Children really do grow like weeds and it can become a financial burden to keep up with the trends, especially during the Back-to-School season.
Families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade are expected to spend $688.62 on average for back-to-school items this year, up from $603.63 last year, according to a National Retail Federation survey.
Look no further than Greendale’s downtown for relief. It’s been a year since the children’s resale boutique They Grow Like Weeds opened in the Village Center and it's been a success, said owner Diane Chilinski.
Great first year
“It’s been a really good first year,” Chilinski said. “I think having new things like the Bartolotta Restaurant coming to town and some of the things that are happening helps. I feel really optimistic for the future in terms of how the business is growing.”
The upscale children’s resale boutique offers new and used children’s clothing, toys, books, baby gear, accessories, shoes/boots and more for infants and tweens. The store has over 5,000 pieces of clothing with brands such as Gymboree, Children’s Place, Ralph Lauren, Gap, American Eagle, Hanna Andersson, Janie and Jack, Baby Lulu, Tea, Levi, Justice, Carters, Columbia and others.
Chilinski said she's getting new customers all the time from all over, including West Bend, New Berlin, Franklin, Oak Creek and Hales Corners.
“It’s so positive to hear that people appreciate the excellent quality of the products,” Chilinski said. “I’ve heard that they like the way the store is organized. That it’s clean and neat and that it doesn’t smell like a resale store.”
Popularity of resale
Resale has become a growing trend among families. Once upon a time people bought resale out of need, but Chilinski says that’s not the case anymore. She’s starting to see that people of all income levels shop resale for their children.
“I think people used to buy resale out of sheer necessity but now I think people realize the benefits both financially and environmentally,” she said. “Many people who shop at the store at a regular basis are able to afford to shop elsewhere. It’s all kinds of income (levels) and from all occupations across the spectrum.”
Resale and consignment shops like They Grow Like Weeds and neighborhing Trading Closets have been popping up all over the country. With the change of seasons and styles it’s becoming harder for fashion-forward individuals to keep up with their favorite luxury brands on a budget. The number of resale and consignment stores is growing 7 percent per year nationwide, according to the National Association of Resale Professionals, a networking and advocacy group.
One of the reasons for the popularity of these shops is the public's increased awareness of recycling. People would rather consign, sell or donate their items than trash them.
“It’s a form of recycling,” Chilinski said when she first opened her store. “Kids do grow out of clothes so quickly.”
Another simple reason is the love for the search of a bargain.
“I love resale shopping for myself and my family,” Chilinski said. “Being able to take a passion or a hobby of always being in the hunt for great deals and being able to turn it into a great occupation has been really fun.”
Chilinski said most parents try to sell their children’s outgrown clothes at a rummage sale or donate them. She’s trying to give parents an alternative by selling them to her so that parents can then buy their kids different new or used clothing.
Chilinski said she recently had a woman in the store who was selling her children’s clothing because she was looking to make some money for new back-to-school clothing after her spouse lost his job.
Part of the community
Chilinski was appointed president of the Greendale Village Business Association this summer.
The GVBA helps plan village events like Hay Days and I Left my Heart on Broad Street.
“I’m thankful to have found a perfect location in the Village Center of Greendale, surrounded by wonderful neighboring business owners and a most welcoming community,” Chilinski said.
She is optimistic as she looks toward the future and feels that next year is going to be even better.
“I went from the days of sketching out a logo to making it a real business,” she said.
To celebrate their one-year anniversary, They Grow Like Weeds will offer specials, a drawing, refreshments and giveaways on Saturday.
- Store Special: Each customer who spends $10.00 or more will be able to pick a pack of seeds (flowers or veggies) to take with them. In addition, on the back will be a level of discount, ranging from 10% to 50% off their purchase. This will not be available for prior purchases and will not be able to be combined with other coupons or offers. This sale will begin Saturday, but will continue all month.
- Refreshments: will be served on Saturday during store hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Drawing for Shopping Spree: Starting Saturday, customers will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for a $50 and $25 shopping spree.
- One free book (per customer) with a purchase of $10 or more on Saturday. The book can be up to a $3 value.