For husband and wife business owners Henna Huczkowski and Simon Suy, opening a Once Upon A Child® franchise empowered them to achieve their American Dream. Henna hails from Finland and Simon was born and raised in Germany by Cambodian parents. This multi-cultural family was able to accomplish their lifelong dreams of owning their own small business with a Winmark brand in Clearwater, Florida.
They opened their location in Florida because it became the family’s second home. Both of Simon’s parents live in Clearwater, and Henna’s parents are snowbirds to the area, escaping the harsh Scandinavian winters every year. But before moving to Florida and starting their family business, Henna and Simon had a unique journey along the way.
Henna was born and raised in Finland and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Business from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration. She moved to Florida with Simon in 2004. Prior to opening their store, Henna was a stay-at-home mom raising their three-year-old son.
Simon’s parents are originally from Cambodia and migrated to Germany in the 1970s. Simon was born and raised in Germany until he moved to the sunshine state to attend the University of Florida in 1995. Simon experienced great success in the corporate world, primarily in the corporate retail sector, which took him to Finland, Germany, Tennessee and Florida. Yet, he and Henna always wanted to own a small business.
“Our different backgrounds result in a multi-cultural environment for our son, where he lives with a German dad, a Finnish mom and Cambodian grandparents,” said Henna. “It will be interesting to see Hugo grow up in our unique family.”
A Business for Families, by Families
Family businesses make up 64 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, produce 62 percent of the country’s jobs and contribute to 78 percent of all new job creation. Once Upon A Child provides a great opportunity for family business owners, as parents know better than most people the need for affordable children’s clothing, toys, furniture and more for growing families. As a retail store for gently used children’s items, Once Upon A Child helps parents shop smart and safe and allows families to purchase high-quality, name brand items while saving money.
For Henna and Simon, Once Upon A Child gives their family an opportunity to support other families in their community.
“We believe that this lifestyle brings so many benefits to all families with children,” said Henna. “We wanted to open up this opportunity to everyone in our community.”
Once Upon A Child has provided a fulfilling opportunity for this family to achieve the American Dream, but they’re not done yet. As the team grows their business, they are looking forward to expanding their network of stores.
“We love the Winmark concept of ‘Buy. Sell. Repeat’ and believe that shopping at Once Upon A Child, Plato’s Closet or Style Encore stores benefits all families that are looking to dress in style without spending an excessive amount of money,” said Henna. “For that reason, we would love to see the brand expand across the country. Being blessed with a successful store, we want to contribute to the growth of the network of stores in the Tampa Bay area.”
Are you interested in starting your own business and supporting families in your community? Learn more about franchise opportunities at Once Upon A Child and contact us today.