shop talk: kind exchange

Kind Exchange 611 Queen Street West ♠ 647.349.5463 ♠ www.kindexchange.ca

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Courtney Callahan to talk shop. Here’s the scoop.

The Place: In October 2011, Jeffrey Wexler and Courtney Callahan, a boyfriend/girlfriend team (who live above the store) opened Kind Exchange after moving to Toronto from Chicago. Jeffrey, a Toronto native,  has been working in the re-sale industry for over 10 years , while Courtney’s background before Kind Exchange was in selling wine. “It’s a total departure for me, but so far so good,” she says. The store is a treasure trove for budget conscious fashionistas offering an assorted inventory that is reflective of its vibrant location.  The store also strives to give back to the community by offering a “Skip-A-Bag” program, which encourages people to bring in their own reusable bags. This option is both environmentally friendly and charitable, as they match the bag cost and make a 10 cent donation to one of the three charities they are working with.

Stocked with: If you’re looking for mall labels at thrift store prices head to this store. Designer pieces from the likes of Anna Sui mingle with mall labels like H&M, BCBG and Club Monaco. The denim collection is extensive. Jeans of all cuts, sizes and colours fill rack after rack.

How it works: Courtney stated the store is moving away from the consignment model, ”we are going to be paying cash on the spot for everything from H&M to Gucci.” They have made the whole process super easy for those looking to sell their clothes. No appointments, no waiting for items to sell before you get your money. You just come in, show them your goods, and they either buy it or they don’t.  The store also offers a trade option. Those who opt for a trade will get 20 per cent more value for their merchandise. That means instead of getting 20$ cash, you can trade for 24$ worth of merchandise.

You can also choose to donate, so the profit from the sale of your merchandise goes towards a local charity. The store is currently working with three charities: Red Door Family Shelter, The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and Goodwill.

What they want: Clean, seasonally appropriate clothing, shoes and accessories. Items do not need to be designer labels. Classic designer pieces and wardrobe staples are always welcome. Courtney encourages people to bring everything in. “Anything we don’t buy can be donated to a charity we work with on your behalf.”

What they don’t want: Stained and ripped clothing. The store does not accept lingerie and athletic gear.

Coveted items: Seven for All Mankind jeans ($29) and a never been worn D&G lace front dress ($279), original tags showed it retailed for $650. My shopping partner went goo-goo eyed for a vintage saddle bag ($35).

Hours: M-Sa 11 -7 , Su noon-5.

♠ ♠ ♠

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