It was in 2013 that Ann Davis and Bob Henderson teamed up to open a Play It Again Sports® store in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. The pair had two kids and raised them in Calgary, where they’d shop at resale stores, like Once Upon a Child®, regularly.
When they moved to Kelowna, they were surprised to find that there wasn’t anything like Winmark - the Resale Company® stores in the area, and with Bob looking to start his own business, the pieces fell right into place!
Becoming Multi-Unit Franchisees
Before signing on as Winmark franchisees, Ann had worked in event planning and fundraising, while Bob had a strong retail background working for K-Mart, both in-store as a Manager and working his way up into Business Development and Human Resources.
After owning Play It Again Sports for four years, they were excited to expand with other Winmark brands. In 2017, they sold their first location and a year later, opened Once Upon a Child next door. Today, they’re in the process of opening another Winmark store, Plato’s Closet®, right beside the other two.
“It’s so convenient having the three stores next door to each other,” said Ann. “Many families will go from store to store and drop in to say hi,” she explained.
As they run their businesses together, Ann handles the marketing and human resources, while Bob is in charge of merchandising and the finances. Both are very involved in day-to-day operations and credit Winmark’s 365-degree support for their ongoing success.
“Neither of us is very tech-savvy so we find ourselves frequent users of the Winmark Help Desk, and they’ve been very responsive and patient,” said Bob. “The systems and programs that are part of the Winmark model are the best in the industry and the ongoing advice we receive from our Operations Management and the Franchise Start-Up Team is always helpful!”
Getting Involved in Their Community
For Bob and Ann, their favorite part of running their businesses has been getting to know the people and, most importantly, making a difference in their community.
“Owning our resale stores has allowed our family to live a very comfortable lifestyle with opportunities to give back to the community,” said Ann.
Over the years, they’ve supported many local sports teams, nonprofits and associations through their businesses. They’ve hosted numerous fundraisers, donated clothing to charities and served as board chairs for local organizations such as the Kelowna Minor Hockey Association and the Elizabeth Fry Society.
Over the years, their customer loyalty has allowed them to build meaningful connections.
“We have families that have shopped at Play It Again Sports and Once Upon A Child for close to 10 years. We sold them their first pair of skates or first set of skis when they were little and now they’re looking forward to Plato’s Closet opening,” said Bob.
Ann and Bob take great pride in the strong team they’ve built, and they're looking forward to doing the same at their new Plato’s Closet store.
“We’ve gotten so much joy out of mentoring their young employees, watching them grow from reserved high school students to confident college students,” Ann explained.
For them, it’s not only about running their business and making a difference, but also about having fun. From embracing new challenges to celebrating their milestones, they’re thankful they invested in Winmark’s proven model and best-in-class corporate team.
“We’ve been very happy with the support we’ve received from the Winmark team. Their success is dependent upon our success and we’ve always felt they are partners in our business!” said Bob.
Are you looking for a retail franchise opportunity that will allow you to diversify your portfolio, make a comfortable living and give back to your community? Contact us today to learn more about opening a Winmark resale store in your area.