Effective immediately, Tracy Panase has purchased Just Between Friends and stepped into the role of CEO. This news comes off the heels of a successful year with nine new franchise agreements, 317 total consignment sales events across the U.S., and accumulating more than $41m dollars in systemwide sales in 2022.
Tracy was first introduced to the world of franchising in 1999 when she and her husband became franchisees of Cookies by Design. She then discovered Just Between Friends in 2008, signing on as a franchisee in Reading, PA. Since she had experience in the franchise space and belief in the Just Between Friends concept, Tracy quickly found success and soon bought three additional territories throughout the greater Philadelphia area.
“Stepping into the role of franchisor was a natural next step of this journey and one that I am extremely honored to take,” said Tracy. “I instantly resonated with the solution Just Between Friends was providing as a parent – and now I am able to utilize my franchisee experience to make a stronger impact on the brand as a franchisor. I look forward to sharing my experience as a franchisee with the system, help other families achieve their entrepreneurial dreams, and lead the brand into its next era of growth.”
With a longstanding history with Just Between Friends, Tracy has already played an instrumental role in its success. Over the past 14 years, she and her husband have grown to be the largest revenue producer in the system, having joined the ‘Million Dollar Club’ back in 2012. Her husband has taken over as sole owner of their Just Between Friends local operations so she can focus solely on the role of CEO and franchisor.
Former CEO and co-founder, Shannon Wilburn, will take on the role of brand ambassador where she will provide strategic advisement for the next three years. Just Between Friends became a franchise in 2003 and has since grown across 31 states with more than 151 locations under Shannon’s leadership.
“Seeing Just Between Friends grow from our first sale in a living room 25 years ago to a national franchise has been more than a dream come true,” said Shannon. “Tracy is the exact right person to pass the torch to and I’m confident she will continue to enhance the legacy we’ve built while taking the business to new heights.”
At a Just Between Friends sale, parents and grandparents can shop rows and rows of baby and children’s shoes, toys, clothing, maternity, and baby equipment at 50 to 90 per cent off retail prices, and as a consignor, they can sell items and earn from 60 to 70 per cent on item sales. At the end of each Just Between Friends sale, items are donated to local organizations which help local women, children and families, serving groups that provide clothing closets, crisis centers, transitional emergency care, food banks and many other services.