By Johnny Jackson
McDonough resident, Wyndy Reese, said she is grateful that she has reached the 10-year mark with her business.
For the past decade, Reese, and her husband of 18 years, Mike, have operated the only Once Upon A Child franchise in the Southern Crescent -- one of two franchises in metro Atlanta, and one of three statewide.
"I'm excited about being on the Southside," said Wyndy Reese. "My goal is to get our name out there and to let everybody know what we are and what we do.
"I'm praising God that we're still here, and we're a part of the community," she continued. "It's been good, and that's what keeps us going."
She and her husband opened the Stockbridge store after moving their family -- which includes 7-year-old twin boys and two daughters, ages 11 and 14 -- from Clinton, Md.
While living in Maryland, Wyndy Reese worked at a day care, teaching pre-kindergarten. She said she saw an opportunity to combine her experience as a mother and teacher with her drive to become a business woman.
"We visited a Once Upon A Child store in North Carolina," she said. "We fell in love with the concept."
At the time she and her husband decided to open a store in Stockbridge, the only other Once Upon A Child store in the region (in Marietta) was in the process of closing, she explained. Later, in 2003, the couple opened Plato's Closet, at 7193 Mt. Zion Blvd., in Jonesboro.
"We looked at these stores as an opportunity to serve the community," said Mike Reese. "I think it's a remarkable moment for us. For any business to be established for 10 years, serving the community, is a great feat."
Mike Reese said both businesses have been successful, but Once Upon A Child has found its niche in the community.
"Over the years, it has progressively gotten better, and we've got a nice following," said Wyndy Reese. "People are catching on, and with the economy, it's a good choice. We get a lot of infant wear because children -- they grow out of things so fast."
Wyndy Reese said the store sells gently used infant and young children's clothing, from premature baby sizes to size 12. She said there has been a recent jump for tweens.
"What really keeps me going is that parents who don't have a lot of resources can come in and get their kids some nice things at a reasonable price," she said. "We also focus on safety and monitor recalled products."
The Reeses plan to celebrate a decade in business with Once Upon A Child this Saturday from 9:30 a.m., until 6 p.m. She said the store, located at 3584 Ga. Highway 138 SE in Stockbridge, will be giving away gift cards and prizes, serving cake and punch, and offering 15-percent-off-retail discounts during the celebration.
Wyndy Reese added that the store's celebration will also coincide with the 25th anniversary of the store's parent company, Winmark Corporation. This month, the Minneapolis, Minn.-based company has been celebrating a chain that has grown to 235 Once Upon A Child stores throughout North America.
"It is rewarding to watch parents come in with gently used items their children have outgrown and then get paid on the spot or trade them for other items they may need," said Susan Baustian, director of the Once Upon A Child brand.
"Once Upon A Child stores provide parents with a practical solution to their constantly growing children's needs," Baustian said. "It is a concept that has been well received by consumers throughout the nation."