Cynthia and Tim Holliday, owners of Children’s World Uniform Supply.
Cynthia and Tim Holliday, owners of Children’s World Uniform Supply, strive to make an impact on their local community through their business. — Children's World Uniform Supply

Children’s World Uniform Supply sets itself apart from most modern-day businesses by providing what they refer to as “old-fashioned customer service.” At the Sarasota, Florida-based store, which sells private and charter school uniforms, specialty gifts, toys, and games, customers discover that the business’s goodwill reaches far beyond the local community.

“In the majority of stores nowadays, you are lucky to find a customer service representative — and if you do, they are often not very helpful, as they often do not know a lot about the products they are selling,” said Tim Holliday, who took over the business with his wife, Cynthia, over 20 years ago. “We take the opposite approach to that, with all of our team members knowing the details of each individual school's uniform requirements, as well as details on all of the gifts we sell, and even how to play all of the games we have available.”

In each facet of the business (the Holliday family also runs a post office inside of the store, and they also operate another company, Business World Promo Supply), staff are trained to understand the products they are selling and possess the knowledge to help customers through the decision-making process by being able to address all their questions and concerns.

Caring for the community through environmental efforts and goodwill

Exceptional customer service isn’t the only thing driving Children’s World Uniform Supply forward. Since its inception — and certainly, since coming into the hands of the Holliday family in 2001 — the business has put helping the community at the forefront of its mission.

“We believe strongly in supporting the community that supports us because [without] the community support in patronizing our business, we would not be here,” Holliday explained.

In seeing to that mission, the business has made strides to support the community through changes to its business operations.

“We have found ways to run our business more environmentally friendly, support our employees, and give back to a number of nonprofit organizations,” Holliday said.

We have found ways to run our business more environmentally friendly, support our employees, and give back to a number of nonprofit organizations.

Tim Holliday, co-owner, Children's World Uniform Supply

Environmentally conscious efforts have led to Children’s World Uniform Supply being a Green Business Partner, having an Energy Star-rated building, and receiving recognition from the state of Florida for their recycling efforts. The company has also earned its status as a “Best Place to Work” and “Platinum Healthy Work Place,” due to the ways that it values its employees, and was a 2022 finalist for the Community Support and Leadership Award at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Dream Big Awards.

[Read more: 6 Community Service Ideas for Entrepreneurs]

A community-minded focus is a top priority

By supporting the community through the adoption of a local park, taking on challenges such as collecting school supplies for homeless children through Hope 4 Communities, and partnering with nonprofit organizations like Toys For Tots, Children’s World Uniform Supply has proven itself to be a standout business that cares deeply for its community and beyond.

“Children's World annually donates cash, product, or discounted merchandise totaling well over six figures,” Holliday said. “For the past 12 years, almost every year, we have been the largest collection site for toys in our area. This is due to our 50% match program, where we match any toy purchased from us, or donation made at our location, with another 50%.”

Holliday noted that 2022 was the biggest year ever for the annual drive, bringing in record-setting amounts of toys. He also explained how Hurricane Ian affected many people in their area, “making the need greater than ever,” he said.

These acts of goodwill don’t go unnoticed — through their charitable efforts, Holliday and his team have inspired others in the community to join in.

“A local pest control company had extra money leftover at the end of the year from what they set aside for their employees to do things with,” Holliday said. “Wanting to make a difference, and knowing what we did with our Toys for Tots drive and match, they donated $2,000 to our campaign, which we turned into $3,000.”

[Read more: What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?]

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