banner_left1franchise
banner 3 home
banner 4

Register for Premier Events
Events scheduled in the next 90 days:
Oct. 28 - 2014 October Discovery Day/Williamsburg
Oct. 29 - 2014 October Financial Workshop/Williamsburg
Dec. 2 - 2014 December Discovery Day/Williamsburg
Dec. 3 - 2014 December Financial Workshop/Williamsburg
Jan. 12 - 2015 Premier National Convention/Marco Island


Premier Rental-Purchase is registered with the SBA on the Franchise Registry
The Premier Companies was named the 5th fastest growing franchise in the United States by Franchise Times magazine.




New Store Opens in Charlottesville, VA
chris darden.jpg
 Chris Darden & Family
 
Christopher Darden literally grew up in the RTO industry. At the age of 8 he was in his parents', John and Donna Darden, ColorTyme Rent to Own store most days after school. During this time, Christopher began learning how to care and upkeep the product properly as well as interacting with the diverse customer base. At the age of 16 he was out on the truck learning to professionally deliver and service product as well as learning how to effectively manage customers' accounts. Now he is opening his own store, partnering with the man who gave him his start - his Dad, along with his former supervisor Mike Hubbard.

Christopher's parents opened the first Rent-To-Own store in Charlottesville, Virginia with the assistance of the late Willie Talley. John worked for Willie in Texas and as a result of John's solid production for his company, Willie wanted to put John and Donna in business for themselves. "Who better to learn the nuts and bolts, particularly in regards to sales, service, and the financial end of the rental business than from Willie Talley" said John. Joe Arnette, current Director of Training for Rent-A-Center, hired me into the business in 1976. Joe taught me store operations and also instilled in me the highly positive attitude for the rental business that I have always carried. He also taught me that "if you break the product you pay for the product. It was Willie Talley who built upon the vast knowledge and experience that Joe gave me and took it to the next level. I have truly missed him!!"

The Dardens owned three ColorTyme stores in Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. The company had grown to a point where they recognized the need to start hiring quality manager trainees. A good friend of theirs knew they were looking for their first manager trainee and asked if they would be interested in interviewing his brother. This was in 1983 and this was when they were first introduced to Trooper Earle. Trooper came on board as their first manager trainee and this was the start of a relationship that continues today. Trooper had performed incredibly. The Dardens, along with an associate of John's, decided to open a new company with the idea of Trooper running the operations. "Trooper has an incredible work ethic and a solid grasp on the numbers that make our industry successful" stated John Darden. Under Trooper's direction this new company quickly grew from 1 store to 5 stores in just a few years. In February 1990, John sold his 3 stores back to ColorTyme corporate and went to work full time with Trooper. In October 1990, John and his partner agreed to sell to Trooper their share of the company and Trooper became the sole owner. John remained with Trooper running the operational side of the company. John says, "Troop is terrific at looking at financial matters and determining what it takes for a financial forecast to work. My strength has always been operations - it was a great team!" The company quickly grew from 5 to 16 stores and was one of the largest ColorTyme franchises in the country. In 1995 John decided it was time to take a break from RTO and left the industry. In 2000 a friend called and asked to meet. This was the beginning of John's return to the business that he truly loved. In 2001 he went to work for a medium sized regional RTO company where he took underperforming stores and quickly turned them into profitable stores. This is where he met his close personal friend turned business partner Mike Hubbard. This also marks the time when Christopher decided to leave his restaurant management career and return to his home - RTO.

Mike is a 21 year RTO veteran who spent his entire tenure with one company. Mike was a very successful Regional Manager and sales trainer for the company he worked for and really developed the potential that high end product offers both the company and more importantly the customers. "Our customers deserve to be able to have access to every home furnishing product that the entire buying public has access to. It is good for the customer and good for business" said Hubbard.

Mike, John, and Christopher bring well over 50 years of combined RTO experience to their business. According to Christopher they are ready to offer the industry something special: a commitment to exceed customer expectations while offering great value." Christopher feels that by not being strapped down with the bureaucracy of a larger organization that they can "explore our creativity while concentrating on our sole mission - servicing the customers."

