Service Not Sales: How One Former Customer Transformed a Failing Kid to Kid Franchise into a Top Performer
Local mom of two, Kori Forney had visited BaseCamp Franchising’s child-focused franchise, Kid to Kid, only once when she had the chance to purchase the struggling Medford, Oregon store in 2009.
When a friend casually told her the store was up for sale, a strange curiosity drove her to explore the opportunity further.
“I was looking for something. I didn’t even really know what I was looking for…just that it was time for me to do something different. Something big.”
With absolutely no sales or business experience whatsoever, the former Pilates instructor and jewelry maker felt energetically led to purchase the small town store for reasons she still doesn’t quite understand. Her family had just experienced a huge economic shift, with her husband transitioning from a career in real estate to a new life as a stay-at-home Dad. With a laugh, Kori says “I still look back and wonder how this all happened!”
Originally opened in 2007, the Medford Kid to Kid operation struggled off and on under the leadership of two previous owners until falling into Kori’s capable hands in 2009. Buying and reselling new and gently used children’s clothes, toys, baby gear, and maternity wear, Kori’s dynamite personality and deep love for community quickly doubled store sales from 2009 to 2011, with her contagious excitement nearly doubling them again over the course of the next four years. Her small town store quickly climbed the ladder from spot #67 all the way to where it currently sits, ranking fifth in performance across 92 Kid to Kid stores operating nationwide.
A lover of community and a value-conscious recycler, Kori appreciated the opportunity to reuse quality items at reasonable prices, supporting local families and championing better stewardship all at the same time. With a daughter, Isabella, and a son, Elijah, Kori personally identified with the need to provide quality clothing for children at prices a family budget could afford. For her, the store represented more than an economic career move. It was an opportunity to serve.
With a “go big or go home” attitude, Kori leapt into transforming her store, quickly learning and applying new ideas to improve the store’s organization and representation to the public. She credits a supportive husband, who patiently managed the home while she clocked in twelve hours days, and BaseCamp Franchising for helping her succeed in those first critical years.
“BaseCamp allowed someone like me, with no sales, business or ownership experience, to excel. Every resource I needed was right at my fingertips. They equipped me with the training and insight I needed to run a profitable business, and also welcomed and implemented creative ideas from myself and other franchisees. Having access to such expertise and detailed information is a relief, and I feel at home in the BaseCamp family.”
Kori has one goal as a Kid to Kid franchise owner – to honor the relationships that allow her store to flourish. By offering extended buying hours and flexible payment options, the Medford store aims to always put the customer first, providing what they need, when they need it. Acknowledging the value of a devoted team, Kori always seeks to become a better employer, offering staff support and team incentives that have decreased turnover and brought phenomenal management onto her team.
“Purchasing the Medford store was never about a financial opportunity. It was an opportunity to be a part of something greater than myself, supporting a culture of community, giving back and resourcefulness that respects hard-working moms and dads, helps our planet by recycling quality goods and fosters an environment of sharing and service. I want my customers and my employees to know they can count on me. ‘I am here for you.’ I mean what I say and I do what I say. That reliability and trust is the catalyst for authentic human connection where everybody wins. The success of this store is a team effort.”
Kori has saved the hometown families of Medford literally millions of dollars by packing her store wall to wall with a tremendous selection of well-priced clothing, toys and other goods that keep loyal customers coming back for more. Brilliantly sourcing thousands of popular options for the now bustling hotspot, Kori has sold over 200,000 items to Medford families in just this year alone! Kori has already expanded the store once, growing from 3000 sq. ft. to 5000 sq. ft., continuing to flourish in the once tepid resale environment, and hopes to expand again in the very near future.
“It’s important for us to consider what our customers experience every time they enter the store. Many of them come in with kids, tired and stressed, having fought a battle just to get the kids out of the car and inside the door. I want to make sure our store is spacious, allowing them to move freely and easily with their strollers, and give them an opportunity to find a little peace while they shop. Every day I ask myself ‘What can we do better? How can I serve my community better?’ It’s all about looking up from the sales reports to see my community, my customers and their needs clearly. Providing them with the opportunity to buy and sell, serving as the interim between families in different stages of life…it’s a powerful experience and I’m immeasurably grateful to be a part of it.”
While Kori continues to take her Kid to Kid store to new heights, she candidly admits that it’s her life that has really transformed as a result of owning the now-popular franchise location. The store has served as a beacon of light and strength, allowing her to be a global giver, embracing new moms and developing special appreciation for the women and families she serves every day. She considers herself a stronger human being because of all she has learned in her years as franchise owner, and is grateful for the success and team effort that now allows her to be at home more often, celebrating her own family as a reward to her commitment to developing a culture of community in Medford, the small-town home that now has an even more intimate place near to her heart.
“I’ve learned so much! How important it is to trust your personal journey, to leap in without fear and throw yourself into the challenges you face. Our store has exploded, but I’ll be honest, I rarely look at the numbers. I look at the excitement of new moms when they find just what they need, the appreciation of parents that can come back to sell their items and support their families. I feel how our community is coming together to put family first and serve others. That’s how I know my store is doing well. That’s how I know I’m on the right track.”