Tracy Schrimsher - Woman to Watch Class of 2013

Owner, Once upon a Child & Clothes Mentor

TITLE: Owner       
COMPANY: Once Upon a Child & Clothes Mentor
Once Upon a Child buys and sells gently used and new kids' stuff, or "Kids' stuff with Previous Experience." OUAC pays cash on the spot for items accepted. They buy clothing, toys, books, equipment, furniture and more. Clothes Mentor is "A totally new kind of resale store for women," that also pays cash on the spot. They buy clothing sizes 0-26, maternity, shoes, designer handbags, jewelry and much more.

Quick Look
Tracy Schrimsher graduated from Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis in 1974, then went to Ball State University and graduated from there in 1978. She started with JCPenney right out of college and was a manager with that company for almost 29 years. Tracy was at five different JCPenney stores throughout her career. Her last assignment was the Home Store Manager in Mishawaka. In Aug. 2007, she opened the Once Upon a Child store in Mishawaka. In May, 2009 she opened the Once Upon a Child store in Goshen. In Dec, 2011, she opened Clothes Mentor.

I always wanted to own my own store. My college roommate reminded me that, our freshman year, I talked about owning my own store and even had a name for it: T.L. Tuckers (which was my maiden name). But Once Upon a Child and Clothes Mentor work just fine for me!

I had been in retail for 28+ years. Then, five years ago, my daughter, Stephanie told me about this franchise. After checking things out, I believed my dream could come true of owning my own business. I thank her every day for leading me to these businesses and for all of my friends’ and family's support.

What does success looks like to you?  
Success, to me, means enjoying what you are doing and doing the best you can do.
Do you serve on any charitable organizations' boards or committees? 
Member of WBOM; Member of St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce; Member of Elkhart County Chamber of Commerce; Member of Goshen Chamber of Commerce.
Rewards or continuing education?
Once Upon a Child in both Mishawaka and Goshen received the "Fast Start" award for their first twelve months opened. This award goes to the store that does the most volume within the first twelve months. Mishawaka was awarded this in 2007 & Goshen was awarded it in 2009.
Once Upon a Child has also been awarded the South Bend Tribune Readers' Choice "Favorite Kids’ Consignment” for the last three years. October 2012, Once Upon a Child in Goshen was awarded the “Small Business of the Month” from The Goshen Chamber of Commerce.

What I love most about my job is that it is a FAMILY business. I do not look at the business as "my business", but "our business." I could never do all of this without my wonderful husband, Roy, of 32 years, our daughter and son-in-law, Stephanie & Dan McCoy, and our son and daughter-in-law, Steven & Lauren Schrimsher. Nor could I do it without wonderful employees. They all have a special part in the business.


Best business advice you ever received and who gave it? Being your own boss is the only way to go. My father told me this for years!
Who professionally inspires you? My mom always inspired me growing up to be a professional business woman. Now, other business owners inspire me! And I LOVE being a mentor to anyone who wants to do what I am doing.
What is your biggest pet peeve? When no one cleans out the refrigerator.
What was your first job? 16 yrs. old - Photographer's assistant.  
Where would you go on your dream vacation if cost and time were not a factor? Australia, because I have never been there. But I can be happy on any vacation.
What is your favorite stress-reliever? Going on vacation!
If you were to describe yourself as a shoe, what kind would you be and why?  Tennis shoe because everyone loves tennis shoes!


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