Please tell us about your business and the service that you provide:
Our business is Just Between Friends of Germantown/Port Washington, WI and we host a semi-annual community children’s event, where local moms with kids of all ages can buy and sell gently-used items from clothing and toys, to baby gear and room décor plus so much more.
What motivated you to start your business?
Because saving money and being a ‘Savvy Shopper’ is a lifestyle choice for me, not just something that I do a few times per year. So, when I heard about JBF, it was the perfect place for me to buy and sell my children’s items! I became motivated to buy a JBF Franchise when I realized that my sister-in-law did not have a sale her area. Ammie was motivated about the opportunity to bring this type event to the people in her community as so many families these days are struggling to make ends meet.
What kind of background or expertise do you have in your field?
Fortunately, with this type of event, our skills as moms and smart shoppers for our families was enough to help us connect with our consignors and shoppers. Of course, my marketing degree and management experience has greatly helped in running smooth event, but both Ammie and I have networked with so many great moms in our area that all bring such varied skills and ideas to the sale that we have a very large pool of expertise involved in each of our events.
What trends do you see in your current industry?
The trends that I am noticing are that Consignment Sales Events are not going to be a “fad”, but rather another viable and even preferred shopping choice for many families during the entire time they raise their children. Of course, I am also seeing too a social side to these events which is certainly unique to a traditional retail shopping experience. Our consignors and shoppers actually look forward to re-connecting with other “JBFers” almost as much as they look forward to the wonderful bargains they know await them at our events.
What are the most demanding aspects about your business?
The most demanding aspect of our business is that while it is an event…there is never a “down-time” for the event to be as successful as it can be. So, while our consignors and shoppers only show up two-three times per year…we are spending the other time throughout the year planning for and promoting the events.
What are the most rewarding aspects about your business?
By far, the most rewarding experience we have gotten from our business is the relationships we have developed with people we would never have otherwise met. Plus…what a humbling moment to have someone tell you what a financial difference our JBF sale has made for their family. Those things are just priceless!! We can’t buy the things that mean the most to us from our events…we can only earn those with good service, a great event and a genuine interaction with those that we are fortunate enough to see during each event.
What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a business like yours?
Talk to your family and make sure that everyone is “on board” for it. If you have young children, you will need to have a strong support system to help you as you plan the event and then most especially during the event as it is an all day, non-stop event which generally takes you away from the family until the last item is stored away until the next event.
What are you most proud of as a parent-preneur?
Well…simply the fact that we have done it! We never thought that we would be operating our own business in which not only our family benefits but so many other families too.
How have you been able to balance your time between work and your family?
Planning, planning, planning!! And…as mentioned above, having an awesome support system of people to call upon for all sorts of things from errand-running to childcare to proof-reading updated website/marketing data.
What has been the most effective way for you to promote and market yourself?
Networking with other families via in person appearances such as Fairs and Festivals to speaking with Mom’s groups to connecting with them even in Social Media outlets. Word of mouth is the best, so…getting our info. into the hands of our target market with the message of “Be sure to tell your friends”!
Finally: What does your “Milk Money” provide for you and your family?
Our “Milk Money” sometimes actually pays for the Milk (ie: groceries!), but it also helps us to be able to give our children some “extras” such as sports/dance team involvement to vacations to a fun evening out every now and again. We always love when our “Milk Money” helps us to fund some current activity which will turn into memories that our children will look back on years from now.