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Boho Beauty

Boho_2Lately I have really been feeling the bright and unique boho patterns that are in stores. It’s a great way to brighten up your wardrobe with new prints that you normally wouldn’t gravitate towards.

This H&M dress is a great example. I love the flowing sleeves and neck detail. I have had many compliments on this piece. I found this dress at the Annex store for only $9. What a steal!! In the spring, it’s nice to have your shoulders covered.
But the fabric is thin enough that this could transition well into the summer months paired with a pair of embellished sandals and a straw hat (both of which I am keeping an eye out for in Kind Exchange locations).

Embrace your bohemian side ladies; peace and love suit us all

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Spring Has Sprung

SpringLet’s be honest. Canadian winters are the worst. They are long, they are cold, and they are dreary. So as soon as the snow melts, and the sun begins to shine we break out the dresses (with tights). We know that this is the first small step towards patios, sunburns, and thirty-degree weather.

This simple purple dress found at the Annex location for $12 and it is the perfect fit for this transition. I paired it with a thick pair of black tights and my favourite go-to jean jacket for a simple Saturday afternoon out in the Distillery District. The best part about this dress is the fact that it also works well once our temperature begins to soar. The back is a thin racer and can easily be worn out for a night on the town in the summer months. Rejoice friends, summer is on its way!!

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A lady needs Kate Spade

Kate_Spade2Every lady these days knows the name Kate Spade, and when one of these treasures appears at Kind Exchange, it goes quite quickly. This classic black bag with chain detail is one of my go to purses. I was in search for a larger black bag (the kind you can fit a pair of flats into if needed) that would go from work to play in an instant. This find from the Queen and Peter location took the cake. Versatile, perfect condition, and designer, the trifecta of the perfect Kind Exchange find. This find was $65 and worth every penny.

Kate_spade1I also found this Kate Spade cross body bag at the Annex location. I have had plenty of people stop and ask me where I bought it. As usual my answer is “Kind Exchange”! This find was also in perfect condition and is also quite versatile. It’s my go to bag when I have a little more than the usual to carry as it fits quite a bit. Bonus points for the fact that it’s not your standard neutral colour but instead, a lovely shade of dark purple which still manages to go with everything in my closet. This find was $35.

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Polkadots and More: Thrift Shopping Haul

Hello there lovely readers! Happy Hump Day!

Today I’ve decided to share with you my “Thrift Shopping Haul” [YAY]

Let me tell you about a place I found out about when I was back in College, it’s called Kind Exchange. It’s a retail store where you can buy, sell, trade and donate gently used clothing. They buy items that are in season, so right now Spring. I first went years ago when they just had one retail location, now there’s sixteen [and counting]

This is the process, you bring it clothing items you would like to sell [shoes and accessories too]. They will spend some time sorting through the pieces you bring in and select items they would like to buy from you. They will give you 20% of what they are going to sell it for at their retail locations, or they will give you a 30% store credit. It isn’t a lot, but its still more than if you were to donate them [and get nothing].

I took in quite a bit of my Spring clothes last week, they took almost all of them and I got a lovely store credit [I needed new clothes anyways]

Here are some of my findings:

One Clothing floral print summer dress for $12.00

Mercer & Madison cheetah print sweater for $9.00

Chinese Laundry sandals for $9.00
I highly suggest you visit Kind Exchange, even if you don’t want to sell – but to buy. All of the items they select are on-trend and are very affordable!
Want more information? Visit http://kindexchange.ca

Another company that I was introduced to this past weekend at a Trade Show was a company called Style Crushes. They buy NWT (new with tag) items and gently used clothing from tweens, teens and adults. They are a Canadian owned, completely online business!
Want more information? Visit http://www.stylecrush.com

Forever 21 knitted sweater for $8.00

I would definitely look into Kind Exchange and Style Crushes if you have trendy clothing that you’re never going to wear – you may as well give it to someone who will [and get some money too]

xoxo 

Marina

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Secondhand Marketing: The Kind Exchange Q&A

Posted by  / in Marketing StrategySocial Media Marketing / 

Promoting content across social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook is now commonplace.  No, it’s expected.  We’re seeing promoted trends and tweets more and more often, along with the sponsored posts and pages we’ve become accustomed to on Facebook.  Instagram has been a little different though.  Especially given that it’s used primarily on smartphone devices.
While Facebook is their parent company, Instagram is relatively new to the advertising game and are thus approaching the matter with caution. We’ll occasionally see ads from a select few organizations, like these.
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But small businesses are being left out.  Instagram claims, “we’re starting slow with advertising to make sure we take time to get the experience right for our ad partners and the Instagram community. We’ll let you know when we’re ready to expand to more ad partners.”  So no new players are welcome to join at this time but that hasn’t stopped some innovators from using this social network to their advantage.
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Photographing their inventory across multiple stores, featuring the items on Instagram and using hashtags to specify product location, @thekindexchange is masterfully utilizing this platform to increase brand awareness and allow their followers to interact with their brand and offerings.Price and size are generally included in each post and fans can tag their friends to promote items they think they’ll like.  You can even call ahead to put items you see on hold.

