Kid to Kid Franchise Review: Meet 2020 ‘Store of the Year’ Winner Amy Gustin
How a former financial analyst became the owner of a thriving resale franchise
When Amy Gustin opened her Kid to Kid resale franchise store in the community of Fort Wayne, Indiana, she was excited to finally see her dream of business ownership come to fruition. After rolling her sleeves up and working diligently to follow Kid to Kid’s proven business model, Gustin found great success not long after opening the doors of her resale clothing franchise. Nearly three years later, Gustin’s hard work has paid off and she has been named as the franchise system’s 2020 Store of the Year winner.
The Store of the Year Award is given to the franchisee who has the highest sales growth dollars, sales growth percentage, profit margins and sales rank in comparison to the rest of the children’s resale clothing franchise system.
Honored at Kid to Kid’s Annual Meeting in February, Gustin says the award is a testament to her and her team’s hard work:
“I am very flattered,” she says. “I knew my store had grown like some of my peers and that I had tremendous sales growth. Over the course of the last year, I worked really hard to not only come up with strategies to attract and retain customers, but also move our products. This included sales, markdowns and other things. Ultimately, my store’s success is due to my team’s hard work and efforts. They really care about the store and want to see it successful. In addition to my wonderful team, Basecamp played a huge role as well by providing me with proven systems to follow as well as amazing support when I needed it.”
Before Gustin became the owner of a Kid to Kid franchise, she spent about seven years working as a program controller and financial analyst. Although she had found great success in her career, she sought an opportunity that would provide her with more flexibility and versatility, especially since she was now a wife and the mother of two small children. At the time, she also enjoyed the “thrill of the hunt” while bargain shopping.
“I was going to a lot of garage sales and one of my friends suggested that it would be cool if I started my own business,” Gustin recalls. “Although I originally wanted to open a mom-and-pop store, after doing some research I felt it would be better to join a franchise instead. That’s how I came across Kid to Kid. After reaching out, I really enjoyed conversing with the Basecamp team and learning more about Kid to Kid, their growth plans, vision and how they would support me in business. In addition, their stores weren’t oversaturating the market, investment costs were affordable, and the resale clothing industry was still growing. I felt it was the perfect store for me to open in Fort Wayne.”
Gustin joined Kid to Kid with no prior business experience. It was important to her to invest in a business opportunity that would provide her with the necessary tools and training so that she would be able to be successful with her business. Kid to Kid was the perfect match.
“Kid to Kid provided me with world-class support,” Gustin says, “My initial training was a 12-day session spent at a local store in Salt Lake City, Utah. During this time, I worked alongside a seasoned franchisee in their store for five days learning everything about running a store. Prior to this, I also completed more than 30 hours of online training. I learned how to use the point-of-sale and inventory management systems, how to buy and sell inventory, recruit and manage a team, and so much more. Additionally, I received marketing training and financial coaching.”
Kid to Kid has been helping entrepreneurs like Gustin succeed in business since 1992. In three decades of business, Kid to Kid has built one of the most comprehensive support platforms in the entire franchise industry. With a streamlined business model that is easy to manage, Kid to Kid provides marketing support, ongoing coaching, mentorship and state-of-the-art technology to ensure that our franchisees have the tools they need to thrive in business.
“If you’re just starting out as a Kid to Kid franchise owner, just follow the system,” Gustin says. “It doesn’t matter if you join the family with experience or not, Basecamp will teach you everything you need to know. All you have to bring to the table is a good work-ethic and follow the system. Some people come in and question the system, or think they can do it their own way, but the system works. For instance, my store hit the ground running, so I didn’t have time to follow through on everything. However, once I did follow through 100 percent, my store did even better.”
In September 2020, Gustin will celebrate her third year in business, and she’s already looking to be even better.
“My hopes for the future include my store becoming an even more well-oiled machine,” she says. “I want my store to be the store where customers can come in and be confident they will find what they’re looking for. Ultimately, I want to grow at least 20 percent more and put myself in a position where I don’t have to be in-store every day. As long as I work alongside my team, I believe we can accomplish our goals and have a thriving business that fills a need in the community over the long-term.”