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From 'hunks' to husbands

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  • How hunks turn junk into gold

    How hunks turn junk into gold

    In today's tough job market, more and more people are starting their own businesses. But how do you come up with that million dollar idea? Two young men in Tampa are going nationwide with an idea that's already made them...
    In today's tough job market, more and more people are starting their own businesses. But how do you come up with that million dollar idea? Two young men in Tampa are going nationwide with an idea that's already made them...
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

When I first met the founders of College Hunks Hauling Junk, Omar Soliman and Nick Friedman were the kind of single young men who share an apartment and use boxes as furniture. They told me how they used Soliman's mother's beat-up van to earn some extra money.

The name 'College Hunks' was a joke, but they're laughing all the way to the bank. They now have College Hunks franchises nationwide. They live in nice homes, and the hunks have become husbands.

Soliman has a 2-year-old son and Friedman may not be far behind.

AT HOME WITH HUNKS

I had a chance to spend a couple of hours with Friedman and his new bride Jen Loveridge at the historic mansion they purchased recently on Tampa's Bayshore. She's a former elementary school teacher who first met Friedman and Soliman out on the town.

"We just started talking about the business," recalled Friedman.

Loveridge had never heard of College Hunks.

"I thought it was a pickup line," she laughed.

But they began dating and she realized he was telling the truth about his growing business.

HIS AND HERS

Neither of them knew that entrepreneurship is apparently contagious.

"I was always watching him with his business and just how much fun he was having," said Jen. Now she's in the game with a new business called Party Artsy. "It's a paint and wine party concept."

It starts with some bottles of wine, paint, and canvas. As the vino flows, a professional artist helps party-goers make their own masterpieces.

"Believe it or not, Lloyd, I painted these," said Friedman, pointing to a couple of paintings leaning against a wall in their home. They look good to me and him, but I also notice that Jen hasn't hung them on the wall just yet.

MY DAD IS A HUNK

While Nick and Jen showed me their home and their paintings, business partner Omar was holding down the fort at the College Hunks "world headquarters" in Ybor City. They now have 50 customer service reps dispatching crews of hunks nationwide.

Omar showed me a tiny 'Hunks' t-shirt that fits his 2-year-old.

"When we're short a guy on a truck, we'll throw him on the truck and get some free labor out of him!" joked Omar.

Even though the head hunks are now husbands, there is still a dose of frat house at their headquarters, with soft furniture, cartoons on the walls, and the loose atmosphere you'll find at many 21st century start-ups.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Husbands or not, the hunks aren't resting. They have around 50 franchises now.

"We envision, within the next three to five years, to be between 150 and 200," said Nick pointing to a map of the United States.

Omar told me about one of their new businesses, called Two Maids and a Mop. The maids will be paid based on performance ratings from customers.

As it turns out, that business launched from an old van and a funny name was a pretty good idea.

And there's no sign that the two college friends will tire of entrepreneurship.

"It's kind of like the American dream come true," added Nick.

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