For over 15 years, Grady Farmer made a living working in radio. His career took him coast to coast - all the way from the Howard Stern show in New York to CBS Radio in Los Angeles. Still, he always knew his ultimate goal was to own a business.
Ever since he can remember, Grady was inspired by his father, who went from long, exhausting hours at a corporate job to full-time entrepreneurship. As he watched his parents open their five Once Upon a Child® and four Plato’s Closet® stores, he wondered if franchising would provide him, too, with the new chapter he craved. After moving back to his college town of Charlotte, N.C., he was ready to follow in his father's footsteps.
Putting in the Work
When it came to opening his business, the most important thing to Grady and his parents was that he put in the hard work and earned his success. After years of visiting his parents’ stores, Grady was always drawn to Plato’s Closet.
He began reaching out to realtors to find a location for his business and came across the perfect option in Pineville, N.C. Once he, with support from Winmark - the Resale Company®, negotiated his lease, he began building out his resale store.
Not only did he have the help of Winmark’s franchise experts, but he also consulted with his parents. Once his store was up and running, he hired a manager for his Pineville location and took over his parents’ three Plato’s Closet stores as the District Manager.
Eight years later, all four stores have grown substantially, and he has recently opened an additional Plato’s Closet in Huntersville.
A Family Affair
One of Grady’s favorite parts of his journey as a franchisee has been getting to work alongside his dad.
“At first, we had to learn how to separate work life and family life. Over the years, it’s only gotten better. He’s always there when I need him and I can’t imagine this journey any other way.”
Grady credits his father with teaching him so many lessons over the years while also respecting his independence.
“He’s taught me so much about my business and life. He doesn’t tell me what to do and allows me to learn from my mistakes,” Grady explained.
Grady wasn’t the only one who learned a lot about owning a retail store from his parents; his sister, Stephanie, purchased and runs two of his parents’ Once Upon A Child locations in Greensboro and Winston-Salem.
It’s safe to say that Grady has officially achieved this long-time dream of being his own boss, just as his father had many years ago. As his parents retire, he is looking forward to continuing to open more stores and build his team.
“I have some employees who have been with me for 10 years, and I would love to take what I’ve learned from my dad and pass it down,” he said. “You never know if one of them may want to open their own store down the road.”
Are you looking to follow in Grady’s footsteps and invest in a rapidly-growing resale franchise? Contact us today to learn more about opening a Winmark store in your area.