Add another layer to your #Business literacy. We at Serebral360° would love to know if the Forbes – Entrepreneurs article was helpful, leave a comment, like and share. Let’s dive in and discuss the information and put it to use to grow your business. #BusinessStrategy #ContentMarketing #WebDevelopment #BrandStrategy
Info@serebral360.com 762.333.1807 www.serebral360.com
Grap a copy of our NEW Business Stratgety Books #FFSS VOL1 and #FFSS VOL2
Going shopping for a working mom is exhausting. Imagine having to browse through endless piles and racks of children’s clothes to find the right size (and price), while keeping an eye on whiny, cranky kids. Seattle-based mompreneur Elise Worthy decided to remedy this with Kids on 45th, a website that sells seasonal boxes of nearly new kids clothing for 70-90% less than retail. Founded in 2017, the startup announced today that it has raised $3.3 million from YesVC, Maveron, SoGal Ventures, Sesame Street Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Liquid 2 VC and Brand Foundry Ventures.
“Kids on 45th is one of the oldest and most well-known consignment stores in Seattle,” Worthy told me in an interview. “I thought, this is an amazing community gathering place for moms, and there’s something for e-commerce here.”
The Founder and CEO decided to buy the place in June 2017 and brought the business online a couple of months later. The startup has since shipped a half a million items to every state in the country. Customers select the types and sizes of clothing they need (e.g., 4 pairs of pants, 3 long-sleeve shirts, 2 dresses, 2 short-sleeve shirts, 1 pair of sunglasses) and leave the hard work to the Kids on 45th team.
“We’re the anti-browsing solution,” added Worthy. “Even with Zulily, you’re still browsing, so we wanted to remedy that problem for moms.”
A Smart Business Model
Prices dip as low as $1.99 for a single item, which is cheaper than Walmart. One of the main reasons why Kids on 45th can afford to bring down the price tag as much is that it has veered away from the typical business model e-commerce stores usually adopt (i.e. no photos of items or online merchandising). And it has paid off.
A few months into founding her startup, Worthy applied and got accepted into Y Combinator (YC). But by the time the batch had started, her business was getting quite a lot of traction, so she ultimately chose to turn them down, respectfully.
“I was so inspired with the timeline they set for launching your product, collecting your data, etc., that I began working on it straight away,” said Worthy. “Even though we didn’t end up doing YC, they are credited for the launch of our business.”
That initial traction attracted notable investors, like Maveron, who was the first to back Kids on 45th.
“The rise in value retail offline has been unable to be replicated online until now, due to the difficulties of making the business model work,” said Jason Stoffer, a partner at Maveron, in a statement. “Elise and the Kids on 45th team have been able to sell clothing at radically low price points by challenging some of the shopping behaviors that have been accepted as a given up until this point.”
A Business With A Purpose
Worthy has a team of 15 in Seattle, with an additional 15 employees in the Texas-based fulfillment centers where the items are sorted. The startup sources clothes from dozens of collection operations, including national and local nonprofits across the United States, such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul.
“We pick out the best through a really rigorous sorting process,” said Worthy. “Clothing items are handled and inspected by several people.”
Things like material, quality and style are all taken into account, but the startup is brand agnostic — it will select items from Target to Ralph Lauren and price them the same. This is especially beneficial to low-income families, who can’t afford higher-end brands.
“That’s the beauty of it,” added Worthy. “Everyone pays the same price and you never know what you’re going to get!”
The startup just launched a buy-back program where parents can return clothes they no longer have a need for. They can choose to either receive credit or cash (Kidson45th.com credit pays more, says Worthy). This is currently active in Seattle but there is a beta program for people to send clothes back nationally.
This system of exchange encourages an eco-friendly approach to buying clothes as families can re-sell, repurchase and recycle items their children have outgrown (sizes range from newborn to pre-teen). This is especially relevant when taking into account the fact that 30 billion pounds of clothes are thrown out each year in the U.S.
With its social and environmental impact, Kids on 45th is definitely a great business with a great purpose.
April 17, 2019 at 12:03PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs