Meet Megan Duffy the woman proving the junk removal business is not just for men
The franchise industry is no longer a man’s world as more women are making their entrance today more than ever.
As a result, women are ready to gain more representation and become entrepreneurs and leaders of their own industry. One woman in particular entered a male dominated franchise system and has made a name for herself in both her company and local market, meet Megan Duffy, franchisee of The Junkluggers of The
For over 20 years, Megan worked in advertising for national commercial buying and selling. She traveled from the Jersey Shore to New York City every day, and the four-hour commute started to take its toll on her. Megan has two young children and would get home after 8pm on most days. As a result, she would miss after-school
homework, dinner, and bedtime. On the weekends, she would try to make up for the quality time she missed out on during the week by scheduling as much family time as possible, but something was still missing.
“I felt like I was in limbo each passing day, as traveling to the city took up too much of my time,” said Megan. “I loved my career but had this feeling of wanting to do more with my time, my family, and my community. I wanted my career to have a sense of meaning to another person.”
It was not until Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore that the idea of a new career path started to take shape for Megan. After the destruction of Sandy, she called a junk removal company to pick up her non-usable items, where they came by and filled up the truck, and left. About two years later, she called them again when moving homes and wanted them to pick up and donate a sentimental dresser. Megan was shocked to see her beloved dresser thrown in the back of the truck and of course, left broken, after they had promised to donate useable items.
“After they left, I did not have a good feeling from that experience and started researching other junk removal brands in my area,” said Megan. “That’s when I came across The Junkluggers and was blown away by their mission of keeping reusable items out of landfills.”
In 2018, Megan entered the world of franchising and opened her own Junkluggers location in her community of Monmouth and Ocean Counties on the Jersey Shore. She wanted her community to know and trust her, especially the facilities where her customers’ items would be dropped off. So she sat down with the employees of donation centers and charity partners to discuss how to make the drop offs seamless for everyone, something no one had done before. “I wanted people to know who I was and not just another company dropping off items and leaving,” said Megan. “Part of running a business is building relationships, and my local Goodwill will hand my business card to customers that have items too big to bring to them by themselves. Every day I am overwhelmed with the amount of support I receive from local businesses like these.”
Not only does Megan want herself to be known in her community, but also her team too. Just look at her location’s Google reviews and you will see the fantastic experiences her crew has created for residents and businesses. “I tell my crew to lead with respect and understand they could be walking into someone’s most
difficult situation,” said Megan. “Our crew can do a job, get the money, and walk out the door, but at the end of the day, if we did not relieve stress, make the customer happy and create a positive experience then we haven’t truly done our job.”
One of the best experiences she had with her crew to date was cleaning out a woman’s kitchen that was just in the process of being redone. “We lugged her kitchen table, which she bought 30 years ago on her honeymoon and she loved dearly. Then we ended up going back for another job at her house months later, and I KNEW it would be the first thing she asked about, so I told my crew to take a picture of it to show her that we didn’t just toss it,” said Megan. “When my crew arrived, she asked if it was sitting in the landfill. She
was shocked it was still in our warehouse and not dumped somewhere. A few weeks later, we donated the table to a safe house for a domestic abuse situation where a woman and her children had no furniture.
I called the customer to tell her about her table’s next journey, and she was elated.”
At the start of the pandemic, Megan’s whole crew quit, and she ended up hiring two women Luggers to join her crew. Around town, word spread about her all-female crew since this was completely unheard of. They even had customers call to apologize after a completed job because they had low expectations of women Luggers.
“Rory (Breslin) and Ashley (Ventura) were very efficient, professional, and strong Luggers and would even
vacuum up after lugging away items,” said Megan. “Our all-female crew created a lot of chatter across the Jersey Shore, and it proves that the junk removal industry is not
just for men.”