Once Upon a Time and Clothes Mentor

Porscha and Steve Shideler were amazed at the quality of products they could find used at garage sales and on Craigslist… for the fraction of the price than buying them new in department stores. They knew the community could use a store that could be shopped for a large variety of gently used kid’s items, in one location.

Porscha who was in management and pregnant with their first child, before deciding to open a store, and Steve who has an MBA from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, and currently works as a Price Analyst for the Air Force, knew that they should do some research before jumping into owning a business.

The Shideler’s did some research on franchises and fell in love with Once Upon a Child. It was exactly what they were looking for! Additionally, before opening their first store, the Shideler’s met with the Colorado Springs SBDC Consultants for advice and received assistance on applying for an SBA loan through a local bank, which they also received. “We love the SBDC and thank them for their help when we started our first business in 2012” said Porscha.

With hard work, their first store, Once Upon a Child opened in August 2012, before their daughter had her first birthday.

Opening their first store came with some challenges. The biggest challenge in owning their own business was finding the right staff…and keeping them. Porscha and Steve knew the value of employee appreciation. They focused their energy on creating an environment that people loved to work in. Doing so allowed them to keep their great employees without dealing with turnover. They recognized those performing well, continue to have monthly competitions, and spend a lot of time on leadership training with their management.

Porscha and Steve’s management style has not gone unnoticed. In 2012, Once Upon a Child received an award for being #2 in the nation for growth! They hope to continue to impact the community by helping families save money by shopping at their stores at a fraction of mall prices, while making some cash by selling their gently used items.

The Shideler’s were asked by many expectant mothers if their store bought and sold maternity clothes. With the success of Once Upon a Child, the Shideler’s decided the next store the community needed was the same concept, but for moms. Clothes Mentor, a store that buys and sells women’s fashion from sizes 0 – 26 opened in August of 2013.

Porscha and Steve hope to continue their success and open more stores as needed by the community.

To learn more about Once Upon a Child and Clothes Mentor please visit www.onceuponachildcoloradosprings.com and www.clothesmentor.com/coloradosprings.

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