We are currently enjoying a week in Florida on our annual family beach vacay. Perpetually sandy, sun-kissed, and in need of a nap around the clock, it is hard to think about anything other than where I put the driest swimsuits and when we are headed back to the water. However, every night when my head hits the pillow, there’s a nagging tug in the back of my mind and visions of number two pencils (Ticonderoga brand, obviously) dance in my head. Whether I like it or not—and my answer depends on the day — summer is singing its Swan Song and back to school is almost here.
Call me lazy, uninspired, or genius, but after about four years of saying that my child wanted to pick out his own pencil box, I started signing up for the generic supply packs the school sells and there’s no turning back now. One year, I missed the deadline and almost cried as I was battling the aisles the night before meet-the-teacher trying to find everything on the list.
School supplies are handled; school clothes are not. Truthfully, this is my favorite part. I started buying tiny clothes for a mythical future baby when I was newly engaged and nowhere near motherhood. My love for kid-sized everything has never wavered. And, I’ve had one constant in all my years of clothes shopping that has helped keep my babes stylin’ without plunging me into the poorhouse — buy resale.
I was invited to a Just Between Friends children’s consignment sale by a close friend when I was pregnant almost a dozen years ago and have been an active shopper and consignor ever since. The JBF franchise has been around since 1997 and their large sale in Oklahoma City continues to be one of my favorites. An Edmond sale is on the horizon for September. Keep an eye out for details as this event develops.
Locally, the Rhea Lana sale (edmond.rhealana.com) has been taking Edmond by secondhand storm and growing quickly. I shopped the first Edmond event that took place in February 2018 with 5,000 items. This year’s fall event (Sept. 8-12 at 14400 N. Lincoln Blvd.) is expected to have more than 30,000 items.
“We have built a reputation for having a high-quality event and Edmond families have jumped on board,” said Lynzie Brewer, owner of the franchise.
Consignors price and tag items and place them on the racks at the sale. At the end of the sale, consignors collect unsold items or have the option to donate them to “RL Gives Back,” an event where local foster families can shop unsold items for free. Anything leftover is donated to local charities.
“We are moms helping moms and it’s making a difference,” Brewer said.
Changes for this year include a new “Drop and Go” drive-thru drop-off for consignors who agree to discount and then donate unsold items after the sale, and a special presale for teachers (moms-to-be and military already have this option) and the ability to buy a pre-sale ticket to shop early.
Want to start shopping today? Drop by my favorite shop for consigning — The Attic (theatticokc.com, 1110 East Second Street). Situated next to Target (hello, location!), the consignment store has been open since October 2018 and is packed full of awesome options for all ages. They have a huge selection including everyday clothing basics, sports gear, backpacks, leotards, swimsuits, coats/jackets, and even spirit sections for local teams. Moms of multiples will appreciate special areas with doubles or triples of outfits. And if you love a brand name, you’ll find them all here with more than 750 brands of items including coveted clothing names like Matilda Jane, Kickee Pants, Mini Boden, and Tea Collection.
“It is all sorted by size. You can find what you’re looking for quickly and easily and get back out to where you need to go next,” said Melissa Decker, owner of The Attic.
The Attic also has a give-back program partnering with local parent/teacher programs for fundraising drives. Schools collect clothing and other unused items from parents and the profits from the sales go directly back to the school’s PTA.
“This fundraiser is a win-win for everyone,” Decker said. “Parents like to see their prior purchases repurposed to help their children in new ways.”
For those running Edmond consignment businesses, giving back and community is a bonus of the local resale game.
“The best part about shopping at Rhea Lana’s is knowing that our local community is benefiting from every single aspect,” Brewer said.
The owner of The Attic echoes those thoughts.
“You make money when you consign, you save money when you shop, and your dollars spent go back into our local Edmond community,” Decker said. "You can feel good about shopping here.”
It’s a definite upside to consignment and the unending process of buying clothes for three kids who never stop growing. I like to think back to those miniature clothes of long ago and keep that joy in mind when I’m compromising a Stranger Things tee in exchange for a couple of collared golf shirts, and doing my best not to envy the lucky parents who send their children to school in uniforms. On the positive side, at least I can resell it.