Lexington, KY – It all comes down to service. Many successful people have come by their first work experience through an early job in food service — looking to earn and learn. A restaurant is a great place to hone customer service and communication skills.
Frans Munoz saved enough of the money he earned while working at Mi Mexico restaurant for almost a decade to open his own store, Frans’ Furniture.
“I like to meet people,” he said of his wait-staff experience. He founded his business on a principle of customer service.
“I really do love interacting with people. It’s my talent,” Munoz said. “That’s the successful part of this business. We never get tired of people.”
Another priority for Munoz is providing an affordable product. The signage on his storefront includes the phrase “muebles economicos,” which is Spanish for “affordable furniture.”
Munoz came by his business acumen genetically. His grandfather had a small hotel; his mother owned a grocery store.
“I grew up with business,” he said. “I knew you have to save. My mother always taught me you need to do what you like to do.”
Munoz set out to merge his love of furniture with a desire to own his own business. While working at Mi Mexico, and then at El Toro Mexican Restaurant and bartending for parties, he started buying furniture pieces at yard sales in high-end neighborhoods and estate sales, collecting inventory for his future store.
Born in Génova, a village in Guatemala with a population of fewer than 4,000 people, Munoz won a scholarship to Kentucky State University in 1995. He learned to speak English when he arrived in Kentucky.
“I wanted to be social, so I had to hurry up and learn as much as I could,” he said.
After the two-year international studies program, he returned to Central America for a couple of years of community service, “to pay back for what my country did for me,” he said. Another scholarship landed him in Spain for an 18-month public relations course.
By the early 2000s, his mother and brother were living in Las Vegas.
“It’s too hot down there for me,” Munoz said of Nevada. “I fell in love with Kentucky. I really love this area and this state.”