LINCOLN SQUARE — A new resale shop in Lincoln Square aims to help parents save money and reduce the number of children’s toys and outfits thrown into landfills.
Wild Oats, 2555 W. Lawrence Ave., is the latest business by Megan and Dave Miller. The couple also own Baker Miller near the heart of Lincoln Square and live in the neighborhood with their two young children.
The shop stocks new and gently used kids items like shoes, clothes, furniture, toys, strollers, baby items and anything else for children up to age 10.
The shop also has activities like children’s story time and invites vendors like Basic Revolution, a business that recycles socks and things made out of cotton that can’t be worn anymore, to drop by Wild Oats, Dave Miller said.
The idea for opening Wild Oats came about after the couple saw there wasn’t a children’s consignment shop in the area, Dave Miller said. The couple prioritizes used clothes for their 5-year-old and 7-month-old, since the outfits are only used for a short amount of time before the kids grow out of them, Megan Miller said.
Wild Oats opened in March. The couple chose the name as an extension of Baker Miller.
“There are thrift stores, but the difference between consignment and that is the families who are living here with these kids actually can make some money on their items,” Dave Miller said. “And they can use that money to then buy things from other families, kind of creating a little economy.”
The couple’s experience with Baker Miller’s point of sale and online orders also allowed them to create an online consignment portal for Wild Oats where parents can track the items they’ve put for sale, Dave Miller said.
When the couple previously put things up for sale at other consignment stores, they ran into the issue of items getting lost due to poor record keeping or waiting forever to get paid, Dave Miller said.
“Honestly it’s not a big deal because it was used stuff anyways. But we wanted bring consignment into the 21st century so our online system is very transparent,” he said. “We have a whole vendor thing online where parents can see their stuff that’s been consigned and if it’s been sold.”
The added benefit of reusing children’s clothing and toys via a resale shop also means that those items are kept out of the trash for as long as possible, he said.
“It’s a more eco-minded and affordable way of shopping for kids and we’re not throwing things away. Let’s reuse that t-shirt, it doesn’t matter what the brand name is,” Dave Miller said. “What matters is we’re not throwing away something that’s perfectly good and we’re creating an economy for parents and for families.”
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