Vail Valley Bizwatch: Next Generation, consignments for moms and kids
Vail, CO, Colorado
Business name: Next Generation.
Date opened: June, 2009.
Owner: Stacey Maule.
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-390-8837.
What goods or services do you provide? We have consignment clothing and gear for babies, toddlers, and moms-to-be.
What’s new or exciting at your place? What’s new is us! We started the business in June and it has already become a big hit, especially in these difficult economic times.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? At Next Generation we use a model gaining in popularity across the country with reduced overhead so we can keep prices reasonable and share a larger portion of the proceeds with the consignor.
We run the business out of our home and hold sales by appointment or on specific days. Consignors drop their items off in Eagle or several other valley locations at any time, and the merchandise is added to our inventory for the next sale. While sales are held on a regular basis – every four to six weeks – we also provide private showings for those with an immediate need, or cannot attend the regular showings. Our next scheduled sale is Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 436 McIntire in Eagle.
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? We have a very personal relationship with our customers which will continue through their early child-rearing years. Many start with us during their pregnancy and continue through the toddler years for all their children.
Although we are a new business we expect to watch each child grow through those early years. Unlike other businesses, we see our customers in all the usual places – mommy and me sessions, library story hour, playgrounds, the recreation center and around town. It’s a lot of fun.
What can your customers expect from you? “Kids are expensive, their stuff doesn’t have to be.” Everyone knows that kids grow out of clothes long before the clothes wear out. We give them a way to get cash for those clothes, and use that cash to buy quality merchandise at a fraction of the cost of new stuff.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: I am the mother of two fabulous girls, and a diehard bargain shopper. For the past 15 years I have spent my summers off from teaching working at the rummage sale in Minturn. Wading through the mountains of must-have gear and clothes for my own kids has given me a thorough crash course in Baby-Gear 101 and working at the sale has given me an amazing education in the sale of used goods.
What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? The biggest challenge has been convincing my 2 1⁄2 year old that the toys are for Mommy’s “work”, and not hers to own. Amazingly, things she wouldn’t touch when they were in her toy box are much more enticing when someone else is carrying them away. Playing tug-of-war with a two-year-old over already sold items presents some humorous moments.