Kids can be reluctant about wearing second-hand clothes (particularly teens). They’re worried about what their peers might think of them if they show up to school in hand-me-downs. This can be tough for parents who don’t want their child to be unhappy. But kids grow out of their clothes so fast, some items are hardly worth buying new if you have another option. The good news is if you look in the right places, you can find quality second-hand clothing that will easily pass off as new. A great place to start is Just Kids in Riel Business Park.
Just Kids is a consignment store that’s owned and operated by Almut Englberger. When you first walk into Just Kids, you realize the name says it all. The store is wall-to-wall with all sorts of children’s clothing, toys, books, backpacks, kid’s furniture, strollers, puzzles, games, DVDs, and more. We sell “a little bit of everything” as Englberger likes to put it.
Shopping on a budget is very familiar to Englberger. Once upon a time, she was a single mother who had to shop second-hand at consignment stores for her own children. It was her time in these stores that sent her down the path of running her own consignment shop. “They weren’t well organized, and it gave me the idea that I could do a better job,” explains Englberger. Ironically, everything fell into place when she found herself being let go by her employer at the same time. Since she already had the idea of starting her own consignment store, she ran with it. In 1994, Englberger opened Just Kids on Rowland Crescent where she stayed for five years before expanding into her current location across the street in 1999.
Though they carry a variety of items, children’s clothing is the priority at Just Kids.
“In the first five years, kids are changing sizes so quickly that a lot of their clothes don’t get worn much,” Englberger explains.
And it’s not just T-shirts and pants—you’ll find everything from rain boots to children’s suits, and some of the more sought-after items come with tags sporting high-end brand names. “Ivivva and Triple Flip are the most popular,” she notes.
Just Kids carries children’s sizes from babies to age 16. However, since their relocation in 1999, they’ve ventured into casual women’s wear since, after all, they do get a number of moms in there, shopping for their kids. The entire upstairs is now dedicated to casual everyday clothes for women. (Including very affordable Lululemon gear. Just saying.)
As for the future of Just Kids, Englberger likes where she is. The move 19 years ago was about as big of an expansion as Englberger can handle.
“If I try to go any bigger, I would have to hire someone else,” she says. “I’m hoping to keep the store open for another ten or so years, which puts me close to retirement. Then, hopefully, I would be able to sell it.”
But, as someone who’s had years of first-hand experience in the second-hand industry, Englberger’s fairly confident that her store will get a second run. t8n
So, how does consignment work, anyway? Simply put, a consignment store is like the middle-man between a seller and a buyer. Basically, you give an item to be sold on your behalf—items need to be clean and in good condition, and if it’s clothing, it helps if the style is up to date.
If it sells, you get a percentage of the price (typically 40 percent). Consignment stores differ from regular thrift stores because instead of simply bidding farewell to your unused item at the donation door, you receive one last goodbye in the form of cash—if it’s sold. If it’s not sold, you have the option to take it back, or allow it to be donated elsewhere. Whatever the outcome, it feels good knowing that you’re recycling, and providing quality items for others at a great price.