I-10 Self-Storage is a Family Affair
By Kaity Sitzman | Published in Inside Tucson Business Jul 13, 2012
Walk in the front door of the office at I-10 Self Storage and you’ll most likely be greeted by owner Joanne Herder, her daughter Jenna, or one of their three dogs. On the wall above the front desk is a row of old family photos the Herders proudly display.
Take a peek back though the doorway and you can catch a glimpse of what could be the living room in your own home. There’s a couch with pillows, some side tables decorated with your grandmother’s old lamps, and even more family pictures covering the walls.
““We decided to run it ourselves and run it right.”
Family has been the heart and soul of this business from the very beginning.
Years ago, Joanne’s father, Jim Kesicki, had a plot of land and her brother had the idea to build a self-storage unit on the property, located on the west side of Interstate 10 about half-way between the Prince Road and Miracle Mile exits. In 1981, Jim brought that idea to life and built the business for his son.
Over the past 30 years it has been operated by various members of the Kesicki family, but in 2007 Joanne and her husband, local construction and development businessman Pete Herder became the sole owners.
In the past, they hired managers to run the daily operations, but two years ago they decided that it would be best to keep everything in the family. That’s when their daughter Jenna stepped in to help her mother run the business.
That wasn’t always the plan; it was something she fell into.
“We decided to run it ourselves and run it right,” said Jenna, who added she’s never been happier.
It’s been a big commitment, but they’ve loved every second of it.
I-10 Self-Storage was one of three original storage businesses in the Tucson region. Over the years they have faced some challenges, most of them concerning their location. Thirty years ago, the area around their business was far less developed than it is these days and it was almost considered “out of town.”
Getting people to store with them wasn’t easy, but business grew through word of mouth. They knew that customer service would set them apart from their competitors and to this day, they pride themselves on customer care. Both women said that it has really made a difference when dealing with construction activity surrounding their business.
The Arizona Department of Transportation has been widening Interstate-10 and reconstructing the Prince Road traffic interchange in an attempt to address traffic congestion. It has made business access difficult, but their loyal customers have stuck with them and kept the business successful.
While things are going well now, Joanne explained they still want the business to grow. In the future, they plan on building commercial office spaces on their front lot.
“After the construction on the highway is finished people will be driving by our place all the time. It will be very convenient,” she said.
I-10 Self-Storage has 350 units in a range of sizes and about 75 spaces in the yard for RVs, boats and other vehicles. The business offers move-in specials, promotions and will match lower prices in town (if you can find any). They don’t sell moving supplies but offer their customers clean, secure storage with the best possible customer care.
At the end of the day, that’s really what it’s all about for the Herder women. They want to take care of clients the way they would take care of their own family.
“It’s not just a business, it’s a second home, a family history,” said Jenna.
It’s not only part of their own history, but part of Tucson’s history. It has been a small family business since the beginning and they plan to keep it that way. The family built the business from the ground up, so it has a lot of sentimental value.
Working together has made the pair’s relationship stronger.
“I couldn’t ask for a better job. We are mother and daughter, but we are also best friends,” said Jenna. “We’re a team, we support each other 100 percent.”
Customers are treated like family at this home grown business and that’s the way the Herders plan to keep it.
Big Business Meets Mom and Pop in the Self Storage Industry
Posted on Jul 13 2012 - 6:28pm by John Stevens - http://blog.extraspace.com/news/big-business-meets-mom-and-pop-in-the-self-storage-industry/
For many industries there are only a few large companies that really dominate the market. For shoes its Nike, Reebok, and Addidas. For soft drinks it is Coke and Pepsi. For domestic beer, the market is dominated by either Budweiser or Miller Lite. Not all industries are like that though.
While it may not be at the level of the aforementioned industries, the self storage industry is not small potatoes having grown to become a $20 billion+ a year industry. Globally there are close to 60,000 facilities worldwide; over 50,000 of them are in the United States alone.
So not only does the self storage industry gross a significant amount of money, but in sheer numbers alone the industry is quite large. While it definitely qualifies as a large industry in the United States, it is not like most large industries.
Now there are some large corporations within the industry. The top five alone own around 4,850 self storage facilities, or approximately 9.5 percent of the total within the U.S. Another 30,230 companies own the remaining facilities. Of those companies, 27,650 of them are the proud owner of a single facility.
One such ‘Mom and Pop’ self storage facility is the I-10 Self Storage in the Tucson, Arizona area. The facility is now run by Joanne Herder, but she is the second generation to run the facility. Her father came up with the idea of building a self storage facility on a plot of land he owns back in 1981.
Through the years one member of the family or another operated the facility. Sometimes they had managers in charge of the day to day operations, but in 2007 it was decided that it was time to keep it all in the family. That was about the time that Joanne and her husband Pete took over ownership of the facility.
Sometimes when you visit the facility you might see a third generation of the family holding down the fort, Joanna’s daughter Jenna.
“It’s not just a business, it’s a second home, a family history,” said Jenna.” I couldn’t ask for a better job. We are mother and daughter, but we are also best friends. We’re a team, we support each other 100 percent.”
I-10 Self Storage Being Constructed in Background, 1981 - Left- JoAnn Herder holding daughter Jenna Herder - Middle- James Kesicki, Founder I-10 Self Storage & Golden Pin Lanes, Builder of Many Tucson Homes - Right- Gregory Kesicki, son of James Kesicki, Brother of JoAnn Herder, Jenna Herder's Uncle, First Manager of I-10 Self Storage