Season 2 Consign, a 100% female-owned non-traditional retailer specializing in top-quality, authentic luxury handbags and accessories, is making waves in the world of franchising. Founded by sister duo Monica Tapia Mularski and Erika Tapia Schrieber, this innovative venture is disrupting the industry with its unique business model. With over 15 years of experience in the luxury handbag resale sector, their journey is a testament to the innovation driving female entrepreneurship.
A Visionary Concept Takes Shape
Season 2 Consign was developed in 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The sisters identified an unmet need in the secondhand luxury market, observing the struggles of small retailers unable to adapt to the changing landscape. It was this observation that sparked their innovative vision.
“We knew that the secondhand luxury space had always been recession resistant but lacked the technological advances that operating during a global pandemic required,” shared Monica. “Teamed with the aspiration to empower and include other women, we collaborated with like-minded, innovative software companies who had the potential to elevate the brand by expanding it through franchising.”
Breaking New Ground: The First Female-Led Franchise of Its Kind
Season 2 Consign is set apart by its status as the world’s first and only franchise opportunity of its kind, spearheaded by an all-female team. Their approach includes a centralized e-commerce system and the modernization of luxury shopping in the online realm. Opting to franchise their business was a strategic step to scale their enterprise.
“We were receiving inquiries from clients wanting a Season 2 Consign showroom in their area, and at the same time, we were also receiving inquiries from people wanting to do what we do and how we do it,” said Erika. “As we continued to grow, we came to a crossroads of how we should scale. We chose to pursue franchising because our company’s foundation rests on a high level of concierge-style customer service, and we have faith that owner/operators will embody a strong sense of ownership, prioritizing this exceptional level of customer service.”
Releasing ownership and trusting others with a brand they built from the ground up was a significant initial challenge, as it is for many entrepreneurs venturing into franchising.
Throughout their franchise journey, Monica and Erika have held a steadfast dedication to preserving their core values of commitment to integrity, spirit of excellence, and a focus on people. Targeting franchise partners and ambitious leaders that upheld these values allowed the sisters to not only open up more opportunities for female entrepreneurs, but to ensure that the brand would remain consistent at its core.
“We believe that a rising tide lifts all boats,” said Erika. “Being able to equip others with a business model that has changed our lives so significantly is an opportunity we value tremendously.”
Crafting a Franchise Model: The Season 2 Consign Approach
Transforming a successful business into a franchise model requires meticulous planning, legal considerations, and the creation of replicable and valuable systems and processes. Season 2 Consign embarked on this journey with the guidance of a specialized franchise law firm, ensuring they were well-prepared from the start.
To ensure consistency and quality across all locations, the brand implemented a rigorous training process for new franchisees, offering one full week at headquarters and one full week leading up to launch. Their headquarters team provides ongoing support, ensuring franchise owners can maintain the high level of service Season 2 Consign clients expect.
“We made sure to create all of the systems, training, support documents and processes that would be valuable to owners in our system,” explained Erika. “It’s incredibly important to have a strong support system to set our franchisees up for success.”
Inclusivity: The Heart of Season 2 Consign’s Mission
From its inception, Season 2 Consign’s mission was clear: to change the face of luxury retail by making it more inclusive and relatable to a wider audience. Season 2 Consign has built an ecosystem where diversity is not only welcomed, but celebrated as an integral part of the company’s identity.
“At the time, no one looked like us, no one spoke like us, and no one was creating relatable content in the industry,” emphasized Monica. “Being a self-funded Latina and a female-founded company, we are proud that we’ve created an ecosystem where diversity is such a crucial part of the whole.”
Empowering Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs
Monica and Erika’s journey in franchising serves as an inspiration to other aspiring women entrepreneurs and franchisers. Their advice is straightforward yet invaluable: first, get involved with industry-specific organizations like the International Franchise Association (IFA) and join business networks. Second, surround yourself with people who share your goals and be open to learning from them. No matter how much you already know about your industry, there’s always something new to discover, and plenty of room for personal and professional growth.
“Franchising has proven to be a place of deep collaboration and mentorship,” noted Monica. “As women, we bring a unique perspective to the franchising model; particularly, in our adaptability, leadership style, and our solution-based mindset. Our perspective is that these qualities have been not only respected but celebrated within the franchising industry.”
As the sisters look to the future, they look forward to seeing more women in franchising, both within their own system and the industry as a whole.
“A unique challenge we’ve faced is that there simply aren’t enough women in the franchising industry,” said Erika. “We’ve been fortunate to build relationships with the powerful, innovative, and collaborative women already active in the franchising field. We eagerly anticipate witnessing more women taking their place at the table as time goes on.”