This Mother’s Day, it’s important to remember the support and leadership our moms across the world give us. Winmark - the Resale Company® is proud to be home to many strong women, including several moms who have achieved success with their resale stores.
What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than by highlighting a mother-daughter franchisee duo? Since opening Style Encore® together in 2014, Mikki and Jackie Fitzer have fostered lasting relationships with customers, built a strong team of dedicated employees, and given back to their community.
The Path to Owning a Business
Jackie and Mikki have an unquestionable entrepreneurial spirit. While Jackie was unsure of what she wanted to do after college, she always knew she had the potential to own a business.
As a hard-working and devoted leader, Jackie worked as a cosmetologist for 7 years and was a stay-at-home mom with 3 small children when she started looking for an avenue to make it financially feasible to work outside the home. Jackie had the idea for a resale store when she saw a Once Upon a Child® store franchisee being interviewed on a local TV station.
Jackie knew there was a gap in the Sioux Falls area for Winmark’s sustainable concept and recognizable brand.
Jackie opened her first store, Once Upon a Child, in 1994, followed by Plato’s Closet in 2002, and finally, her store with her daughter, Mikki in 2014.
Building a Strong Team
While Jackie had no experience owning or running a business, Winmark’s training and support enabled her to succeed. She has built a strong team that keeps operations running smoothly with Winmark’s help.
“One thing about Winmark that stuck out to me was that they give their franchisees a lot of information and a lot of support,” Jackie explained.
“They have a good training program and give you good computer programs for your store that help the day-to-day operations go smoothly.”
Working as a Family
Watching her mom successfully run businesses as she grew up inspired Mikki. Like her mom, she wasn't sure what she wanted to do after college, and during her final semester, the flexibility she saw she could have by running a business with her mom started appealing to her. Additionally, as a business major in college, the opportunity to own a store suited her career path.
Mikki now runs the Style Encore she and her mom opened in 2014, and she is now taking over the Plato’s Closet® in Sioux Falls as Jackie plans for retirement. As resale franchisees, Mikki and Jackie both enjoy the freedom of owning a store and watching their staff grow.
Mikki is very hands-on and leads the day-to-day operations, inventory and oversees their employees, while Jackie provides support and guidance to Mikki whenever needed. Through it all, Mikki’s passion for learning the business and Jackie’s experience have helped them achieve a good balance and a healthy working relationship.
“Mikki does a great job of asking how to do something. She handles everything on her own and is computer literate. We are patient with each other and respect each other's opinions,” Jackie said about working with her daughter.
Mikki appreciates that her mom lets her make her own decisions and learn from them.
“I love that she gives me support when I need it but still lets me be independent. I always appreciate how much flexibility she gives me and the experience she has.”
Giving Back to the Community
Mikki and Jackie’s commitment to providing fashionable and sustainable options have also led them to help others. They say one of the most rewarding parts of owning their business has been the opportunity to help others and give back to their community.
The mother-daughter duo loves holding events like pet supply drives, trash pickup days, gift wrapping in the mall, and a Breast Cancer Awareness Day fundraiser. Mikki is also looking for one of her stores to sponsor a pickleball team, and planning for their Plato’s Closet store to sponsor a local softball team.
Mikki and Jackie know businesses must stay scalable to meet ever-changing consumer demands. Mikki is prepared to keep her stores’ operations flexible to meet demands and stay ready for what is to come. She always comes up with new ideas to improve her stores’ efficiency.
Through it all, Jackie is grateful she gets to run a business with her daughter and has no regrets about starting her own through the franchise route.
“I’ve never been disappointed that I didn’t go out and do this on my own without the franchise. Winmark gave me the support and the confidence to move forward.”
Are you looking to start your path to owning a business? Click here to learn more about how you can join our trailblazing leaders, get experienced support, and give back to your community.