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Plumlytics speaks with The Kind Exchange founder, 37-year-old Jeffrey Wexler, to discuss his creative marketing strategy and how it has grown his business from one location on Queen Street to 16 stores across the GTA.

 Plumlytics:  So when did you guys first start marketing on Instagram?

Jeffrey Wexler:  Immediately, 2011, as soon as we opened the first store.  Right away we had a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account.  And as we’ve been able to grow with multiple locations, it has just been the most exciting to see the participation.  I have a unique kind of retail business where I get new items in every day, so there’s a lot of fun content, but my employees do an incredible job of Instagramming items that come out, promotions, everything.  They do an incredible job.

PL:  Is it up to the managers of each location?  Do they have discretion to pick items out and feature them or do you oversee that?

JW:  Every store is supposed to post to social media four times a day.  Instagram, obviously being so photo focused, has been great for us to show new pictures of inventory that comes in.  But also, [the managers] are really creative in the ways they display it.  It’s clothing, it’s fashion, it’s fun.  And I give all the credit in the world to my employees who are just so creative, so on point.  They’re just great at it.

PL:  I guess since you started on Instagram from the very beginning it’s hard to gauge, but if you had to put a percentage on it, how much sales growth have you seen as a result of advertising on Instagram?

JW:  That’s very tough to do, very tough for me to measure right now as a metric because we started using social media right in the beginning.  But when I come in to new areas and new stores, I tell our customers about our profile.  I put our Instagram handle on all of my store windows and our employees in-store will say you should follow us on Instagram.  Obviously it has been a lot of word-of-mouth because when you have something exciting and you’ve got good content, you know people start to talk about it and it’s really positive.

PL:  It’s a really cool thing to see.  Not just that social media is helping you grow your following online but also that people are really talking about it in real life too.

JW:  There’s no question, it’s the best.  It’s the absolute best and I’m so proud of what we’ve done.  I keep mentioning my staff because they just do an amazing job of being creative with the different posts, it’s awesome.  Now I also have one of those businesses where new items are coming in all the time so my content can really be fresh.  But it’s really the employees that keep doing this great stuff with it.  It’s always been really important to my business, to who we are.  I’ve never really done well with traditional marketing.  To me, this is an active customer base.  An active listener, an active viewer who gets to see [this content].  They’re signing up to hang out with us, which is the best.  People always ask me how to get more followers and it doesn’t change that it all starts at the store level.  We have to reach out to people, tell them what we’re doing, have them follow us and have that first engagement.

PL:  How does your marketing strategy differ on Facebook?  As you were saying, Instagram is incredibly visual, Twitter is pretty text-based.  How does that work for you on Twitter and Facebook?

JW:  Our Facebook and Twitter are not as active as Instagram.   Facebook is sort of looking back as opposed to the fast action of Instagram.  But maybe that will change.  I do feel like I could do more with it and Twitter as well.  But because of the amazing pictures that we take and use, Instagram is just fantastic but I think I’m under using Facebook and Twitter to be honest with you.  What would you say?

PL:  With Facebook and Twitter, for us personally, when I blog and post to Facebook, the reach isn’t as much as you would get on Twitter for us because so many more people can see it, as opposed to Facebook.  I guess it’s just about using the platforms that work best for you but it’s good to have a presence on all the others too. 

JW:  Exactly.  I feel like Facebook and Twitter are more for promotions and Instagram is more for fast action sales.

PL:  Do you have any plans to increase your usage of Facebook and Twitter?

JW:  One hundred per cent.  I would be silly not to.  When you’re a small business, trying to do all these different things, time just gets away from you and I’m very fortunate that my employees are so good at Instagram.  But I couldn’t load all those pictures onto Facebook.  It would overload people’s feed, it would be too much. 

PL:  And you and all your employees share the one account?

JW:  Correct.  We set up a framework for them to work in, that has to have size, price and store location and then the creativity is up to them when it’s all said and done.

PL:  That’s really cool, it gives them the opportunity to get involved in what you guys are doing, overall.

 JW:  And to be creative.  The Kind Exchange is a used clothing store but it’s really people coming together and my employees are just incredible.  I’m really lucky.

PL:  We’ve touched on this throughout the conversation but overall, how has social media changed the way you do business?

JW:  Completely.  It has enhanced, from the brick and mortar experience, to the digital world, it’s bridged the gap and it’s sensational.  Selling used clothing online can be challenging but it’s possible.  It’s just been a great tool for us, to really get our message out and say who we are.  It’s fantastic.  But, that being said, I feel like I could always be doing more.  I feel like it’s just beginning.

