When looking for a new opportunity and a lifestyle that would give them flexibility to spend more time with their kids, Tracy Panase and her husband John came across Just Between Friends, a semi-annual children’s and maternity sales franchise where families can buy and sell items that their children need at a very affordable price. Tracy started with just one sale, and after the seeing the community impact, she expanded and now runs sales in three territories in Pennsylvania – Reading, the Western Main Line, and Lancaster. Tracy said she had no idea how much of a need there was and just how many families she could help.
She describes Just Between Friends as a “marketplace for our communities to come together to help one another.” At her largest sale, she takes in over 400,000 items in a day and a half and serves between 10,000-15,000 customers from the local area. She says the franchise system is essential to managing such large inventory in such a short amount of time, as well as all the system and procedures the franchise has established. She says the collaborative culture of Just Between Friends stems from the top down, which was more apparent than ever at the start the pandemic. Although events were shut down at the time, kids were still growing and parents still had a need, so the franchise system worked together to navigate the challenges of the day and keep providing for their customers.
In addition to the community impact the sale itself has, Just Between Friends partners with family-based charities to donate all the remaining items following the sale. Their main charity partner is called Cradles to Crayons, where they allow families in need to come “shop” for items they need and be able to provide for children in the area. Just Between prides itself on only providing high quality items so nobody ever feels like they are buying or receiving something of lesser quality simply because it’s used. Tracy also said she also recognized that their impact exceeds the community, and this year focused on Ukrainian relief efforts with an outpouring of support from the communities they serve to send items and monetary donations overseas.
Tracy said being able to “do good” is what keeps her going and “giving back is so fundamental to what we do.”
Tracy Panase is a franchise owner of Just Between Friends, and she is Open for Opportunity.