When Barrington resident Jenny Welsh first dreamed up Growing…Continue Reading
Growing Cents of Style will open their doors to the public for their sixteenth seasonal consignment sale this Saturday at 9:00 a.m., and you’ll want to be first in line for their fabulous spring and summer merchandise. From baby gear to big-kid clothes, this sale has it all. You’ll find the crème de la crème of brands at a fraction of retail prices, and a selection that can’t be beat.
When the first Growing Cents of Style (GCOS) sale opened in 2006, in a small retail storefront in Barrington, 47 consignors participated with significantly fewer volunteers. It’s fair to say that, since then, word has gotten out about the twice-yearly sales: this season’s sale boasts 400 consignors, and an astonishing 257 volunteers. When Jenny posted the spring/summer sale’s volunteer slots back in mid-January, they were filled within 45 minutes.
To understand the awe-inspiring scale of the sale, all you have to do is walk into the warehouse space at Lake Barrington’s Treetime Classics. “This is our sixth sale in the Treetime Classics space, and it’s just been an awesome partnership,” Jenny says. It’s a football field-sized space, filled to the brim with the best children’s merchandise–from infant clothing to home accessories, and strollers to trikes.
As GCOS grows, Jenny works continually to ensure that her consignors and customers have the best possible experience. “We try to make it as streamlined, organized, and pain-free as possible,” she says. The best compliment she’s received from her customers is, “‘Why would I go anywhere else? You have the reputation for being the most organized, well-run sale.’ That’s just really nice to hear, because we work so hard to create and implement systems that keep things running smoothly for both consignors and customers.”
With higher volume comes the need for greater quality control, to ensure that brands are in compliance and items are in excellent condition. “We have someone here at all times during check-in doing a very thorough quality check, making sure that clothing is in great shape before it’s allowed on the floor,” Jenny says.
Over the past few years, the sale has become a family affair. Jenny’s mother, Nancy Phillips Heath; and Jenny’s sisters-in-law, Nikki Heath, Volunteer Coordinator; and Michelle Heath, Point of Sale manager, have helped Jenny focus on her increasing management duties.
Consignors, who can sell up to 100 children’s items at the sale, can also volunteer before and/or during the sale. Those who volunteer earn a higher percentage of their sales, and earn pre-sale passes. And the perks increase with the number of shifts worked: volunteers who work a greater number of shifts gain access to prime shopping times, in addition to earning more money back from their sales. Plus Jenny offers other fun incentives, like those who work three or more shifts can win a drawing with an awesome prize: 100% of their sales…
Brooke Anderson, of Fox Point, has consigned at the past ten sales. “It’s the best way to get rid of the piles of great-quality clothes that build up in your house. I have two girls, who are 12 and 13, so it’s just become part of our routine. It’s a great idea–I wish I would have thought of it!”……