Franchise Philanthropy

Karen Catney Feels Right at Home as a Lice Business Owner

Franchisee gives back to children and families on professional and personal level   

Karen Catney’s career as a Lice franchisee was destined to be. Owner of the Quinte/Kingston Lice Squad location in eastern Ontario since May 2017, Catney always had a knack for working with children.

Prior to joining the head lice removal franchise, the former psychotherapist works alongside the Children’s Aid Society for 17 years, giving her time and professional experience to help children and teens in the child welfare system secure residential placements.

So, when the opportunity arose to become a small business owner with Lice, Catney couldn’t say no. “I thought it would be great to own a Lice franchise because I would still be able to help children and work with families,” she says.

Providing natural, eco-friendly lice removal products, Lice has become a popular solution for a growing number of Canadian families in search of safe and effective lice products and services. Since its founding in 2001, the franchise has educated the public on how to prevent and remove lice, offering educational seminars for students, parents and teachers in addition to encouraging franchisees to conduct free talks and workshops in their local communities.

“We’re really trying to bust the stigma and show that anyone can get head lice,” Catney says. “It has nothing to do with socio-economic status or cleanliness, and that’s something we as franchise owners promote every day.”

Karen Catney and Lice Founder and CEO Dawn Mucci

Much to Catney’s delight, Lice is also a strong supporter of the Children’s Aid Foundation, an organization in partnership with the Children’s Aid Society. Since 2014, the franchise has donated $1 to the Foundation from every Lice Premium Head Lice Removal Kit sold and best day system-wide service revenues generated the week prior to Head Lice Awareness Day, held annually on September 17. The Foundation helps support abused and neglected children in the welfare system through a variety of educational, healing, and recovery programs.

“Head office has created a family and community-oriented culture that focuses on charitable giving,” Catney says. “It’s a business but it’s not money-focused, which is an amazing thing to be a part of.”

Outside of the Children’s Aid Foundation, Catney is using head office’s encouragement to get her franchise involved in more local charity events.

The business owner was operating her business for only a few months when she joined “Street Style”. The initiative, based out of Belleville, provides free haircuts, meals, and backpacks filled with school supplies to families in financial hardship. For their part, Catney and her team got involved by providing free head lice checks for children at the event, and gave removal products and educational resources to families whose children did have lice.

The business owner has also gotten her location active in Prince Edward County’s annual Festival of Trees. Every holiday, companies in the area decorate a Christmas tree to be auctioned off for the event, with the money raised distributed to local hospitals. The Quinte/Kingston location began the tradition this past Christmas, filling their company tree with Lice products.

It’s this type of charitable giving that Catney says makes her role as a Lice franchisee even more rewarding than it already is.

“Being able to provide our services through various charity events makes it so worthwhile because there are so many people out there that can’t access our services,” she says. “It’s such a powerful feeling that something so small can add up so big for so many people.”