Every year at summer season’s finish, Ahwatukee resale enterprise Child to Child hosts a mixed anniversary occasion and Buyer Appreciation Day with a luau theme.
This yr, COVID-19 has necessitated a couple of modifications to their festivities – however celebrating 15 years and their trustworthy and rising buyer base remains to be on faucet.
Ceding to the pandemic’s social distancing guidelines meant the one-day blow-out occasion is now expanded to a few days this weekend, Aug. 28-30.
RSVPs are steered, so there’s loads of respiration room.
Homeowners Brenda Spezzacatena, her husband Jon and her mom Molly Varner are greater than thrilled to have the chance this yr to rejoice as a result of when COVID-19 struck, Child to Child and their Uptown Cheapskates retailer in Chandler had been shuttered.
“We had been closed for about 5 weeks beginning in mid-March, however we did what we may to assist out,” stated Brenda.
“We posted gadgets on social media, let individuals pay by telephone after which choose up their purchases on the retailer,” she stated.
“We wore gloves and masks and positioned their bagged purchases within the trunk of their vehicles. We offered much more toys than garments as a result of individuals had been quarantined.”
In the course of the quarantine, Child to Child Ahwatukee additionally opened a web based retailer –shopkidtokidahwatukee.com – which remains to be out there for these uncomfortable with in-store visits, however Spezzacatena stated they knew they’d stay a brick-and-mortar enterprise as a result of they take pleasure in interacting with their prospects.
Child to Child reopened at 4940 E. Ray Street, Ahwatukee, in June.
Marking 15 years in enterprise is an emotional topic for Spezzacatena as she sees how even a pandemic couldn’t cease their dream that started when the household determined to open the youngsters’s resale retailer in Ahwatukee.
It’s a dream that now contains the Spezzacatena’s two youngsters as effectively. Her daughter Rebekah Ciardella, 25, manages Uptown Cheapskate and son Nick, 27, when not finding out to be a fireplace investigator, additionally works within the shops.
Each Horizon Honors alum and graduates of Valley Christian Excessive College, the pair had their first work expertise at Child to Child.
In 2005, Child to Child Ahwatukee opened in a 2400-square-foot storefront at 5030 E. Ray Street – throughout the road from their present 6,000-square-foot retailer they moved into in 2015.
“We outgrew our first retailer shortly and took over the enterprise subsequent door, knocking out the wall to make it four,000 sq. foot,” Brenda defined.
“Final yr we had our greatest yr ever – most gross sales and most buys and much more prospects. I don’t assume we’ll beat that this yr,” she stated ruefully.
“However we’ve been on this group 15 years and we’ve got a number of regulars and new individuals, and I’ve to brag that I believe a giant cause is as a result of we’ve got nice customer support.”
Brenda labored in retail and resale for a few years, together with a stint with Child to Child Scottsdale. When her stepfather was identified with Parkinson’s Illness, the household urged Varner to maneuver to Ahwatukee from Tucson and open the enterprise collectively.
She lives lower than a mile from the household. Her husband, Wally Varner, handed away in 2009.
Varner isn’t typically present in both retailer, although like Jon, she steps in when wanted. Because the starting, she’s used her accounting background to serve the household enterprise.
Jon, a neighborhood hearth captain and unbiased hearth inspector, focuses on the IT aspect of the enterprise and steps in the place wanted at each shops.
It was whereas Brenda was working at Child to Child Scottsdale, the enduring youngsters’s retail clothes franchise based in 1992, long-held concept to personal her personal resale retailer discovered the reply.
“I’ve a ardour for resale,” she defined. “There’s one thing about getting in there and discovering these particular issues that’s all the time appealed to me. Elevating my youngsters, we by no means paid full value and the children had been all the time being complimented on their outfits.
“In reality, in Nick’s senior yr, he was voted greatest dressed. I’d labored in retail and resale earlier than and I had confidence within the Child to Child franchise ideas and I knew it may work for us.”
And for 15 years it has labored effectively for her, her household and the group as they flock to her upscale, stylish and arranged Child to Child retailer for gently used and well-curated youngsters’s clothes sizes zero to 14, child gear and nursery furnishings, maternity garments, youngsters’s toys and extra.
Presentation and group make the shop shoppable.
“It makes the buying expertise simpler. Our prospects are busy individuals, they’ve bought youngsters, they typically have a toddler together with them. We make sure that every little thing has been colorized and sorted in response to measurement and merchandise,” she stated.
“I by no means preferred moving into a retailer and having to dig by stuff to search out one thing, and Child to Child is organized in order that doesn’t occur.”
One other facet of Child to Child is dad and mom can money in on gadgets their youngsters have outgrown.
A workers purchaser assesses the gadgets whereas prospects browse the shop.
For gadgets which can be accepted – and nothing stained torn or out of favor makes the reduce – the client is obtainable money or a further 20 % in retailer credit score.
Ought to the client select to not take the unaccepted gadgets with them, Child to Child donates them. And when the house owners hear of a neighborhood household struggling, they provide a voucher to allow them to store for his or her youngsters.
“We do issues to assist the group,” stated Brenda, including that when her husband learns of households who’ve misplaced all in home fires, they’re supplied a $100 per baby voucher to assist change gadgets.
Within the time of COVID, the Child to Child Ahwatukee retailer and their workers take particular precautions to maintain prospects secure.
“We attempt to keep on high of it. Our ladies clear counters, doorways, something touched, each hour and naturally we put on masks,” she stated. “We’re promoting masks for kids and adults, most with cool patterns. They’re new, in fact. I’m discovering masks have gotten a style accent.”
Child to Child presently has 10 workers – lots of them long-term – and their supervisor, Angel Jaquez, has been there 9 years. Worker Lovita McRoy marks 14 years with the enterprise in December.
Particular giveaways are a part of the three-day Child to Child Ahwatukee Luau Celebration and embody 15 $100 retailer reward playing cards, 15 $50 reward playing cards for his or her Uptown Cheapskate retailer in Chandler, a Princess Gram from Ahwatukee-based As soon as Upon a Tiara, a balloon garland, new crafts from Melissa & Doug and extra.
“The group of Ahwatukee welcomed us and has supported us for 15 years and we couldn’t be extra grateful for all their help,” Brenda stated. “We’ve really made some wonderful relationships with prospects through the years. We’ve seen youngsters develop up in these years and a few even store at Uptown now.”
Data: KidtoKid.com/Ahwatukee. In addition they have a Fb web page.