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Lemons to lemonade feature #7: Amy Adams

Friday, November 21, 2008
Amy Adams, mother of three - ages 21, 19 and 10, is a partner in the professional junk removal company 1-800-GOT-JUNK? Atlanta South franchise. Amy and her husband started their franchise along with Amy's father, Jerry Grayson, in May of 2006. Since then they have been helping people remove junk from their homes to ensure that it does not end up in landfills. Items that are reusable are donated to Atlanta local charities such as Clothes Less Traveled and Blessings Thrift Store for Haven House. Any other recyclables go to Dell Walker's Enviro Recyclers, including plastic, glass, cardboard, metal, wood, concrete, soil and e-waste. Amy admits that tough economic times means people are less willing to pay her to take away their junk. Here is her story...

How has this economy affected you, your business and your family?
I realize I had a pretty easy ride when I first opened my business and now I’m really learning what it’s like to find new residential customers and commercial clients. This has undoubtedly put some strain on me and ultimately my family – I’m working harder than ever before - but this experience is also making me a more confident entrepreneur.

How are you making lemonade from lemons?
I’ve really had to reevaluate who my customers are in down times – there’s always business to be found you just have to recognize new market needs. I decided to focus on two key areas that did not require much financial investment but helped me capture a relevant market:
  • Owning online - a few months ago I had no idea about online advertising, let alone free online advertising – I turned to my teenage daughter for help and also hired an Internet savvy employee. Together we’ve created about 20 online links that keep my website ranked high in search engines.
  • Foreclosure - this isn’t a nice topic but it is a new business market for a junk removal company. We help people who are moving and downsizing. We are also reaching out to property managers and banks that are being left with piles of abandoned household stuff.

I believe putting in the extra effort to build a good online presence and to reach out to new clients will ensure that my company is in good shape, and hopefully ahead of the competition, for when times get better.

Any encouraging words you would like to offer mom entrepreneurs?
I try to remember that every day is a learning experience. Everything you try may not work, but you’ve learned something valuable from it. It’s just like we tell our children, “if you fall down, get back up and try again." Winners are just losers who keep trying.

For more information, visit or call 1-800-GOT-JUNK? (1-800-468-5865).