With that as their shared mission, the biggest issue was to research all of the available options for the financing of the store. After reading of the great success Trooper was having with assisting new dealers in the starting of their own business as Premier dealers, Christopher decided to give him a call. Impressed with the program, as well as Trooper's easy, fair, and no pressure style, the three partners felt that joining the Premier family would support their goal of setting up a successful operation.

"Trooper and Dan Whitsell, Premier's CPA, walked us through the process of obtaining SBA financing," said Mike Hubbard. "There is a certain art to dealing with banks in particular. Trooper and Dan did a great job of educating us on how the Small Business Administration's system works. Dan Whitsell is a solid professional whose knowledge of the finances in the Rental Industry is critical in preparing and implementing your financial forecast. He has been with us every step of the way" said Christopher Darden.

The name of their corporation is Eklesia, Inc., Latin for "the called out ones" according to Mike Hubbard. "We feel we have been provided an opportunity to use our God given talents and we plan on making the most of the opportunity that God has provided us with," said Mike.

For John, his new partnership is a "dream come true. I had hoped that one day I would have a business with my son. The fact that we can begin this venture with someone as talented and as gifted as Mike Hubbard makes this experience that much more surreal. I have been very blessed. The plan is to stay focused and we feel like we will be very successful!"
Related Articles :
No related articles
 
 
 
Home | About | Press | Franchise | Contact | Privacy
Premier Email Access
 
Other franchise opportunities from Premier Companies
Premier Rental Purchase | Premier Home Furnishings
Premier WheelWorkz | U Getcha Cash | Premier Auto by Rent
Website Disclaimer
The Premier Companies, 5248 Olde Towne Rd., Suite 11, Williamsburg, VA 23188, 800-277-3643, #F5558 The information contained on this website is for general informational purposes and is not intended as an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. Certain states regulate the offer and sale of franchises. Our registrations for certain of The Premier Companies have not yet cleared in all of these states. When you contact us, we will determine if you are covered by one of these laws. If you are, and we are not yet registered under that state's law, we can determine how quickly we can offer a particular franchise to you. California: These franchises have been registered under the franchise investment law of the state of California. Such registration does not constitute approval, recommendation or endorsement by the commissioner of corporations nor a finding by the commissioner that the information provided herein is true, complete and not misleading. New York: This advertisement is not an offering. An offering can only be made by a franchise disclosure document filed with the Department of Law of the state of New York. Such filing does not constitute approval by the Department of Law of the state of New York.
Copyright Premier Companies 2014
verticle yellow bar

Click here to see video interviews with Premier franchisees and company execs.

Coshocton Premier Celebrates 2nd Anniversary
When Jeff Gibson and Ron Semelsberger first met during their days at RentWay, they developed a strong mutual business respect for one another. As the years went by and they continued to work together, their business respect grew into a friendship that led them into discussing the future that would eventually lead them into opening their own store one day.
...more

 
Rich Barton Opens New Connecticut Premier Rental-Purchase
His entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to customer service are some of the factors which helped Rich Barton make the decision to open his own rent-to-own business.
...more

 
RTO Veterans Open Premier Store in Maryland
Tim Strachan has come full circle in the Rent to Own industry over the past twenty two years. In 1990 Tim went to work for a Rent-To-Own company that, at the time, was owned by The Premier Companies' President and CEO Trooper Earle. The store was located in LaVale, Maryland which is located outside of Cumberland, Maryland. From 2000-2006, Tim was a store manager for Rent Way. His Regional Manager was Shawn Newman, and their relationship continued after the sale of Rent Way.
...more

 
Drew Summa Celebrates Store Anniversary
Drew Summa began his Rent to Own career in 1989 after he left the United States Marine Corp. His first position was as a delivery driver. He worked his way up the professional ladder to hold a District Manager position within the industry.
...more

 
Four Stores and Growing
After 25 years in the Rent to Own industry working for someone else, Jim Forker has now opened his 4th Premier Rental Purchase location and is now making money for himself!
...more

 
Premier Opens store in Miami, FL
After a 10-year hiatus, Rodger Lyn is re-entering the RTO industry as a Premier dealer in Miami. Being a Rent-To-Own dealer wasn't even on Rodger's radar until recently. But going into business for himself and owning his own Premier dealership has become an entrepreneurial adventure like none he could have imagined.
...more

 
Grand Opening for New Jacksonville Location
...more