New Uses is the creation of Lynn and Dennis Blum of Columbus, Ohio. Lynn and Dennis have a very successful history of founding and developing high-value, high-margin retail businesses.
In the early 1980’s, Lynn made a decision to start a business to help support their family. With three growing boys, their closets became full of outgrown clothes that were still in great shape. Lynn knew there were other families who would jump at the chance to purchase these “next to new” items at prices far below new retail. In 1991, she opened her first Once Upon A Child® resale store in Columbus, Ohio. Soon after, she opened her second store in Toledo. As her businesses flourished, many people asked if they too, could own a Once Upon A Child® store. In 1992, the answer was “YES!” and Lynn and Dennis began franchising the Once Upon A Child® business. By late 1992, they had sold and opened 20 Once Upon a Child® stores.
At the same time, Ronald G. Olson, President and co-founder of Grow Biz International, was seeking more opportunities for his franchise company. Ron purchased the rights to the Once Upon A Child® franchise from Lynn and Dennis Blum.
Under Ron’s leadership, Grow Biz International grew their franchise offerings by purchasing a number of other start-up franchise brands including Plato’s Closet®, also founded by Lynn and Dennis Blum. Ron built this group of franchise brands to well over 1,000 store locations in the U.S.A. and Canada -all specializing in the sale of “gently-used,” high-quality, name brand merchandise.
After having served as President and CEO since 1990, Mr. Olson left Grow Biz International in 2000 to find a new franchise brand and start up a new company. For 6 years, Mr. Olson looked at many other franchise opportunities. None compared to what he saw in New Uses, which he sees as the next high growth franchise opportunity that is ready to be introduced nationwide.