PL:  Are there any challenges you’ve noticed with Instagram, specifically?  Or even Twitter or Facebook, apart from what you’ve already mentioned?

 JW:  I would love to have a “buy now” button on Instagram, it would be pretty neat but I’m just trying to make sure our brand gets displayed in the best possible way, across all the different stores.  This is a challenge as you grow in business; you want to keep your core fundamentals the same and you want to have that feeling that I had with my first store.  I want our social media to reflect that as well.  We’re The Kind Exchange and it’s about doing good action in the world, it’s about fast action and it’s about fun, it’s great.  And I really want to get that across; that our stores are fun, exciting places to go for fashion.

 PL:  What other platforms are you considering? I know there are so many out there for businesses; Pinterest is also really visual, Foursquare, which is about just putting your name out there, what do you think about those?

 JW:  I’ve used all of those and what it comes down to is that right now, we have to focus on what we’re good at and get the word out.  We’re too small a company, I’m just trying to get better at Twitter and Facebook to become a better source there.  But Pinterest would be very cool and makes a lot of sense for my business.  I hope to roll that out this year.

 PL:  And how social media savvy were you when you first got started?  Did you know about all this stuff, were you just learning about it?

 JW:  There’s obviously a learning curve as new applications come out within social media.  I’ve always believed in it from a business sense, that it’s the right way to spend your marketing resources.  The number one way, for me anyways.

With their newest location in Burlington set to open, we’re likely to see more and more of The Kind Exchange as they take on the consignment apparel market from storefront to cyberspace.

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Pay what you can for a bag of clothes this weekend

Natalia Manzocco of blogTO says: With a dozen locations across Toronto, the Kind Exchange is now home to about half of Toronto’s closet castoffs. The local resale chain specializes in (mostly) gently-used threads at bargain-basement prices, and “fill a bag for $20” sales are now common at their various locations. But the holidays are a time for giving back, and the city’s packrats are getting the gift of a lifetime, thanks to their first-ever PWYC sale this Friday through Sunday (December 12-14) at their original location at 611 Queen St. West.

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Lindsay’s Latest: Dressing for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us. And that means many (many) holiday events to attend. In these situations, I prefer to keep my look simple and dress it up if needed with accessories. The perfect solution? The Little Black Dress! It is a classic look that always works. I found this LBD by Kimchee Blue at the 611 Queen West location for only $19. It is made out of a thicker material and is lined which makes it perfect for the winter season (aka don’t freeze!).

I love pairing a simple dress with a statement clutch. I found this oversized Club Monaco clutch at the 512 Yonge Street Store ($15). The linen pairs perfectly with the fabric of this dress and the leather detailing adds some edge. I also think this clutch will transition perfectly to summer to pair with jean shorts and a t-shirt. But it’s too early to be thinking about summer – Happy Holidays Everyone!!

LindsayNov-22
LindsayNov-27

Be sure to visit my blog (www.champagne-dreams.ca) for all my latest.

Lindsay

xoxo

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Lindsay’s Latest: Faux Leather

A big trend this season that I love is faux leather. I love pairing these pieces with a simple counterpart in order to highlight it. I fell in love with this red number from H&M from the Annex location for only $15. I paired it with some black tights and a great staple blouse from LOFT (only $17 at the 379 Queen West store). The necklace is from the Bloordale location and was only $6. This outfit could easily transition day to night with the addition of a blazer and some extra sparkly accessories for all of your holiday events.

LindsayNov-15


Be sure to visit my blog (www.champagne-dreams.ca) for all my latest.

Lindsay

xoxo

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Lindsay’s Latest: Staying Fashionable While Embracing Winter

I know we all hate to admit it, but it is now winter. And although this realization will make us Torontonians want to hibernate, we should embrace the weather. How you ask? With warm staples that help us keep cozy, while staying fashionable.

Autumn and winter trends this year are all about unique staple pieces like gray denim and plaid. I was able to find these gray Levi’s in the Annex for only $19. I love that they create a new spin on a classic denim look. A bright plaid button down is also a necessity. I found this bright and lovely button up in Bloordale for only $9! A steal if I do say so myself!! I also found this black faux fur vest at the Bloordale location for only $19.

This look is perfect for a cozy Saturday afternoon in the city. The fur vest makes an otherwise average outfit modern and chic.

LindsayNov-1

 


Be sure to visit my blog (www.champagne-dreams.ca) for all my latest.

Lindsay

xoxo

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The top 10 places to buy a cheap winter coat in Toronto

blogto says: Kind Exchange
Toronto’s most ridiculously fast-growing chain of resale clothing stores is now accepting winter-wear – look for used coats to keep trickling into stores as the weather turns. A recent visit to their Queen and John location turned up name-brand peacoats at around the $50 mark. And if you come up empty, just head to another location – there’s one in your neighbourhood, and your neighbourhood, and yours, too.

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