Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How does she do it? Featuring: Kate, owner of Children's consignment shop tell's all...

So, it is Tuesday, and I'm excited. Not so much because today is trash day and we cleaned out the fridge last night (which, yes, excites me)...BUT more for the fact that today I am picking the brain of a successful working mom to see how she gets it all done!

Kate is the owner of a children's consignment shop, Wear & Share (if you are local here in Wheaton...you are already ALL over this shop) specializing in quality children's clothing at the not-so-quality prices. A match made in heaven, right? I have been fortunate enough to get to know Kate and have always wanted to have a Q&A session to get some tips on successful mommyhood (is that a word? guess it is now)...A BIG thank you to her for her time...

Wear and Share Children's Clothing and Toys - Resale consignment <span class=

Q.) What inspired you to create the Wear & Share shop?

A.) My mom brought me up on second-hand clothing, her mom brought her up on second-hand clothing. Let's just say it runs in the family. I've always believed in buying used. It just makes sense to save money! I was working (mundanely, I should say) at a large corporation. I was entirely bored and underwhelmed. I decided to transition my career path into teaching (school librarian). So, I went back in school just before the teaching profession was hit with budget cuts left and right. I managed to sub and thought I would be offered a full-time position a year ago at a charter school in the city. Sadly it fell through. I scrambled and decided to dive head first in a brand new adventure. I shouldn't say it is brand new. I managed to nicely blend my business degree and teaching degree into a great little business that celebrates reading, recycling and building community. What can I say? I am a hippie chick!

Q.) How do you do it all...How do you balance being a "one-WOman-band" shop owner and home/family life?

A.) I'm not sure "do it all" entirely can describe it. Thanks for the assumption, though. I would sum it up as...

I am a woman who knows how to multi-task the heck out of priorities, family and fun (of course fun usually comes in last place).

I am fortunate to have a beautiful and generally non-demanding four-year old boy. A fiance who is there if I need him. This greatly helps. When I am at the shop, I can entirely focus on business. I don't have to worry about my son, he is in a great school. When I pick him up my priority is him. Whether we go to the library, grocery store or any other errand...my goal is to enjoy each other and bond. Now there are some days that I just want to come home and just lay down, but at the age of four, my son is pretty forgiving and is happy with a snack and watching Scooby Doo. One thing I will never exclude from our day is reading books before bed. It is our moment. We stick to a routine and that is a saving grace when building a business can be overwhelming and stressful.

Q.) Who/What do you look to for support/motivation?

A.) I have four people in my life that I constantly look to for support and motivation. My fiance, Dave. My mother, Margo. My Aunt Linda and Uncle Bud. All four will and have always been my greatest cheerleaders. I am so blessed to have that unconditional support that anybody needs and deserves. I look to them for guidance, love and the kind of support that you just can't put into words. It's a feeling that they'll always be there no matter what. It's priceless.

Q.) What are the best/worst (or most surprising) things about starting up your own business?

A.) By far the best thing about starting my own business is the feeling of "I'm doing it." I said I would and I am. I also LOVE meeting and bonding with my customers. I've even gained some great friends. I genuinely care about each of my customers. I love when they share their children with me. They share firsts, boo-boo's, and funny stories with me. I also know most of my customers by first name. Personal connections in a shop like mine are vital to my success and fortunately comes rather easy to me. It's the human in me.

The worst is there are no sick days. No I-just-don't-feel-like-coming-in days. I am coming up to my first year in business. If I'm not there, what would I miss? Would I miss an important connection to a customer? An observation of a process not going well? I have to be there all the time, because that is what it takes to make it. This means I have no "me-time". I actually have to pencil free that time in and let's just say, it usually gets erased. I would love to go wander through Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods on a Tuesday like I used to. That is a just a distant memory of my former self. Sleeping in? What's that?!

The one thing that surprised me when I opened was how someone can really do this by themselves. Is it a lot of work? Yes! But, I incorporated myself. I wrote my business plan. I planned the layout in the shop. I did have some helping hands along the way. But for the most part...I did it.

Q.) What advice/tips would you give to other mamas that are looking to be successful in starting something on their own like you did?

A.) Go for it! Stop talking about it. Stop saying, "one day." Just stop all of that right now. Create an action plan. It can be on paper or in your head. The key is you must have action. All it takes is that one dream. If you only do one small thing each day to build upon that dream, that is one thing you've accomplished. Be proud of it and plan what you will do the next day!

Q.) In your free time, what floats your boat?

A.) Reading, coffee, sushi. Brainstorming ideas for the shop (I actually enjoy that). If I had more time, knitting and crafting. Spending time with my two favorite boys...Dave and James. I'm pretty simple.

If you haven't stopped by to visit Kate and pick up some really great things for the kiddos, you really should. Thanks again Kate!!

Wear & Share - Children's Resale Shop, 1026 College Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187, 630-456-4140

1 comment:

  1. Kate is a gem! I am always amazed at her memory! That is a definite gift and so is Wear and Share!! Many years of success for your store are what's wished upon you!! You know I will keep coming in :)