Growing Kids

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

how it all began...

Growing Kids has been known as “the UNIQUE resale store” since my Mom, Janis, opened the doors for business on October 23, 1993.  Now with Growing Kids and Renewal under the same roof + Melissa and Doug Toys 72 Hamburg Tpke in Riverdale, NJ has grown from a small little children’s resale store, to the most unique place around.  The concept was genius, and so far ahead of its time for the North Jersey area in the 90’s.  We never liked the idea of consignment - resale is much faster, and makes so much more sense, you get paid before your item even sells, who would have thought? 

In 2004 my Dad was given an incredible job offer and my parents moved to Virginia.  Closing the store was never an option.  Janis successfully managed the entire operation from 6 hours away.  I helped as much as I could, but that being the last year of college for me, it was a little tricky.  After my parents decided to move back to NJ, and I received my Bachelors degree in 2005, I took on the store full time with my Mom.

The best thing about resale is the fact that there is no such thing as a resale store that is the exact same, two days in a row.  We have literally created a store that changes EVERYDAY - I like to think of it as exciting new clothes that I can possibly fit into!  Since weekly visits become necessary for customers in this ever-changing environment, creating a unique atmosphere has always been the store’s main concern.  Installing the play area was a must.  And as corny as it may sound, maintaining a place where our customers remain our friends is what makes us open our doors every day. 

When I was a senior in high school, I wrote in my life goals that one day I wanted to open a store, I never thought it would be an expansion of the store my parents already built.  In January of 2009 we moved to the new store, more than double the size and added Renewal, our women’s store.  The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 which prohibited us from reselling children’s toys killed us, selling toys was one of our favorite things to do!  A year and a half went by and it felt like we lost a sense of “fun” without having toys in the store.  Janis came up with the idea of selling “new” toys and she reached out to Melissa and Doug.  Their products are truly amazing and have been such a wonderful addition to our store. 

Then in December 2009, my husband (fiance at the time), Matt, was offered a fantastic job opportunity in California.  Knowing it was only temporary, my Mom encouraged me to move along with him and enjoy an experience like that while we still can.   We have been living in Los Angeles for 20-months and we are now in the process of purchasing our first house in Ringwood, NJ and will be moving back at the end of August!  

The saying holds true that life is that life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it, remembering that while running a business…well…that I’m still learning from my Mom.  I have learned so much while living in Los Angeles and I can’t wait to come back and work with my Mom to make the store better than ever!

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