When it comes to their careers, some people have always known what they wanted to do, while others discover their passion later in life.
Rob Lavoie and Cory Edwards are lifelong friends who have spent decades bonding over their love for sports. Both were introduced to Winmark – the Resale Company® when they were hired for part-time roles at Play It Again Sports® as they were entering college. Last year, their story came full circle when they opened their very own location in Orleans, Ontario.
The Journey from Employees to Franchisees
As Rob and Cory began to work their way up as Play It Again Sports employees, they realized their entrepreneurial potential. Combined, they have over 50 years of retail and sporting goods experience, and owning a business was an idea this dynamic duo had tossed around for years.
“I wouldn’t say there was a single moment that sparked the idea,” Rob explained. “It was a series of conversations and we decided that if we kept waiting for the perfect time, it may never come.”
The pair were lucky enough to learn from the successful franchisees of the locations they worked at throughout the years as the owners grew their Play It Again Sports business from one to four locations.
“They showed us the ropes and allowed us to grow into prominent roles within their business,” Rob said.
Before long, Cory served as the store manager, while Rob was the regional manager of the four stores, roles they would hold for nearly two decades.
Deciding to Open Purchase a Resale Franchise
The more they learned about Winmark and the Play It Again Sports franchise, the more interested they became in investing in it.
“One aspect that appealed to us the most was that Winmark offers the support of a big franchise but also takes the hands-off approach to allow you to run your business your way,” Rob described.
The two were impressed by the unique relationship the Winmark corporate team has with franchisees. After all, running a business is hard work, and it means a lot to know you have someone in your corner to guide you through each obstacle and celebrate every achievement.
“We’ve learned that despite our wealth of experience, we don’t know everything,” Rob said. “Luckily, we have someone we can call who will be there to help us achieve success.”
Rob and Cory have learned many lessons throughout their years at Play It Again Sports, especially since opening their location during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The most valuable lesson we’ve learned is that change isn’t something to be feared. Just because you’ve always done something one way doesn’t mean it’s the only way,” said Rob.
As they continue to grow their location and do what they love every day, they look forward to all the possibilities that lie ahead.
Are you looking for a supportive retail franchise that will help you bring your entrepreneurial dream to life? Contact us today to learn about opening a Play It Again Sports®, Plato’s Closet®, Once Upon A Child®, Music Go Round® or Style Encore® in your area.