The name has changed, but new owner Chenay Sloan wants Trendy Tots Resale Shop to provide the same service to bargain-hunting parents that she received when she bought a bouncer for her young son.
Sloan purchased Once Upon a Child from Julie Raven and opened on Jan. 2. The northeast Wichita store, which features previously worn children's clothing, baby furniture, toys and accessories, was closed for two days while ownership changed.
"As fast as kids grow and as money-conscious as people are, this is really a resource," said Sloan, a mother of three. "I couldn't put a number on it, but there have been several people who have come in and said, 'Thank goodness you are still here.' "
While Once Upon a Child was a franchise store, Trendy Tots is privately owned by Sloan and her husband, Chad. The benefit to customers, Sloan said, is additional savings created by the absence of franchise markup fees.
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A large part of Trendy Tots' inventory is name-brand clothing from newborn to youth size 16. Clothing racks are stocked with items the store buys from customers, who often use store credit to make other purchases.
"We give them a quote for their items, we buy it from them and we pay cash on the spot," Sloan said.
Trendy Tots requires items brought in for resale consideration be clean and in good condition. Prospective sellers can bring in two plastic tubs or boxes that the store staff will sort through to determine what can be sold. Seasonal buying periods can limit what the store purchases.
"But the list of what we don't take is shorter than what we do," Sloan said.
Trendy Tots offers furniture such as bassinets, cradles, dressers and toddler beds. Equipment includes strollers, high chairs, swings and pack-n-plays. One difference from Once Upon a Child, Sloan said, is that the store will purchase maternity clothing to resell.
"As a working mom who had to go spend a whole lot of money on maternity clothes, I felt like that was a need," Sloan said.
Because of safety issues, Trendy Tots does not stock baby cribs. But Sloan said she will donate those or any other unwanted children's items she can't sell to Wichita-area charities.
The charity connection is important to Sloan, who worked for Catholic Charities for four years. She has also worked as an international contract manager for Xerox and as a television reporter in Kearney, Neb.
While Sloan said there were several hurdles to clear over an 18-month period after Once Upon a Child was put up for sale, she is enthused about her first ownership venture.
"There's a difference in just getting a paycheck and loving what you do," Sloan said. "That was the difference for me."