
Though both of their centers have been extremely successful, what Carmen loves most is what it allows her to do for her community. With local partnerships with organizations and agencies, Carmen is able to touch more the lives of more than just her students.
“We have been able to work within the community and help charities and organizations that I am passionate about,” said Carmen, who is also a member of the local Chamber of Commerce.
“Every day isn’t easy, but every day is very rewarding,” said Carmen. “You don’t just help raise a child, you help raise a family. The parents are appreciative of what we are doing, and you get to see children flourish from diapers to seeing them walking and talking.”