Consignment For A Cause - The Beginning.
I love fashion and recycling which is why I opened a consignment boutique.
I also love supporting the local community and hosting community events. One of my main core values is doing something greater than myself.
Thrifty Princess consignment boutique was in the Brentwood area in Calgary and was plugging along just fine for 5 years. Yet - it was missing something and I was struggling to integrate more community based projects as well as my core values into my business. Sometimes when we ask for guidance the answer comes in the most incredible of ways.
The idea for Consignment for A Cause came out of a simple conversation with a customer who was looking for funding solutions for her advocacy group, Albertans Against Puppy Mills.
I will never forget that conversation. This customer had created her own personal store account, comprised of her own and anyone else’s clothing and accessories she could get her hands on, and was using the proceeds to assist in fundraising for the organization. In one of our conversations jokingly I said, “Oh its like consignment for a cause” not really thinking about until a little while after.
From bottle drives to bingos all the way to pizza sales, I’ve had a lot of experience with fundraising and its creative challenges throughout my life. I loved the idea of merging something as simple as donated clothing to create an alternate stream of revenue. You may be aware of thrift store models and how organizations can raise money with clothing drives and donations from these stores, however the return on investment is varied and can sometimes equate to cents per pound. So what about changing it up?
Women love clothes and consignment is a popular method of changing out the old wardrobe and gaining some dollars at the same time, so why can’t organizations benefit from this method as well. Supporters can donate quality consignment items to an organizations account and the return on investment could be dollars instead of cents. Right? Another selling feature is that sometimes people want to give to an organization but cant necessarily justify a monetary donation, but perhaps they have some consignment appropriate items in their closet they are willing to part with. It all seemed to make complete sense.
A few months later I started a program at Momentum in an entrepreneurial program, and the basis for Consignment For A Cause was born. Thrifty Princess became more than your average consignment store in Calgary and started incorporating alternative source of funding for nonprofit organizations. I had found a way to do something greater than myself.
I will mention that in searching for Consignment For A Cause, you will find links to businesses and organizations in North America who also integrate this concept into their business model. I did not start a new trend entirely, I just made it my own. :)