Why We're Here

Preloved and secondhand onesies for children stacked on table surrounded by children's toys

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post (if you follow us on IG @abeeberry - you know why) because it’s been a whirlwind of a year! If you’ve read my first blog, you know who we are - so I thought it might be time to write about why we’re here…why we’re business owners, why we decided to open up our little shop. There are many reasons why we decided to jump into selling preloved clothing for children - we truly believe that we solve MANY problems and pain points but, I was recently reminded of one of the biggest challenges I faced on my own quest for preloved clothing for my children…FRUSTRATION.

First off, I should start by saying that I LOVE shopping secondhand for my kids. It’s an incredibly satisfying feeling to find exactly what I’m looking for at a fraction of the price. It’s also incredibly fulfilling to know that I’m doing my part to lessen my family’s impact on the Earth. Every time I purchase preloved clothing, I light up! Sometimes however, (or often) I feel overwhelmed with frustration at the process!

In the last month, I have spent far too much time, more than I’d like to admit, shopping FB Marketplace. I love the idea of supporting other local moms who are selling their kids clothing, and truth be told, some of the best pieces I’ve acquired for my daughters have come from Marketplace but, oh man! The back and forth, waiting for replies, negotiating prices, coordinating pick up times, and then driving to different pick up points. It’s exhausting to say the least! And that’s only the first layer of frustration.

Then comes the second layer - examining the product first hand. Now, over the years I have to say that I feel I've perfected the art of thrifting. It rarely happens - that I pick up an item that is completely misrepresented but, that’s only because I have a trained eye and I've learned over time what questions to ask. When I first started shopping Marketplace, I would often feel disappointed when I picked up my purchase. The photos always looked great but, once the item was in my hand I would pick out details that the photo missed - stains, frayed edges, fading, and/or small holes/rips. I felt like I had wasted time, energy and of course, money.

But wait! There’s more! You guessed it! A third layer of frustration. Having to buy the ‘lot’. Ohhhh…the ‘lot’. I get it. Sellers also feel the frustration. Why would you sell items piece by piece when you can sell everything to one buyer? Who has the time to coordinate pickups and e - transfers and messages?…it’s all too much for the seller as well. So here I am. I just want the black and grey leggings in the photo. I don't want the pink, sparkly leggings with unicorns, or stars, or rainbows. I just want the black and grey leggings in the photo. Nope. Gotta buy the ‘lot’. Breathe.

After a few weeks of feeling like FB Marketplace had let me down, I decided to thrift the old fashioned way - an actual thrift store, after all, I hadn’t been able to in a really long time…pandemic times and all. I was excited to shop in person and I knew the experience had to be better if I could see the pieces first hand, right? Not exactly. My shopping trip didn't quite go as planned. For starters, I had to arrange my shopping trip around my toddler’s schedule, which meant I could only go to the store if I could leave my child at home. There’s no way my three year old could handle going to a thrift store. Let’s put it this way - her outings are limited to quick stops at the grocery store or in and out trips like grabbing a coffee (to go). Spending more than thirty minutes in a store is definitely not something she can handle at her age, so needless to say, she had to stay home.

When I arrived at the store, my eight month old was sleeping. Perfect. Peaceful shopping trip. For the most part, it was. Luckily, she only woke up towards the end of my trip, and I needed to get back anyway. She wasn't the problem. The store layout on the other hand, was less than desirable.

I went on a Saturday so the store seemed to be busier than usual (I assume) and it was extremely difficult to navigate the store with a stroller. The aisles were narrow and I found myself having to leave the stroller at the end of the aisle so as to not block anyone else from entering the aisle. Not ideal. Once again, I was reminded of the challenges of shopping in person. Shopping preloved can be quick if you’re lucky, but for the most part it’s a slightly different experience than just quickly running into a clothing store and grabbing what you need in the size you need it in. You don’t have the luxury of shopping online ahead of time so that you can grab-and-go.

At that moment, I knew that there had to be a better way, and I’m determined now more than ever to provide another option for parents who want to shop preloved from the convenience of their home, after hours (aka. after the kids go nighty night), from their preferred device. I also want to create a space for people who like the idea of shopping preloved but, are turned off by the idea of spending hours sifting through racks. I want our shop to be as easy to navigate as any other online retailer of childrens’ apparel. Time is not something that can be taken for granted. As parents, we appreciate convenience so that we can spend more time doing the things we love. I feel deeply that shopping preloved shouldn’t feel like a chore - it should be fun, satisfying, fulfilling, and easy.

This is why we’re here.

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