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Meet Sarah Summers of Rhea Lana’s of Cobb County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Summers.

Sarah, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
After working in corporate America for almost 22 years in sales and marketing roles, and taking off a couple of years to spend more time with my children, I ventured out and bought the Rhea Lana’s of Cobb County, GA franchise business in December of 2018. I had been a consignor of their business for many years while my children were young.

We are a boutique children’s consignment event held twice a year seasonally in the Spring and Fall. We enable local Cobb county residents to resell/consign their gently used children’s clothes, baby equipment, toys, nursery decor, and so much more. Our franchise is family-owned and independent franchise, and you will often see our three children, Isaac, Aaron, and Hannah, helping before, during and after the events, along with my husband of 22 years, Davy.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We encounter challenges for every event that we have, but that is part of being a nimble entrepreneur. Last year, I rented an events place in Cobb county that didn’t have good cell or wireless service, and we depend on that a great deal in order to run our point of sale system software. We had to come up with an alternate Plan B running the system on local and trying to get a different wireless router at the very last minute so that we didn’t make the customers wait in long lines at check out. This all had to be done quickly on opening day when we discovered that it wasn’t working properly. My husband and I are great problem solvers after working in Corporate America for many years.

In addition, we often rent out retail spaces that have been vacant for quite some time to have our seasonal/twice a year events since we aren’t a permanent brick and mortar store. Sometimes, there are some challenges in finding empty retail that is large enough for our events so we have to get creative in our search. Some of these spaces have been empty for several years so it takes a bit of cleaning, and creativity with decorations to help make them look presentable like a normal store front on opening day!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Rhea Lana’s of Cobb County – what should we know?
Rhea Lana’s of Cobb County is a semi-annual high-quality children’s consignment event held in the Spring and Fall. We resell children’s clothes, shoes, toys, books, DVDs, baby equipment, gently used maternity clothes, nursery decor, and nursery furniture, all at very affordable prices.

Our consignors that resell these items make 65% of their sold items and can earn up to 75% if they refer some new consignors. Plus, Rhea Lana’s GUARANTEE’S the consignor’s items from loss or theft. We inspect all items that come in for quality and ensure that they are working items with batteries. We also have an easy to use voice entry system to enter the consignor’s items into the system, which saves busy Moms a lot of time. Consignors that resell their items pick up their check for their sold items on pick up day at the end of the event, along with the unsold items if they don’t wish to donate them to a local charity. No waiting weeks to get paid!

From a shopping standpoint, consignors, moms-to-be, teachers and moms with military IDs (and a guest of their choice) are allowed to shop the deals early before we open to the public at our Private Pre-Sale Event! We also allow shoppers to purchase paid tickets to our Platinum party on Friday evening prior to opening day if they want to get early access to the deals. Hundreds of Cobb county and Atlanta area local families shop our amazing events each season, and get name brand items for their whole family at a fraction of the cost! The Cobb County community depends on our events, and we love serving them each season. In addition, it gives us great joy to be able to give the unsold inventory to a local charity of our choice after the event if the consignors choose to do so. This is just another way that we give back to our local community.

Rhea Lana’s of Cobb county is part of a nationally recognized, award-winning franchise with over 100 other franchises around the country. Rhea Lana’s has six independently owned franchises in the Atlanta area, including Rhea Lana’s of Druid Hills/Decatur, Rhea Lana’s of North Atlanta, Rhea Lana’s of Duluth/Suwanee, Rhea Lana’s of Cumming, and Rhea Lana’s of Cartersville. All of the Rhea Lana’s franchises start out to serve local families. The Rhea Lana’s national franchise is awarded with excellence each year including the below:

Franchise Business Review named Rhea Lana’s #1 low-cost retail franchise
Franchise Gator named Rhea Lana’s a Top 100 Franchise.
Ranked #12 for top Franchises for Women by Franchise Business Review

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My husband of almost 22 years, Davy, is my co-owner of the business, and I couldn’t do it without his every day support and encouragement. He is extremely hands-on at the event with the set up and take down of the racks/tables, arranging the floor plan, and he takes vacations days from his career so that he can be there for the event each season. He often jokes that he now only takes “Rhea Lana’s vacations.” Davy is so knowledgeable and experienced in the finance, technology, and operations side of the business, and I compliment with my sales, event planning, and marketing expertise. Together, we make a great team even though there are sometimes tense and stressful moments in running a business.

I also like owning a business that is part of a national Franchise so that I can gain knowledge, ideas, and mentor ship from other Rhea Lana’s franchise owners who have walked in my same shoes. We have a corporate mentor from headquarters assigned to us that helps supports a group of us owners that are similar in size, as well as the headquarters office also offers marketing support, education support, and IT infrastructure. I also am very thankful for the other sister franchise owners that are here in the Atlanta metropolitan area and in Georgia as they have helped me so much. I usually go to help them at their events and I always learn so much from them every time. We all have distinct territories for our franchises, but we do our best to collaborate in how to best serve the Atlanta and Georgia communities. We share some of the same consignors and workers that have grown to know and love the Rhea Lana’s difference in the consignment industry.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

The one with the 3 of us in the picture is one of my husband, Davy, my oldest son, Isaac, and I working at an event. The other picture is of a friend of mine, Jennifer Williams, who was helping me at one of the events, and she is in the larger sign picture as well. The other pictures are ones taken at our Cobb County’s Rhea Lana’s events, and of shoppers in line for their early shopping time at our Presale event.

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