We are pleased to announce that one of our Queen West stores was featured on MasterCard’s Stylicity blog for Fashion Week!
Read the original article, here: http://www.worldmastercardfashionweek.com/Stylicity/blog/the-kind-exchange
March 17, 2013
It’s no secret – I have a fashion addiction. I’ve been accumulating obscene amounts of clothing, shoes and accessories ever since I moved to Toronto ten years ago. My closet is ready to burst and my hubby is a saint for dealing with just a sliver of space for so long!
Needless to say, it’s been time to purge for a while, so when I heard that Kind Exchange was one of the Stylicity merchants in Queen West, I took it as a sign!
Kind Exchange offers cash or trade on the spot to anyone with unwanted clothing, shoes, or accessories. They also provide the unique opportunity to donate your items so that the proceeds will go to a local charity. This philosophy really encourages community involvement and it’s catching on – they launched in 2013 and already have three locations!
Kind Exchange buys seasonally (but you can donate anytime), so I filled up a bag of my loneliest spring dresses and hit up their biggest location at Queen & Peter. I enjoyed my first experience with co-owner Courtney Callahan, who also took the time to chat with me about her business and Queen West…
NW – What inspired the launch of Kind Exchange?
CC – My husband Jeff is originally from Toronto and was in the consignment business with our business partner for years in the US. The “buy-sell-trade” model is big there but it hasn’t really taken off in Canada. They decided to apply their expertise and tweak the model launch a new concept in a new market. I was working in the wine industry in Chicago at the time but fashion and vintage clothing was always a hobby. I quickly got on board, quit my job and we moved to Toronto to launch our first store at 611 Queen West in 2012.
NW – You have two locations in Queen West – what makes this area so great?
CC – Queen West was the perfect place to introduce Kind Exchange in Toronto because it’s a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood as well as a shopping destination.
NW – The “donate” component really sets you apart – tell me more!
CC – It puts the “kind” in Kind Exchange. Our sellers have the option to donate items that we choose not to purchase for resale. Some donated items are brought to local charities like Dress For Success, others go to local shelters and the rest will be sold in our basement charity room at 611 Queen West. Proceeds from the sale of those items go to our charity partners and we’re always looking to partner with others so let us know your favourite local charities!
NW – How would you describe Queen West style in three words?
CC – Inspired, Global, Edgy
NW – What does the perfect day in Queen West entail for you?
CC – We live and work in Queen West so this neighborhood has become near and dear to our hearts. My ideal day involves my dog Webster, a giant green tea and hitting the street to get lost in fabric stores and my favourite local boutiques. After a trip to the dog park, I would meet up with my husband for tacos and margaritas at Milagro, and if it’s the perfect day, we would be on the patio!!!
As we chatted, Courtney went through the items I brought and provided me with a print out that outlined how much I could get back in cash as well as the trade value, which is 20% higher than the cash-back option. It’s great incentive to scope out some “new to you” goodies of your own!
TIP: Check out the “Staff Picks” for the best goodies! If you become a regular, they have a new arrivals area so you don’t have to waste time sifting through old items.
I found the selection at this location to be fairly mainstream with brands like H&M, Forever 21, Zara, Jacob, Banana Republic, Gap and other well known retailers. They also have a wide selection of costume jewellery and a fairly decent variety of shoes, boots and handbags.
I found these gorgeous patent leather Betsey Johnson pumps for just $45 but they were one size too small. They looked brand new so I tried them on anyway and had to reason with my inner fashion addict to put them back!
I had a great time exploring Kind Exchange at this location with Courtney! Later that day, I checked out the Queen & Bathurst store and the selection is quite different even though it’s only a few blocks away. Stay tuned for my blog on that one!
Stylicity Offer: Enjoy 20% off items purchased at Kind Exchange with your MasterCard card from March 15 to 31. If you shop with your BMO MasterCard, you’ll also earn 3x the reward points.
Happy Shopping and stay tuned for more from Queen West!