Marin Kids' Consignment: Saving the Earth, One Outfit at a Time

January 29, 2008

Ever since my son and daughter were born, overflowing bins of outgrown clothing have accumulated year by year in my garage. I’ve been holding on to them with the intention of giving them to someone in need, selling them at a local rummage sale, or having a garage sale. Yeah right! Who’s got the time for that?

Since this is a challenge that nearly all parents face, Marin mompreneur Melissa Hereford has created Marin Kids Consignment, a unique local business that encourages the community to recycle kids’ and maternity clothing through local sales events. Their motto is “Saving the earth, one outfit at a time.”

We asked Melissa to answer a few questions about herself and her innovative business. Marin Kids Consignment will hold it’s first sale on Saturday, February 9, from 10 am to 5 pm at Playtime Safari, located at 5470 Nave Drive in Novato.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in Dallas, Texas, but don't hold it against me! I moved to San Francisco in 1988, so I can proudly say that I have lived here longer than in Texas. I graduated from San Francisco State with a major in Writing for the Media, which I put to use writing for a corporate training company. I am now a senior product developer at the same company, which must mean I am stable...married and working for the same company for almost 14 years! My husband and I moved to Marin right after our wedding and we love it here. We started off in West Marin, then moved to San Rafael, and bought a house in the new (at the time) development at Hamilton in 1998. We are a founding family at Hamilton! It is hard to believe that we have lived in Novato for almost 10 years, but time does fly when you are having fun.

What was the inspiration behind your idea?

After the birth of our son, Simon, in 2004, I really wanted a place that was easy, friendly and local to recycle his clothes and to buy gently worn clothes, without having to drive to Petaluma. So, the idea for Marin Kids Consignment was born. It has taken a year from inception to holding the first sale, so I am thrilled to be actually starting my first sale in February.

How did you go about starting your business?

It all started with brainstorming businesses with a friend of mine. We came up with the idea for a consignment store, but neither of us were able to be at a retail store 9-5 every day. We started to think outside the box about how to facilitate recycling of kids stuff without having a store front. We decided to try modeling after the mother's club sales. We can roll items in on rolling racks, put the shoes in boxes, and voila, we are mobile!  This model allows us to consign and offer a much larger quantity of items for every size because we can just add more racks to our storage space. We would not be able to do that with a brick and mortar retail store front.

How do you see your business growing?

I envision that within the year, we can host a community exchange for people to be able to price and drop off their own additional items like toys and gear and strollers, then pick up anything that does not sell at the end of the day. I cannot realistically store and move all the extra stuff, but that option would complete my vision for enabling the community to reuse and recycle.

You can learn more about Melissa and Marin Kids Consignment at www.marinkidsconsignment.com. If you're a local mompreneur who'd like to be considered for Marin Mommies article, please contact us