Kid to Kid Franchise Review: Q&A with Shauna Sloan
Founder Shauna Sloan explains why the children’s resale clothing franchise continues to thrive after 27 years in business
In 1992, Shauna Sloan was a young mother of four who enjoyed treasure hunting at yard and garage sales. After realizing there weren’t any truly organized stores that allowed her to find what she needed, Sloan devised a plan to create a store where parents could come in, get money for the things they no longer wanted, and then those very same items could be resold to families in need.
Now, 27 years later, Kid to Kid helps moms stretch their dollars by saving big on name brand, fashionable clothing and other kids’ products. With close to 100 locations throughout the U.S., we have helped dozens of entrepreneurs realize their dream of owning a business that truly makes a difference.
In this interview, Shauna Sloan, Founder of Kid to Kid, shares what makes the ideal franchisee and why the future of the iconic resale clothing franchise is brighter than ever before:
What is the market for Kid to Kid? Who are your customers?
Sloan: We provide a really convenient way to buy, sell and trade kids’ stuff. Parents bring in what their kids have outgrown and we go through them on the spot while we invite them to go out and shop and look for replacements for their kids. Then we’ll either pay them cash or offer 25 percent more if they choose to take store credit and trade.
We sell kids clothes from size 0 to 14 and also sell maternity wear. So we try to catch moms as they’re expecting and carrying through to when her child’s a teenager. We have an unlimited market because there are constantly new parents who are having children. These kids outgrow their clothes, toys and more every six months, and parents have to replace them.
How is this a recession-resistant business?
Sloan: One of the good things about this business is that it does well in a good economy like we’re experiencing now, but it was almost even better when the country was going through a recession. People needed to get money back for the things they had invested in and they needed to find replacements at the lowest possible price without sacrificing the quality they want for their children.
How does Kid to Kid support its franchise owners?
Sloan: When we started our goal was to create an operating franchise system that would allow people who didn’t know anything about the children’s resale industry to be successful in this business. At the time, we were the first in the resale industry to come up with a computerized appraisal program, which allows us to fine tune the margins we pay out to families and maximize the profits for our franchisees. Additionally, I originally wrote more than a thousand pages for a manual to train our franchisees. Now we have an online training portal that features 40 hours of training materials plus a Priorities Book to teach them everything from finances to training employees to operations to marketing and more.
Who is your ideal franchisee?
Sloan: The best candidate for a Kid to Kid franchise is someone who lives in the market. These stores are best operated by owner operators who connect with their customers on a daily basis, who know what the families in their community need and like, and are able to interact with their employees, build them up and create really good teams.
How does Kid to Kid give back to its communities?
Sloan: Every day when people come in to sell us product there are things that we can buy from them, and things that we call our no-thank-you’s. We offer them the opportunity to donate those items and we provide a tax receipt if they want it. These donated items allow us to give thousands of items to local charities annually. For instance, we have a nationwide philanthropy partnership program with an organization called BuildOn, which builds schools in the most needy areas in the world. One of our charity efforts throughout the year is Fill A Bag. We’ve been able to help build two to three schools each year. In total, we’ve built 13.
Why is now a good time to invest in a Kid to Kid franchise?
Sloan: We have a great economy right now. We’re hearing all of these stories about the retail apocalypse, but it’s not affecting second-hand stores. Our stores are strong, and more and more people are coming in to treasure hunt. People still like to go into stores and shop and find deals, especially when they can find great brands for even better prices. Again, we’re a recession-resistant organization and now is a really good time to get into that.