Winmark® brands’ franchise owners often start as customers. In a previous blog post, we highlighted one pair of sisters who teamed up to transition from customers to franchise owners after years of shopping at Once Upon A Child® for those items that little ones quickly grow out of.
Similarly, mother-daughter team Minda and Chelle Williams made the transition when they saw a need in their community for cost-effective women’s clothing and accessories.
Love at First Sight
Chelle Williams first visited a Style Encore® on vacation. She was drawn to the variety of clothing brands, accessories and, most importantly, the reasonable prices. Soon after she returned home, she looked up the brand and its locations. When she couldn’t find one nearby, she decided to bring this concept to her community by opening a Style Encore herself.
“Not everyone can afford seasonal refreshes,” Chelle said. “Style Encore allows our sellers and buyers a way to do a closet cleanout, make some room and some cash, and perhaps find something to bring back home with them.”
Chelle and her mother opened their store in Mississippi in 2017, and they haven’t looked back. Even in the first few months, the pair felt support from their community.
“The people have been overwhelmingly kind and supportive of what we’re doing here. Although it’s only been a few months, I already feel cemented in the community,” Chelle said.
Key to Success
For Chelle, the business has been rewarding in multiple ways. Not only can she provide affordable clothing options, she enjoys assisting customers.
“I love helping people find what they’re looking for and putting a smile on their face,” she said. “I enjoy challenging some of the customers to try on things that I picked out for them – things they wouldn’t ordinarily pick for themselves. Some outfits work, some don’t. Sometimes it just takes an open mind.”
Strategically buying inventory and knowing when to replace old stock is key to the success of a resale business. Winmark’s franchisee training spends ample time on inventory stocking methods.
“We rarely buy everything someone brings in,” Chelle said. “It’s important to search for the gems of the bunch. You know you’ve picked a good one when it’s repurchased right away.”
Other resale stores sometimes get stuck with unpopular items since trends shift quickly. Successful owners know when it’s time to replace dated items with new stock. Keeping the racks fresh and full of popular styles attracts guests and drives sales.
Plans to Grow
Minda and Chelle hope to see continued success with their first store as they approach their one-year anniversary. Minda currently commutes from Louisiana, so the pair hopes to expand into surrounding territories.
“Our success with our first store will drive us to open additional locations,” Chelle said. “We really love the Gulf States and may even cross state lines.”
To learn more about franchise opportunities with Winmark Brands, visit our website.