Lisa Parrish and Melissa Costa were friends long before they became business partners.
“She came to me with what she said would be a perfect match for us,” Costa recalled. “We were both single moms for a long time and although we’re both remarried, we are still frugal.”
Parrish’s idea became Nearly New Kids Clothes Etc., a consignment sale that has a long history in the Cary area.
This year’s sale is set for April 30-May 3 in the High House Crossing shopping center.
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“She had all these great ideas,” Costa said. “Lisa is a force to be reckoned with.”
Parrish, who manages a thrift shop for the nonprofit Passage Home in Raleigh, had received donations from the consignment sale in the past. When she learned the sale owners were looking to step down, she saw a great opportunity for community outreach.
“There are so many people in Cary who are not well-to-do,” Parrish said.
Parrish and Costa see the sale as a win-win situation. Affordable kids’ clothing benefits families of any income level, while parents also have the opportunity to recoup some of the money they spent on clothes their children have outgrown.
Consignment sales take some of the burden off the owner of the goods. Consignors bring their items to a sale and, if an item sells, receive a percentage of the profit.
Nearly New Kids Clothes Etc. has two levels of consignment. The typical seller pays a $10 fee and receives 66 percent of any profits. This consignor prices and generates bar codes for each item via an online system.
Those who choose not to price items themselves receive 50 percent of their sales.
Volunteers earn first dibs on the merchandise, with the chance to shop before the doors open to the general public.
In addition to clothing, the women are accepting sports equipment, sports uniforms, nursery furniture, bikes and play equipment.
“We have tons of room and we’re willing to take it,” Parrish said.
Groups are encouraged to use the sale as an alternative fundraiser to a labor-intensive yard sale. The consignment fee will be waived. One church group is bringing items to the store to help fund a mission trip.
“I am hoping that people will give donations in addition to consigning,” Parrish said.
All unclaimed items after the sale will go to Passage Home, a faith-based group that aims to connect families with resources that can help them.
Parrish said she is using lessons from her experience in retail and running vacation Bible school for her church. She hopes the consignment venture will eventually morph into a way to offer job experience to those who have fallen on hard times.
“An internship would be good retail experience for those trying to move themselves forward,” she said. “People need to define themselves not by their past, but by what they want to do in the future.”
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