Winmark Franchise Success and Community Impact: Kim Weldy's Journey with Style Encore

3 Year Anniversary of her Style Encore

For over thirty years, Winmark - the Resale Company® has been helping people realize their entrepreneurial dreams while aiding communities in meeting critical needs throughout North America.

Winmark franchisees can create lasting, thriving businesses while significantly impacting their communities. Kim Weldy is a devoted Style Encore® franchisee in Cumming, GA, who has created a unique, welcoming culture and continues to help others as she grows her business.

The Path to Entrepreneurship

Before franchising with Winmark, Kim had a 28-year career in education as a teacher and then as a student support coordinator. However, due to schools closing during the pandemic, Kim's role was reduced, and she found herself assisting a friend, a Plato's Closet® franchisee with Winmark, with online sales and running orders out to the curb.

Her friend's example inspired Kim to start exploring a new business idea in resale. She realized no local stores were selling more mature clothing styles, as Plato's Closet mainly focuses on tweens and teens. Kim decided to look into another brand at Winmark called Style Encore. Style Encore caters to an adult demographic that seeks age-appropriate fashion.

"More and more women and men were coming in and wanting to sell their stuff, but it wasn't really age-appropriate," Kim states. "No one in our community had anywhere to sell their items that were in more mature styles, so it just made sense to look into and start the franchise process with Style Encore."

The Winmark Difference

Kim's venture into franchising and entrepreneurship is grounded in her love for Winmark's resale and recycle model, reflecting a deep commitment to sustainability and aiding her community. By reselling and shopping resale, consumers get an easy, eco-friendly way to reduce waste and upcycle no-longer-used items that can find their way into new homes. Winmark's commitment has led to over 1.7 billion recycled items and fuller, longer product lifespans.

"I love the whole resell, recycle process at Winmark; you can really get behind it, and it benefits everyone involved: the customer, the franchisee, and the community," she states. "I think that concept is becoming bigger and bigger and more popular."

A Family Atmosphere and Community Impact

Kim and her Style Encore location exemplify a strong focus on supporting others, fostering a family-like atmosphere that has nurtured strong bonds within her staff and the broader community. This environment has not only elevated the customer and staff experiences but also turned the location into a hub for local charity support, from sponsoring children during the holiday season and letting customers get involved to donating to local hospitals like Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

"We call it our Style Encore family because I spend as much time with them as I do my family," Kim states. "I love the community we have built, both within my staff and our local area with customers. Everyone is so supportive, and I treat them the same way; that keeps me going."

Kim also decided to open a men's section in her location, which has further broadened her impact and significantly boosted her business. This initiative not only expanded her customer base but has transformed her Style Encore into a more inclusive shopping destination.

"The same men who used to sit down while their wives shopped are now coming in and selling some of their own items," Kim states. "It's exciting and wonderful to have that added level of people coming in and shopping."

The Most Memorable Moment of Business Ownership

Reflecting on her journey, Kim recalls the emotional milestone of celebrating her Style Encore's first anniversary. This moment was a testament to the hard work, family collaboration, and community support that have helped her location succeed. "My kids, my husband, my kids' spouses are all very involved too, so it truly feels like a family business," Kim states. "Seeing everyone that supports the business and seeing your business evolve is so important, it's such a huge benefit."

When you franchise with Winmark, you can embark on a proven business journey that helps you achieve your entrepreneurial dreams and make a difference in people's lives. Contact us today to learn more about how you can become a Winmark franchisee like Kim.

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