All-Star Winmark Franchisee Becky Finger went from being a stay-at-home mom to owning 18 Winmark resale stores - and here’s how she did it.
Prior to learning about Winmark brands, Once Upon A Child® and Plato’s Closet®, Becky attended Ohio University, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in Home Economics. Shortly after graduation, Becky got married and worked several part-time jobs before expanding her family. Once Becky’s children started school, she had a notion to return to work. But this time she would step into the role of an entrepreneur at the age of 40.
Transitioning from Stay at Home Mom to Winmark Franchise Owner
Becky was ready to start her career, but she was unsure how to begin. That was until she read an article in Entrepreneur magazine about Once Upon A Child and Plato’s Closet founder, Lynn Blum. Becky was intrigued by her story and recognized similarities to her own. One similarity among them is that Lynn was also a young mother, and sought opportunities for a successful career. Becky was inspired by her drive and perseverance, which led her to learn more about owning a Winmark Franchise.
When Becky visited the Once Upon A Child store located in Cincinnati, OH, she was greatly impressed by the cleanliness of the store and the quality of the merchandise. “Once Upon A Child seemed like a natural step into the career world for a mom looking for an opportunity,” said Becky.
Taking over the Ohio Resale Retail Market
Becky knew this next chapter of her life would not be easy, but she was ready to embark on a new opportunity. Soon after Becky’s store visit, she began the process of franchise ownership in the Cincinnati and Dayton, OH market in 1992. At the time, there weren’t many other resale retail stores in the area, so, there wasn’t significant competition.
Becky’s daughters grew up watching her work in the resale retail space and followed in her footsteps when they became of age. Today, Becky owns and operates 10 Once Upon A Child locations and 8 Plato’s Closet locations with her daughters Kate and Sarah.
Living Out the Entrepreneurial Dream
Since becoming a franchise owner 30 years ago, Becky has enjoyed all of the support and tips provided to her by fellow Winmark franchisees. “I have learned so much from my peers, and I like a plan, so I always felt if I followed the model, I would be successful, and I am!” said Becky.
She also attributes a lot of her success to her strong relationship with the Winmark corporate team. Throughout her franchisee journey, Winmark hasn’t only listened to her ideas, but they’ve also taken action to enhance her experience as a multi-unit franchise owner.
With 30 years of experience under her belt, Becky doesn’t plan to stop any time soon. She plans to open at least two more Once Upon A Child or Plato’s Closet locations to continue supporting parents in other communities. In addition to providing quality, discounted items for families, Becky also supports and donates to March of Dimes and Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank as a way to continue giving back to the community. Being able to own and operate Plato’s Closet and Once Upon A Child stores that provide an affordable option for parents in need is the real reward.
If you’re a parent looking for an opportunity to start your entrepreneurial journey, contact us today.