In 2009, Matt Holman was working in management for a rent-to-own company, satisfied with his job and enjoying life, when a friend called and suggested he look into another opportunity. On what he knew was a long-shot, Holman submitted an application to easyhome, Ltd. for its “Be a Contender” program.

Shortly after filing his lengthy application, Holman was notified he had made the cut for the final five list, which meant a trip to Ontario, Canada for the interview portion of the contest.

Holman said he had pretty much accepted he hadn’t been chosen, when he didn’t hear from the company for more than a month, but received a call one day, while in the middle of a business meeting, informing him of his selection.

“I quietly told them, ‘Guys, I wish I could express my excitement, but I’m in the middle of a meeting,” Holman said. “Can I call you right back?”

Holman’s achievement in the process garnered him a $750,000 financing package and an easyhome franchise pretty much wherever he wanted.

In November 2010, he and his wife, Kathy, opened their first store in Odessa. Holman said the location was a simple decision, because of the oil and gas industry boom. Holman said in nine months, his store became the largest producing U.S. franchise and continues to hold that distinction.

Their new store in Brownwood is now the fourth, continuing to operate the Odessa store, as well as one in Waco and another in Killeen.

Holman is originally from Mason, but currently resides in Blanket with Kathy and their children, Lane and Logun.

“I am thrilled with our new Brownwood store and I very much appreciate all the support we have received from the community, our family and friends,” Holman said in a press release. “We are proud of the products we offer, our affordable pricing, and most especially the easyhome brand. Our goal is to give everyone the best possible customer service and experience.”

Holman employs five at the new location, including store manager David Sheffield, a resident of Brownwood since 1994.

Located in the space previously occupied by ColorTyme, between Walmart and Home Depot, at 1214 Looney St., the showroom is filled with furniture for all rooms, large appliances, televisions, DVD and Blu-Ray players, computers — handhelds, tablets, laptops, and desktops — and videogame consoles.

Holman said they have additional merchandise in two warehouses and if they do not have something a customer needs, they will get it.

Holman said his easyhome store is the only locally owned and operated lease-to-own store in the area.

“I think what we do is different,” Holman said. “And I live here, so we have to do it right.”

A few of the things he suggested that are different from others in the industry include a seven-day no risk trial, customized payment plans, a lowest payment guarantee, and an investment transfer. Additionally, the store offers a $100 store credit for referrals.

“One of our Odessa customers had a payment of over $300 for several items,” Holman said, “and didn’t have to make a payment for a year, by sending referrals.”

The store held its grand opening Saturday, with door-buster specials, drawings for prizes throughout the day, a bounce house for the kids, and free drinks and barbecue.

Knowing to whom he owes his success, Holman says he always wants to give back to the community, and he expressed that with a Relay for Life team this weekend.

Holman has also committed to donating $100 to the 100th customer’s choice of a local charity, up to and including the 500th customer.

The store’s hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.