Diane Hubel first learned about the Once Upon a Child® franchise opportunity when she was working with franchisees to help them advertise on the radio. In her time as Vice President, Market Manager at different radio station groups, she worked with a variety of franchisees and learned about the concept from them.
As she continued learning about Winmark franchises, she became intrigued by the concept and eventually decided to take the leap and start her own business. Diane now owns three Once Upon A Child stores with her husband – two in Chesapeake and one in Virginia Beach, Va. Here’s why Diane chose Winmark brands and never looked back.
1. Resale Franchises Allow Diane to Use Her Past Business Experience
By the time Diane invested in her Once Upon A Child franchise, she had an extensive background in media and business. In addition to her role as Vice President, Market Manager at radio groups, Diane had started her career as an Operations/Program Director at radio stations and worked as a TV reporter. She also served as senior VP at an internet company and president of a small syndication company.
“I always wanted to have my own business and have a chance to be able to grow successful businesses using all of my background and knowledge and talents that I had,” Diane said. “Once Upon A Child allowed me to combine my past experiences with marketing, business management, working with the public and managing and growing staff.”
2. There’s an Opportunity for Growth
Diane had always planned to operate and own more than one store. So investing in a franchise with an opportunity for growth was important. The resale industry is on the rise and consumers are increasingly interested in eco-friendly retail options, so resale franchises are here to stay and ripe for growth.
Diane’s first store was operational for two years before she and her husband started their second store. Their third store opened in January.
“We spaced the opening our locations a few years apart to ensure that each business was doing well and self-supporting so that we would have the time to devote to the new venture,” Diane said.
3. She Gets to Make a Difference in the Community
Once Upon A Child offers resale franchise owners the opportunity to make a difference by providing affordable clothing and toys that make parents and children feel happy and confident.
Diane described an experience she had at her first store just a few months after opening: A customer came in very late, right before closing. She and her daughter were both upset. They went off into the racks, then moments later Diane heard giggling. She went to go see if everything was okay, and they were happy and asked for a dressing room.
While the woman’s daughter was in the dressing room, she said her daughter was smiling for the first time in a while because she had wanted to buy clothes from other expensive retailers that just weren’t in the budget for a mom with five kids, but she was able to find items she loved at Once Upon A Child.
“By shopping at Once Upon A Child they were able to find all the things they wanted for the daughter’s back-to-school wardrobe that made her feel confident and happy, and that meant a lot to the mother,” Diane said.
4. It’s Fun!
As someone who has always been interested in bargain shopping, that aspect of a retail franchise was particularly appealing to Diane.
“I’ve always been a person who loves to do bargain shopping and loves to do that type of value shopping. It was a good fit for me,” Diane said. “It was a very intriguing concept, and something I also thought was enjoyable and fun.”
Running the stores alongside her husband is another great aspect of the business for Diane.
“It’s nice being able to do this with my husband as my business partner, and it’s really fun being able to build these stores together,” Diane said. “This has been a good experience, and we still look at ourselves very much as in the growth mode and wanting to continue adding more stores.”
Diane and her husband would like to add at least two more stores over the next couple of years and they look forward to continuing to grow.
Are you interested in an exciting franchise opportunity in the growing resale industry? Contact us today to learn more about franchising with Winmark brands.