A resale franchise is thriving in the Ahwatukee Foothills.
Brenda Spezzacatena and her mom, Molly Varner, will celebrate their ninth year as owners of the Ahwatukee Foothills Kid to Kid store in August.
The local outfit was recently named Kid to Kid Store of the Month for May, topping the franchise’s 102 other worldwide outlets.
As opposed to stores like Goodwill, which take donations, Kid to Kid purchases its merchandise, offering the seller either cash or account credit.
The goods, children’s clothes and toys and maternity wear are resold for “a lot less than you would buy in a retail store,” said Jenny Burgess, marketing analyst for BaseCamp Franchising, Kid to Kid’s parent company.
Spezzacatena had worked in the resale industry prior to owning her own store. After spending eight years at a children’s resale store, the Ahwatukee Foothills resident began working at the Scottsdale Kid to Kid store in 2003.
“I have a love for it. I really enjoy it. I love the concept and the idea of it,” Spezzacatena said.
Kid to Kid began in 1992 out of the Salt Lake City area, founded by the husband-and-wife duo of Brent and Shauna Sloan. The company has consistently expanded its franchises, reaching Portugal in 2003.
Spezzacatena decided to leave the Scottsdale store in favor of starting her own Kid to Kid location.
“I realized, ‘I think I can do this on my own with some help,’ ” she said.
Spezzacatena partnered with her mother, and their Ahwatukee outlet opened Aug. 11, 2005.
“It was perfect timing when it happened. [My mom] had been at the same job for 30 years, and the company had been bought out, so it was a good time for her to leave and for us to start an adventure together,” Spezzacatena said.
Varner manages the back of the store, and Spezzacatena manages day-to-day operations.
Business has been a success for Kid to Kid of Ahwatukee. It has consistently placed in the top 10 for Kid to Kid sales, Spezzacatena said.
They won also Store of the Month in August 2013.
According to a BaseCamp Franchising press release, the Ahwatukee store has consistently boosted its numbers, with a yearly customer increase of almost 10 percent.
“We feel honored to be recognized by the Kid to Kid franchise and we could not have done it without the hard work of our employees and manager, Angel,” Spezzacatena said.
She credited the local community for anchoring the business: “I really do think that it’s where we are, being in Ahwatukee and having that community and the location and the great people and the great merchandise and great employees.”
According to Spezzacatena, Kid to Kid has been involved in the community, offering clothing in a back-to-school program and donating items to the Salvation Army and Phoenix Dream Center.
In light of their success with Kid to Kid, Spezzacatena and Varner will open an Uptown Cheapskate store in Chandler. The mother-daughter duo will again be co-owners, along with Spezzacatena’s husband.
Also owned by BaseCamp Franchising, Uptown Cheapskate employs an identical business model to Kid to Kid but caters to a teenaged and young adult demographic.
It made sense to Spezzacatena because after nine years of providing service to pregnant moms and their young children, Kid to Kid’s customers have grown up.
“I think it’s the perfect timing because there’s a lot of people who have shopped with us since we opened. Their kids are outgrowing our store, and this is like the next step,” Spezzacatena said.
Uptown Cheapskate Chandler is anticipated to open in September.
For more information on Kid to Kid of Ahwatukee, visit www.kidtokid.com/ahwatukee/.
• James Anderson is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is interning this semester for the AFN.