Local Business: Ever Heard of Moxie Jean?
The online, upscale resale clothing company for boys and girls not only offers an economical way to purchase great finds for your child, but also a way to unload those clothes children so quickly grow out of.
Mom’s, take a breath, because there is a place to find quality clothing for your girl or boy (kids through size 8) at a great price, and it’s just a click away. It’s Moxie Jean.
The company was founded by local resident Sharon Schneider, a mother of three and former business consultant. She came up with the idea after searching through a closet full of clothes her children had grown out of.
“My youngest daughter had just turned one and my niece had just been born, I remember going through boxes of baby clothes I had kept, and thinking, what can I send for my niece that is still nice, my favorite pieces,” Schneider said.
That thought got Schneider going on the idea of having a central repository to send no-longer-used children’s clothing to, so they wouldn’t fill up closets.
“I envisioned this as a way for families to save money and time, and still provide adorable clothing for their kids,” Schneider said. “I thought, I can do this, there isn’t a good solution out there.”
Schneider gave her employer three months notice in September of 2011, and that following December, she began her life as an entrepreneur.
Schneider recruited her sister, Sandra Pinter who she calls an “operational mastermind” and mother, Rosalie Sturtevant, who owns a wealth of knowledge and experience in the financial world, having worked as a CPA and controller for more than 30 years.
“We all had complimentary business experiences up to that point, and we became a natural trifecta,” Schneider said.
The name of the business began as Good Karma Clothing, which offered parents the opportunity to rent seven outfits a month and exchange them when they wanted to, for a $28 monthly membership fee.
But subscriptions just didn’t seem to be rolling in as the trio expected.
A Change in Direction
They knew they needed to tweak something about the business, so when the three women learned about Excellerate Labs, the number 3 start-up accelerator in the country, they jumped at the opportunity to work with them.
After an application process, (then) Good Karma Clothing was picked as one of 10 companies out of 400 to benefit from the guidance of Excellerate Labs.
“The experience made me start to take more heart in the concerns and feedback I had gotten from mothers about renting clothes; they were concerned about damaging the clothes, or they were worried about keeping track of them,” Schneider said.
“I started to realize that what these moms were saying to me was that our service would actually cause them stress, a burden, and that was why no one was subscribing,” she said.
So, the three partners decided they would have to reinvent their wheel, slightly, and rebranded as well, renaming the company, Moxie Jean.
They went to an open-loop subscription, where parents could come in or out at any time, and purchase or sell clothing, instead of renting.
And since then, there hasn’t been any looking back.
Moxie Jean is Born
All of the shopping is done online, and parents can request a Moxie Jean mailer bag, which is free through the website (and postage paid).
After purchasing clothing, and once your child grows out of them, you can simply stuff the clothes you’d like to sell back in the bag which can be picked up right at your door by the U.S. Postal Service. Or, you can use the bag to mail in clothes you would like to sell to Moxie Jean to be sold through their website.
“When we get the clothes back, we inspect, and decide on everything we will take,” Schneider said. “We send an email to parents regarding what amount we will buy the clothing for, and they have an option to cash out, or use a credit toward the purchase of more clothing for their kids.”
If you choose to use your ‘Moxie Money’ you can get 10 percent off of your next purchase, or you can donate it to be given to Lurie Children’s Hospital, which Moxie Jean sends as gift certificates to children being treated there.
For clothing that doesn’t meet the high standards Moxie Jean purchases by, an explanation as to why it couldn’t be accepted and the clothes are donated to A Kids Pantry, a Mount Prospect charity, or directly to families in need.
All accepted clothing is steamed, and Moxie Jean stylists match the pieces into outfits to provide even more convenience for busy parents.
Each of the 5,800 articles of clothing currently in their inventory is pictured on the Moxie Jean website.
“We focus on delivering an outstanding product and experience, and we believe that is the main thing that will help us grow,” Schneider said. “We have a huge return customer rate.”
The company also offers a 100 percent money back guarantee on any purchase.
Now through February 6, Moxie Jean is having a Winter Wardrobe Giveaway on Facebook. You could win a $150 gift certicate, or one of three Peg-Perego strollers. Visit https://www.facebook.com/MoxieJeanKids for more information.
“We think our company’s DNA as moms trying to provide a real service to other parents is a winning prospect, we work every day to continue to build that trust,” Schneider said.
For more information visit the Moxie Jean website at http://www.moxiejean.com.