*We are thrilled to promote the Finders Keepers Children's Consignment Sale this Fall! Having them as a sponsor has not affected our opinions in this blog.
We all know: its not easy to be a mom. Add in a full time job, owning your own business, setting aside time to enjoy husband and wife time and what do you have? You have Kim and Margaret, owners of Finders Keepers Jax Children's Consignment sale! These two moms loved shopping consignment sales so much that they decided to own their own business. From tips and tricks to starting your own business, to how they balance work, business, and home life, we were thrilled to sit down to talk with these two super moms. You can find them August 31 - September 2, 2017 at the upcoming fall sale at Morocco Shrine Temple! To find out how to shop early, nominate other families for a charitable donation, learn how to consign your own items to clean out your closets and make money, and more, click HERE!
1. How did you get the idea to start a business/consignment sale business? How long have you been doing this business?
The Finders Keepers business was started 10 years ago! We can not take credit for the idea of consignment sales, however. We had fallen in love with the idea of saving, shopping, and earning some extra cash. So we developed a wonderful relationship with the previous owners and thought we would be a great fit for the transition of new ownership while keeping the mission alive in the Jacksonville community. The upcoming spring sale will be our 8th year, and 26th sale overall. We started out as two best friends ready to take on entrepreneurship, so we established a great plan.
2. What is your best advice for those looking to start their own business?
Operating and starting a small business can actually be very difficult. There are many hurdles you can encounter from the beginning. Our best advice is take time to sit down and create an in depth business plan. We actually wanted to own the business a year earlier than we did, but patience and perseverance paid off. Funding is the largest obstacle many start ups encounter. For us, being a unique business because we are a seasonal operation, we were turned down by major lending institutions. So saving personally and having a debt pay off plan was our next adventure. We were able to personally save what we needed to establish a great start up. Utilizing many local resources, such as Small Business Association articles and Florida SunBiz were great resources for us, as the average consumer, to gain information. Getting all your permits, licenses, and articles of formation is another area where we needed to make sure we were doing it right on the front end. Do not be afraid to seek advice from Certified Public Accountants and/or lawyers to make sure everything is properly filed versus having to carve out time to make the changes later. Hiring professionals during the start up period brought in expenses we never imagined we would have to encounter, but set us out on the right food to perform our business efficiently right from day one.
3. How do you balance kids and working and your business? Are you stay at home/work from home/working moms?
We are actually both full time working mammas! With 6 children between us, and miles (Kim lives in Mississippi) we are overly organized. Running a seasonal job does pay off for some down time. There are constant daily tasks, but majority of the work time ramps up prior to each sale (fall/spring). We are very organized on how we manage every aspect of our sale to conduct efficient business. Communication is our main goal, we have utilized resources like Google Drive and other task management software to provide both of us organization and accessibility all year long. Divide and conquer is another key component, we established each other's strengths to master tasks for completion. That's what makes our friendship and business relationship so prosperous is that our strengths is the others weakness. Balancing being wives, moms, friends, and business owners is a tough job for everyone, we believe. Establishing your own boundaries for day to day activities is important. Work life needs to end at a set time so you can have time to put your full focus on family.
4. What sets you apart from other consignment sales in Jacksonville?
Jacksonville is a very lucky city to have such a variety of these sales. We are all different, but have a common goal: to help families score amazing deals on children's clothes and gear, and for consignors to earn some extra cash. What sets us apart that we pride ourselves in customer service and community involvement. From charity sales, to donations to organizations, to family nominations for donations, and a give back sale day where we donate 10% of sales that were brought in that day we are happy to give back to the Jacksonville community. Jacksonville has so many amazing non-profits and we are so lucky to interact with them for donations and also interact with thousands of families during our week long event.
5. What great things can we look forward to for this sale?
The spring sale is amazing! You can find shorts, shirts, and Florida attire, swimming gear, and more. The majority of our own children's wardrobes come from the sale! We also receive so many large items (beds, cribs, kitchens, bikes, furniture, swings, outdoor equipment) that we fill up over 13,000 square feet with large items alone. With such a large sale with 38,000 square feet of sale space, having a shopping game plan is key. We recommend starting with the large items and must haves first. Then working towards toys and shoes. Make your last stops at clothes, books, and games. With over five football fields of racks, there is plenty to go around and you can take your time looking through, finding the best quality items, and making sure they are the best size for your children. The last day of the sale is 50% day, so if the consignor has allowed a discount, the items are half off.
We'll see you at the sale! We're avid Finders Keepers shoppers and can't wait to get our spring and summer gear. Find more info about the sale and all the spring events around town at www.fun4firstcoastkids.com!