Real Shop Stories: Stella & James Finds

Chapter 1: 

Meet Jen, Stella And James

Hi I am Jen Snyder, Shop Keeper and Mama Stylist of Stella + James Finds up here in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.  I am a woman that wears a lot of hats at my house. I am a stay at home mom, but also a professional photographer, painter, Barre instructor and wardrobe stylist. One thing I have always loved is both art and fashion.  I try creating unique and eye catching outfits for myself + kids that blend these two favorites together and make it super fun to get everyone ready each day.

 

It is amazing how much kid’s fashion has changed even in the past few years.  There are so many great options now for finding unique clothing that is handmade from emerging local and global designers, and getting awesome deals on second hand high-end pieces for a fraction of the cost.

Six years ago when I had my oldest, James, you really had to dig to find cooler, more unique boy stuff.  I remember searching eBay a lot at that time just to get something different.  I was thrilled one day when I won an auction for a 12-month Kenneth Cole gray velvet blazer for only $6.  For James, my favorite mainstream brands are Zara Kids, H&M,  Crewcuts and a few trendier pieces from Gap Kids, but I also like tees and pieces from Mini & Maximus, Quinn + Fox and some independent designers.  

When Stella was added to our family almost 3 years ago, I was very excited to get to shop for a girl and was almost overwhelmed with all the choices out there. I began to realize I liked so many brands that I couldn’t budget for at retail cost or my husband would not let me shop anymore!!  That is when I started shopping almost all online resale or local mom sales. The deals and value I got for the items I found was amazing  and it made it hard to go shop at a mall anymore.  

I still buy a few pieces retail from Zara and Crewcuts for Stella as well and even splurge every now and then on my favorites like Wovenplay, Tutu Du Monde, and Anthropologie Kids Brands.  I am starting to add more indie and global styles into her wardrobe and love looks by emerging designers from The Brass Razoo, Liboosha, Duchess & Lion, and The Striped Fig as well as vintage whimsical brands like The Measure and Joyfolie.

Chapter 2:

Styling Our Shop Photos

I loved adding my shop to Kidizen. Not only was it a way to replenish my Paypal Account for more cute items, but also share pieces my two kids loved with other moms and kids.  I get to show our style and let others enjoy it too. 

I recently started adding styled sets to my shop. I take the item I want to sell and find accessories, shoes or coordinating found objects to give each piece more uniqueness and character.  It gives my viewer a chance to see an outfit idea or gives a connection. An old book, camera or knitted animal can add more than you think to your item.  The idea was inspired by the beautiful online website Flora + Henri.  They have fantastic upscale clothing for kids, but pair each piece with special items and makes you feel like you are getting more than just a dress or shirt when you look at the styled photos.  It is easy to do your own styled photos and only take a few extra minutes versus just shooting your item alone.

To set up for multiple listings, I grabbed a small pile of coordinating kids shoes, jewelry, accessories and then fun objects I had in my house.  I used my reclaimed wood dining table as my backdrop since it was simple but interesting and my iPhone.  I shot my photos during the day since natural light will always make your phone photos look best. I assembled different combos and snapped one full shot and one detail shot of each item.

Chapter 3:

selling in three simple steps

Listing your items takes about 2 minutes on your iPhone. You simply add your photo, add other criteria such as brand, gender, size and condition and name your price. You include shipping in the price and the app tells you how much you make (Kidizen takes 7%, Paypal 2.9% + .30). The moment you hit "post", it shows up in the Feed and in your Shop. You manage your listings, discounts and settings right from your shop. If you don't have the free app yet, you can download it here.

 

After you've been notified that you made a sale, you're ready for step two. There's no ONE way to do this so you'll have to play around with what works for you.  I think you'll find that once you designate a special place and have a system, it's pretty simple. And FUN! Here's how I've chosen to put my packages together.

 I use: a scale (kitchen scales work great!), ribbon, tissue, thank you cards, poly bags, and scissors & tape for the mailing label. While I enjoying adding my own special touches to package, the essentials are the scale, bags and tape. 

The last step is to print your shipping label from Paypal (or create your own) and you're ready to send it off. 

Come visit my shop in Kidizen- Stella + James Finds.  I will be adding our pre-loved items frequently since my kids seem to grow very quickly (they seem to take after my 6’8 husband).

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