When Barrington resident Jenny Welsh first dreamed up Growing Cents of Style, her seasonal children’s consignment sales, she had no idea how large they would become. Once held in a tiny boutique, the twice-yearly sales now occupy an expansive warehouse and draw devoted customers from all over Chicagoland. As the sale grows, Jenny is delighted to give back more to the Barrington community–and to causes close to her heart.
Growing Cents of Style will open its doors to the public this Saturday at 9 a.m. for its seventeenth seasonal children’s consignment sale, which features gently used, sought-after brands at a fraction of their original cost. Customers can expect to find everything from high-end infant gear to fine clothing brands, and lots of unexpected surprises like room decor, ride-ons, and toys galore.
All tags feature great bargains, but the pink, purple, and blue ones indicate special opportunities for purchasers to donate while they shop: 100% of proceeds from the sales of these items goes to Growing Cents of Style’s Charity Partners, which are Hope 4 Bridget, Wishes for Scarlett, and Barrington Giving Day, respectively. It’s a true win-win.
Jenny also holds two Shop & Stock Charity Presales prior to each public sale (both sold out for this sale), and attendees must purchase a ticket to enter. The first Presale took place on Thursday, and the 75 attendees each paid a $10 entrance fee in return for early access and a calmer shopping environment. On Friday, Jenny offers an additional Presale, which is $5 per ticket and open to about 150 people. She will donate 100% of the ticket sales – approximately $1,500 – from both events to Barrington Giving Day.
Barrington residents and sisters Kristin (Nemec) Frazier and Julie (Nemec) Lape, together with their mom, Nancy Nemec, attend the Charity Presale for each Growing Cents of Style sale. “We love supporting local charities while shopping for great bargains,” Kristin says. “What could be better?”
As a grandma, Nancy Nemec shops the sale for all kinds of baby gear, so her grandchildren are as happy at her house as they are at home. She feels even better knowing that her purchases are helping Barrington charitable organizations. “It makes it feel bigger than just a sale–it’s a community event.”
Even after the doors open to the public, the giving goes on.
From the start, Jenny has partnered with Hope 4 Bridget, created by David and Sara Kennicott to raise funds and awareness to fight Late Infantile Batten disease. The Kennicott’s daughter, Bridget, was diagnosed with the disease in 2009, at age 4. Five years later, Bridget still continues her fight against the degenerative disorder, and David and Sara strive to raise funds for research.
To aid the Kennicott family, Jenny assigned Hope 4 Bridget a consignor number, under which multiple donors consign their items. All of these items receive a PINK tag, indicating that 100% – every single penny – of the sale of that item will be donated to Hope 4 Bridget.
The PURPLE tags show support for another special Barrington girl, Scarlett Sepe.
When, in 2011, the Sepe family received the news that their daughter, Scarlett, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Jenny knew she wanted to help the family in any way possible. She created an additional consignor number for Scarlett, and 100% of the proceeds from items with purple tags are donated to Wishes for Scarlett, to help pay for spiraling medical expenses and to support Scarlett’s increasing needs for assisted mobility.
Scarlett’s mom, Rachel Sepe, says the money from the sale goes directly into Scarlet’s medical trust. “Every item truly does makes a difference. We would not have been able to give Scarlett this level of care without all of the donations from her fundraisers.” The funds have been used to pay for swim therapy, and towards the purchase a new wheelchair for Scarlett.
When you shop the sale, you’ll see many coats with BLUE tags, which support Barrington Giving Day. Each December, Barrington Giving Day invites the families who qualify for the Free & Reduced Lunch program in Barrington School District 220 to a Giving Day, where they can select boxes of food, warm coats, blankets, books, and gifts. In 2013, Giving Day served 1,000 families. 100% of the proceeds from the Growing Cents of Style sale of BLUE tagged inventory goes toward the purchase of items for Giving Day.
On Sunday at 2pm, the Growing Cents of Style fall/winter sale will end, but consignors still have one more opportunity to give. If consignors select the option, all of their unsold items will be donated to Wings, which works to lift women and children out of abusive situations and homelessness.
Jenny’s sister-in-law, Nikki Heath, works as the sale’s volunteer coordinator. She lives about 40 minutes away from Barrington, and works hard to spread news of upcoming sales. “When I tell friends about the sale, they often don’t realize how much Jenny gives back,” Nikki says. “She’s very involved with the community, and uses what she’s built to give to causes she believes in.”
Jenny enjoys seeing her consignors’ and customers’ broad support of Hope 4 Bridget, Wishes for Scarlett, Barrington Giving Day, and Wings. “I’m just grateful to be able to use the sale to raise awareness and some funds, and I know many of my consignors are, too. It’s something we can all feel good about.”
Fall/Winter Sale 2014
Public Sale (Free Admission)
Sat, October 4: 9am-4pm
Sun, October 5: 10am-2pm
22N102 Pepper Rd, Lake Barrington
(adjacent to Treetime Christmas Creations)
Cash, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express accepted (no checks) and don’t forget to
BYOB (Bring Your Own Bags!)
About the Author
She has experience writing, editing, and producing for print, radio and online media.
When she manages to break away from her computer, Renee can most often be found spending time with her husband and two elementary school-aged boys, volunteering at school, or jogging and biking around town.
CLICK HERE to find all of Renee’s contributions at 365Barrington.com.