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Saturday, November 8, 2014

shop & support moms - Nana's Kids Consignment Store

I am beyond ecstatic to start our second year of the Shop & Support Moms series on the blog this month of November! I had such a great response last year from this series that I decided we have to make it an annual event. The purpose of this series is to encourage moms to purchase holiday gifts for their loved ones from other moms who are running businesses or creating things they make themselves to support their families. It's a win-win, as I see it! Shop locally, but more specifically please shop from hard working moms who have kids just like you they are trying to raise and support. Oftentimes when you buy things from these moms, you are helping to allow them to stay home with their kiddos. Such a rewarding thing!

Bonus for you moms: EVERY mom and business that I feature will be giving you a giveaway or discount of some type. Scroll to the bottom to find out what you're getting! :) Check back every week in November, lots of great shops and moms will be featured!


I am really excited to share this first part of our series by telling you more about Nana's Kids in York, Maine. This is a children's consignment shop run by a dynamic duo Jessica Lee and her grandmother, the famous Nana! They are a very hard working, dedicated, inspiring pair, who are not just trying to own their own business or sell great kids' items. They are also trying to spread awareness about Autism, which is something I truly admire and am so happy to feature them here.

Thank you, Jessica for answering these questions below and to Nana, for your great work and for being our first shop featured in the Shop & Support Moms series! You are wonderful. I cannot wait to come shopping!

PLEASE check them out!

All images from Jessica Dunn

1. How did you start your business? Why did you want your own business? When did you start your business?The idea for Nana’s Kids originated when I noticed Nana was buying baby items and clothing to keep at her house for both of our convenience. Having clothing and equipment at her house made it so much easier when Nana was going to babysit than packing up an entire trunk full of stuff. Nana would seek out gently used items from thrift stores and I, myself realized how fast children outgrow their clothing, get bored with toys, and how expensive baby gear is to buy new. I was a stay at home mom and student for four years and Nana was a Department of Defense Confirguration Manager for the Air Force. She was getting ready for retirement and I was ready to fulfill my lifelong dream of being a business owner. We opened last January after a year of preparation. 

2. Why was this business a perfect situation for you and your family? 

Owning a children's resale shop is a perfect situation for me and my family because my boys get to socialize and learn at school 4 days a week and I feel like I have found my purpose (other than being a mommy). 

Of course they love that Mommy has her own toy store :). I also opened my own business so I could have the freedom to spend as much time with them as I want. The first year in business is always tough, but I take two consecutive days off a week to give them my undivided attention and if anything comes up I can be there for them.

3. What does your business specialize in? What's your favorite product you sell?Our business specializes in new and very gently used clothing, equipment, toys, books, and furniture. My favorite product to sell is refinished furniture and life size ruler growth charts, because I love to paint and see the finished product. Nana's favorite thing to sell would be her tutus, Seeing the kids twirl around and smile when they put on their tutu is precious. 

4. What do you love best about working this business?I love that we donate to local Autism causes and help families in need cloth their children. Growing up with a sibling with Autism I was always passionate about Autism, I was always researching a way I could cure my sister. She was my inspiration and my hero throughout my entire childhood. My brother is a lot younger and was recently diagnosed, they are both non verbal, but very intelligent. I also have a cousin with Aspergers that works in the store with me and visits often. 

I know I have found my purpose when I see a mother burst into tears when we give her son an iPad that the state would not supply. It is also a wonderful feeling when we receive thank you letters from all of the mothers thanking us for the clothing and equipment we have donated because they are homeless and could not otherwise afford anything for their children. 

5. When do you work in the day/evening? What is your goal with this business?I am at the store Tues-Sat. 8:30-5:00. The store is open 7 days a week so as a business owner I am always on call. My goal is to continue helping parents/grandparents by offering high quality clothing at low prices and to continue to help the community. Our next step is to provide GPS devices for high risk wanderers. 

6. Take me through your typical day at work.
I get to work at 8:30 set up the store, customers bring in bins of items, I sort through them and select things that best fit the quality and needs of the store and give them an offer. If the customer chooses to donate the rest of the items they go to parents in need. If we receive donations that can be sold in the store the cash amount we would have given to the customer goes into the donation account. I tag, price, iron, run the register, do paperwork, clean  ... I keep busy that's for sure. 

7. What is your success rate? Why do you think people return to your store?

We have been pretty successful so far, we have donated 4 iPads and a week at Camp Card in York and a great deal of clothing and equipment to Second Generation. Every customer compliments our inventory, how organized and clean the store is and a lot of people actually have to ask if the items are used. We have something for every budget and people like that. 

8. Why do you think people should buy consignment clothing for their children? Why should moms consider selling consignment? 
People should buy consignment clothing because children grow so fast and new clothing is so expensive! It is nice to sell consignment because you can bring in your child's outgrown clothing and receive store credit for the next size up or cash for their college fund. Along with the cash/credit option we offer a new consignment option on quality brands where the seller receives 40% cash or 45% store credit when their item sells. 

9. What are your favorite consignment stores for kids?My favorite consignment store is Pete&Polly's in Ohio, I came across this store before we opened and they are just so clean and organized, I love it. I am looking forward to taking a business trip and shadowing the owner in the near future. 

10. How does your business allow you to be a great mother?

My business allows me to be a great mother because of the flexibility. Flexibility in a sense that if one of the boys are sick or need to participate in an activity I am available. It also helps me be a great mother because I miss them. When I stayed at home 7 days a week it was the toughest/most rewarding job I ever had, but I never got the chance to regroup and be my own person. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to stay at home as long as I did and experience both of the challenges of a Stay at home Mom and a working mom. 

11. What do you think would surprise readers to know about you?I am afraid of the dark and I live in the middle of nowhere with no street lights Eeekkk. Needless to say I rarely leave the house at night. 

12. What is the coolest thing you've ever experienced as part of working with this business?The York Harbor Inn's benefit for Autism Speaks. It was so much fun, my boys and I danced the night away.

13. What is one of your favorite gifts to give someone for the holidays? 

I like to give gifts that mean something or require thought. I either get something personalized, make something with the boys, or if I hear someone say I really want/need something. I take note and then surprise them. 

14. How many kids do you have? Give us one word to describe them.
I have two boys, Cohen is almost 5 and Sawyer is 3. One word: energetic. 

We will offer a 10% discount if readers mention the Mommy Stories during the month of November.

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