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Starkville Swap creates community of mothers

August 11, 2012

By MATT CRANE
sdnlife@bellsouth.net

What started out as a mother-to-mother swap of clothing has turned into quite the consignment revolution.

A group of young Starkville mothers are holding the second Starkville Swap consignment sale Saturday, Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at the old Costume Party store in Cotton Crossings.

Laura Rackley, one of the group’s founders, said a simple Facebook page was started to help organize the swapping of children’s clothing around Starkville.

“It’s great to sell one or two items,” Rackley said. “But when you’re selling a lot, meeting people five times a week to sell five different outfits, it can be a lot.”

Jennifer Prather said because the page began gaining a substantial number of new members, the idea for an organized sale was put in place.
“The clothes were going so quickly so we decided to do a consignment sale,” Prather said. “We had a great turn out and it was really just word of mouth and advertising on that page.”

The group of women responsible for starting this phenomenon are: Laura Rackley, Emily Keith-Johnson, Jennifer Prather, Lindsey Burkhalter, Sarah Ryder, Ginger Lee, Karla Mitchner, Julie Reikhof, Rebecca Schilling and Amanda Bolan.

Held in March of this year at the garage of Emily Keith-Johnson, Prather said 20 consigners contributed to the sale and the women were able to pay out almost $3,000 after all was said and done.

“We ended being out a little bit last year, not expecting to have as many clothes as we did,” Prather said. “Her garage was bursting at the seams.”

Keith-Johnson said consigners for the sale next Saturday are required to pay a $10 fee to cover rental costs for racks and building space, but insists the sale is not a way for the women to make money.

“This is not a business,” Keith-Johnson said. “It’s just a service for Starkville for moms to get good deals on good clothes and to clean out their closets.”

Other than coming from local buyers and mothers, one of the requirements for the sale is that a majority of what is consigned must come from a boutique.

“We ask that 75 percent of everything you consign be boutique clothing,” Prather said. “It’s a little bit more upscale than most consignment sales are.”

Rackley said there is a little something extra in it for women wanting to consign and not just simply shop.

“The sale starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, but consigners get to shop at 8 a.m.,” Rackley said. “So there is an added benefit to consigning something for the sale.”
Prather said the sale was started as a way for local moms to be safe in trading and buying clothing.

“It started as a way for moms not to have to use places like eBay and Craigslist, because you don’t know who’s coming to meet you,” Prather said. “We wanted it to be only women and for them to feel safe trading and selling clothing.”

Keith-Johnson said the cash-only sale will only feature children’s clothing, gear and some small toys, but the group has created Starkville Home Swap and Starkville Homemade Swap pages as well.

“The Home Swap is for household items, like if you’re trying to sell your coffee table or something,” Keith-Johnson said. “The Homemade Swap has offered a great way for a lot of moms to sell their own goods.”
While the women admit their consignment revolution will not go global any time soon, Rackley said she has enjoyed the community of motherhood the sales have provided.

“I never dreamed it would get this big,” Rackley said. “I’ve bought some great things and met some great people.”

The Starkville Swap Consignment Sale will open Saturday, Aug. 18 at 9 a.m. in the old Costume Party shop in Cotton Crossings.

For more information on how to participate and consign, email etkeith@hotmail.com.

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