Once Upon A Child® is known for their great deals on their gently used children’s items. For many budget-conscious parents, investing in expensive clothing, toys and other accessories often feels like a waste of money when their children use these items for only a few months. As a customer-turned-franchisee, Amanda Overmeyer got so much more than great deals from her local Once Upon A Child store – she created a whole new career.
After consistently shopping at the store for her four children, Amanda saw a brochure at the register about owning a franchise. She took one home and starting researching.
“I saw a lot of people saying it was a great franchise opportunity,” Amanda said. “I shopped there all the time for my kids, so owning one really just seemed like a no-brainer to me.”
Amanda opened her Once Upon A Child store in Findlay, Ohio in 2007, her first of three investments in Winmark’s family of franchise brands.
A Different Franchise Experience
Opening a Once Upon A Child location wasn’t Amanda’s first experience with franchising. She had previously owned a local pizza franchise. While that opportunity exposed her to the benefits of franchising, the corporate support and day-to-day assistance was lacking.
“It felt like they just gave you the sauce recipe, and you were on your own,” Amanda said. “There was no marketing support or technology or any day-to-day help.”
She added that she was ready for a change from the restaurant industry. The regulations were getting to be too overwhelming, and she was looking for a different concept.
“I wasn’t particularly planning to find another franchise opportunity, but I was ready to leave where I was at,” Amanda said. “The timing just really worked out great.”
After attending a Discovery Day, Amanda knew she was making the right choice.
Amanda was so impressed by Winmark’s corporate support. There was someone to help every step of the way. This stood in such stark contrast from her previous franchise and was particularly helpful around her opening.
“When the store first opens, we build up inventory and buy from customers only, which can be overwhelming,” Amanda said. “Luckily, I live in an area where a lot of people were ready to sell their gently used items, but that also meant so many people were in store. Thankfully, there was a corporate employee there to help manage the chaos. The support was like nothing I had experienced with franchising before.”
Once her store opened, Amanda was excited to learn more about local marketing opportunities and grow her customer base. Seeing the success of her first store, she decided it was time to expand.
A Growing Investment
Amanda now owns three Winmark resale concepts after adding a Plato’s Closet® in November 2013 and Style Encore® in August 2016. She makes a point to visit them regularly.
“I live down the street from my stores, so I go every day,” she said. “I mostly work on background stuff like marketing efforts, but I’m always ready to lend a hand at the register or organizing racks. An involved owner can really make all the difference.”
Customer loyalty is key for Amanda.
“Not only did I shop for my kids at Once Upon A Child, but as they got older we would go to Plato’s Closet and Style Encore too,” Amanda said. “Owning a variety of the brands means your customers can follow the brand as they grow up.”
In the future, Amanda plans to continue her hands-on involvement at the stores and is interested in learning more about the Winmark brands in order to expand.
To learn more about franchise opportunities with Winmark Brands, connect with us here.