Meet Shelly & Kathy Rogers, co-owners of Just Between Friends, Waco. JBF is a franchise system that helps families and charities in Waco, Tx. Shelly is a young mom and Kathy is a grandma. They are both teachers and work with families and children in their church and at schools. They are bargain hunters too. Shelly had participated in the JBF sale in Tulsa for several sales and was able to clothe her (Kathy’s grandchildren) children at almost no cost. She would sell their outgrown items and toys and replace them with the next sizes up. When the ladies that operated the JBF in Tulsa, OK decided to offer franchises, they bought the one in Waco, Texas. They believe in the basic philosophy of Just Between Friends which is “friends helping friends”.
Please tell us about your business and the service that you provide:
Just Between Friends is a twice a year consignment sale for children’s clothing furniture, toy, ect and maternity wear. Our consignors price, and tag their items and determine IF it is donated. They receive 65% of their designated price. They can earn a higher % by bartering or volunteering to help with the actual sale. We do all the marketing and securing the venue and run the actual sale.
What motivated you to start your business?
My partner and I are parents and know how expensive children’s items are and that many items are out grown or barely used. A group of church ladies got together to share in selling their items and the Just Between Friends Children’s Consignment Franchise grew from that humble beginning.
What kind of background or expertise do you have in your field?
First and foremost a being a parent and trying to make end meet. We are teachers and work with children in many capacities.
What trends do you see in your current industry?
The trend for being a consignor and shopping a consignment sale is becoming very chic! The recession has helped in that it has helped many struggling families make ends meet more easily.
What are the most demanding aspects about your business?
The marketing our sale, has been slow. Though now our community is beginning to see us as a “fixture” in our community. It takes a lot of pounding the pavement to help us spread the word.
What are the most rewarding aspects about your business?
We meet and so many wonderful moms! This sale is their sale as much as it is ours. Our volunteers, consignors take such pride in bringing quality, gently used items. They inspect the items, we have folks that watch for recalls and we all take pride in selling only high quality items.
What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a business like yours?
Be aware that starting this type business is a slow process. Also, it is very important to develop relationships with the consignors, the businesses and the shoppers, by delivering quality items and being professional with all.
What are you most proud of as a parent-preneur?
That this business has grown so much and our reputation for quality items is the first thing everyone thinks about when they hear about Just Between Friends.
How have you been able to balance your time between work and your family?
It is hard! We work around full time jobs and then after my kids are in bed and early in the mornings. A lot of the work is via the computer. A lot is going out into the public and then the week of the sale is hard on everyone. Everyone in the family pitches in and helps with children and or at the sale.
What has been the most effective way for you to promote and market yourself?
Word of mouth!! I cannot say how valuable this is. The old adage “if you do something right for one person, they will tell three, but do something wrong and that one will tell 20”!! Is very true. Being out in the community and being engaged with other children related activities.
Finally: What does your “Milk Money” provide for you and your family?
It is an amazing way to let mom’s know that we are a part of all mom’s lives. We all struggle to makeJBF is all about helping families make their dollars stretch and also helps them put $$ in their pockets too. Milk Money is a site that let’s moms know more about how to do that.