Once Upon A Child Logo

About Once Upon A Child

Founded in 1984 in Columbus, Ohio, Once Upon A Child specializes in selling new and used children’s clothes, toys, furniture and equipment. Franchises were first offered in 1992. The company is owned by Winmark (formerly Grow Biz), which also franchises Music Go Round, Plato’s Closet, Style Encore and Play It Again Sports.

Our Mission

We offer our business expertise to partner with, support and advocate for small and medium-sized companies by guiding entrepreneurs in building successful franchises that transform communities and individuals.

Our beginnings


Beginning with the incorporation of Play it Again Sports in 1988, Winmark, then known as Grow Biz, started forging a legacy of building beloved secondhand shops. Soon after Play it Again Sports was established, Once Upon A Child was purchased in 1992 followed by Music Go Round in 1993. Just 6 years after inception, Winmark was named Fortune and Inc. magazine’s Fastest Growing Public Company. Plato’s Closet was acquired soon after Winmark gained recognition for its other existing franchises.

Establishing a legacy of success


Winmark officially rebranded itself to its current moniker in 2001, and a few years later, Winmark Capital was founded. In the midst of this exciting growth, Play It Again Sports and Once Upon A Child celebrated a strong 20 years of franchise success. In 2007, Winmark hit $500 million in enterprise sales, standing out from the competition in its longevity and success.

Steady growth guided by strong brands


Winmark launched Style Encore in 2013, the same year it celebrated its 1,000th franchise location. Soon after in 2015, Winmark tallied $1 billion in enterprise sales. The well-established brand names of Music Go Round, Plato’s Closet, and Once Upon A Child continue to grow, as shoppers turn to secondhand shopping for its affordability and sustainability. Winmark maintains its stronghold as the resale company as it forges an exciting path forward into the future!

Company Founded


Current Leadership

Brett Heffes, CEO

Started Franchising

1992 (29 years)

Total Number of Units

392 (as of 2020)

Part-Time / Full-Time

Full Time

Stock Ticker Symbol


How Much Does It Cost To Open A Once Upon A Child Franchise?

There are several costs associated with opening a Once Upon A Child franchise. There is typically a franchise fee set by the franchisor, which covers the costs of opening a franchise location. Some other commons fees include equipment fees, marketing fees, licensing fees, insurance, and taxes, to name a few.

Some franchises may have a weekly fee that the franchisee pays for operating a Once Upon A Child franchise. The weekly fee for opening a Once Upon A Child franchise is Continuing Fee Due On The Wednesday Of Each Week.

The full breakdown of these fees can be found in the Financial Disclosure Document (FDD) provided to franchisees by the franchisor. The FDD report will contain additional information such as whether the franchise is renewable (Once Upon A Child Is Renewable) and does the franchise offer financing support (Once Upon A Child Once Upon A Child has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory).

Once Upon A Child Company Details

Here are some additional details about Once Upon A Child.

Parent Company Winmark Corp.
Initial Investment $25,000
Net Worth Requirement $400,000
Royalty Fee 5%
Ad Royalty $1.5K/yr.
Cash Requirement $90,000 - $105,000
Term of Agreement 10 years
Absentee Ownership No
Run from Home No
Part Time No

Training and Support Offered By Once Upon A Child

Once Upon A Child offers several support options to its franchisees. With 392 (as of 2020) units, Once Upon A Child aims to provide support to each franchise owner to help them operate a successful franchise location. Once Upon A Child offers 18 hours on the job training, 56 hours classroom training, and No additional training.

Training and Support Offered

Here are the support options offered by Once Upon A Child.

On-The-Job Training 18 hours
Classroom Training 56 hours
Additional Training No
Ongoing Support
  • Purchasing Co-ops
  • Newsletter
  • Meetings & Conventions
  • Toll-Free Line
  • Grand Opening
  • Online Support
  • Security & Safety Procedures
  • Lease Negotiation
  • Field Operations
  • Site Selection
  • Proprietary Software
  • Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
  • Co-op Advertising
  • Ad Templates
  • National Media
  • Regional Advertising
  • Social Media
  • SEO
  • Website Development
  • Email Marketing
  • Loyalty Program/App
Once Upon A Child Logo

Is Once Upon A Child Right For You?

Once Upon A Child has gone digital! Here are all of the ways you can find Once Upon A Child online. Oftentimes, you can reach out to current franchisees of Once Upon A Child online. Current franchisees may be able to offer personalized insights into what it is like owning a Once Upon A Child franchise and offer tips to running a successful Once Upon A Child franchise location.


Why Should You Start a Once Upon A Child Franchise?

Investing in a Children franchise such as Once Upon A Child can kickstart your franchise portfolio. Our goal at Why Franchise is to provide you with the resources needed to be a successful franchise owner. Fill out the form below to get more information about Once Upon A Child franchise and we'll be in touch soon!

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