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What Drives the Mission for Once Upon A Child?

Once Upon A Child® was founded in 1984 to resolve a common issue parents face everywhere – infants and young children outgrow clothes, toys, shoes and more at an astonishing rate. Parents then must shop frequently and spend a lot of money to replace all those items. Consider, on average, a baby’s weight triples and they gain about 10 inches in height in the first year of life. That means whatever fit them as a newborn will definitely not fit them as a one-year-old child.

Then along came Once Upon A Child, which provided significant financial relief to parents, who were also accumulating used but perfectly good items no longer used by their children. They could purchase gently used items for their kids up to 70 percent off regular retail pricing. At the same time, they could also bring in their children’s apparel, toys, shoes, equipment and accessories for cash on the spot.

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Twenty-five years later, parents continue to welcome new children into the world and watch them outgrow their clothes, toys and other products, which are still expensive to purchase. Because of that, the demand for Once Upon A Child continues to grow beyond 380 franchised stores. It’s also what drives our mission: Provide a fun and convenient way to buy and sell new and gently used kids’ stuff focusing on quality, safety and value.

Our mission drives growth of the brand among entrepreneurs who often want to own a family-run business, are first-time franchisees and/or are transitioning from Corporate America. They also have in common the following sensibilities:

  • Are brand enthusiasts who are former customers – Many Once Upon A Child franchisees are familiar with the financial strain of purchasing kids products at full price. When they discover the cost savings on gently used clothes, shoes, toys and more at Once Upon A Child in another area, they often want to open one in their hometown.

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  • Want to help their communities – Realizing there are new parents in their communities, many entrepreneurs know the demand for affordable children’s items exist locally. They see Once Upon A Child fulfilling the need in other communities and know the demographics are right for a strong business in their market that will generate high unit volume. They also recognize owning the franchise is more than just a good business opportunity for themselves. They see it as doing something positive in their community by providing significant cost savings for their neighbors, while also giving parents an opportunity to free up space in their homes and sell their gently used items.

But, Once Upon A Child franchisees strive to ensure the safety of the children who will be receiving these items. Every item goes through safety inspections before it’s put on the floor for sale. Winmark’s proprietary point-of-sale system and inventory management technology provide franchisees with the latest child safety standards and regulatory restrictions. The technology is integrated with the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission to provide a constant stream of updated information about children’s goods and potential product recall alerts.

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  • Feel good about helping the environment – Our franchisees also feel good about the green aspect of owning a Once Upon A Child store and being part of the Winmark network of brands that includes recycling as a key part of their concepts. They take pride in helping the environment by keeping children’s items with a lot of life left in them out of landfills. In 2018, the brand recycled more than 84 million children’s items.

Prospective franchisees pursue owning a Once Upon A Child store because they find the brand aligns with their priorities and values.

Are you interested in bringing in a high demand kid’s resale franchise concept that matches your entrepreneurial spirit to your community? Learn more by downloading the Once Upon A Child franchise report.