Joanna and Leon Tellinghuisen have entrepreneurship in their blood. Most of their relatives owned businesses, from general stores to wooden coin makers, and Joanna and Leon are no different.
Joanna has been a self-employed entrepreneur since the age of 24, owning an accounting software company and operating a dairy farm. But with so many changes in the family, they were looking for something new.
“We went to 18 funerals over the past three years,” Joanna said. “Leon lost his adoptive parents, and it felt like we were losing our family. We needed to bring joy back into our lives.”
The Tellinghuisens sold the dairy farm and started looking for other business opportunities.
“I shopped at Once Upon a Child® for my daughters before,” Joanna said. “Once they were old enough, my daughters basically lived in Plato’s Closet®. None of the girls were interested in the dairy farm, and it was less lucrative. They always said, ‘Mom, we have always wanted to own a Plato’s Closet.’”
Joanna was impressed by the support that the Winmark brands provide and quickly set up a trip to Discovery Day.
Unparalleled Corporate Support
When the couple visited Discovery Day, they had a chance to explore all of Winmark’s resale brands.
“We learned about Style Encore® and just fell in love,” Joanna said. “It was the right fit for us.”
Shortly after, the couple opened a Style Encore in Centennial, Co., and being relatively new to the area, Joanna called on her sister and her nieces for support. Between the two of them, they have six daughters eager to help in their store.
They also lean on the unmatched corporate support.
“The corporate team answers your calls,” Joanna said. “It’s easy to get in touch with someone. They help with everything like sending assistance before the grand opening. It’s the supportive relationship we needed.”
Commitment to Giving Back
The corporate team helps at every step, from the build out to the grand opening and beyond. They also emphasize the importance of community involvement and giving back. Luckily for the Tellinghuisens, they already see altruism as a top priority.
Leon was adopted and only recently connected with his biological parents and siblings. Since meeting his family, the couple has made helping other orphaned children their charity of choice.
“We traveled to Kenya and Nepal on behalf of the local nonprofit Hope’s Promise Adoption and Orphan Care,” Joanna said. “We helped many needy, orphaned and abandoned children, and made it a priority to give back through our business. Our Style Encore store will be donating a portion of our proceeds to this organization to help provide the much-needed care.”
Style Encore and the other Winmark resale brands give owners a chance to get involved in causes they are passionate about and use their business as an avenue for outreach. This not only benefits worthy causes and the community but also acts as leverage for brand awareness. Winmark brands have developed a model that makes all of this possible and simple to execute for franchise owners.
A Legacy Investment
With family at the root of their business, finding an opportunity they could pass on to their daughters was a top priority. It’s important for Joanna and Leon to foster business acumen in their kids to prepare them for future ownership.
“We don’t just raise our daughters to be hard workers but to know how to work hard for yourself,” Joanna said. “You can be successful and work for yourself.”
The Tellinghuisens plan to open more locations and work with their daughters to grow the business.
To learn more about franchise opportunities with Winmark brands like Style Encore, visit our website to download a free franchise report.