As the parents of five children spanning from 2 years old to 17 years old, Colyn and Rebekah Shirley know first hand the value of handing down gently used clothes and toys.
So when the couple was looking for a business opportunity, they seized upon a local franchise for a national retail chain that buys and resells children's clothes, shoes and gear. The new Once Upon a Child store opened Thursday in the Hamilton Crossing shopping center on Gunbarrel Road.
"We're a budget concious family who understands that money doesn't grow on trees and children quickly outgrow many of the clothes and toys they have," said Rebekah Shirley, a part-time Erlanger nurse who helps manage the new 15-employee store along with her husband. "We're excited that we can offer up to 70 percent off of original retail prices in a kid-friendly and fun atmosphere."
As part of its grand opening celebrations this week, the store will feature Batman from 1-3 p.m. today and a drawing for a $100 gift card on Sunday.
The new store is a franchised location by the Minneapolis-based Winmark Corp., which is a franchisor for five retail business lines specializing in buying and selling used goods. In Chattanooga, Winmark also has franchisees for Plato's Closet, oriented toward young adults and teens, and Style Encors, focused on working mothers.
The new store offers cash or trades for those bringing in used clothes, strollers, pack 'n' plays or toys on the spot. Shirley said they already have so much merchandise they had to rent two storage units behind the store to keep everything.
Colyn Shirley became familiar with the Once Upon a Child store concept in Murfreesboro where he lived and one of the stores was located.
"We wanted to go into business for some time and this seemed like a great business so we decided to venture out and give it a try," Rebekah Shirley said.
Contact Dave Flessner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 757-6340.