If necessity is the mother of invention, then what is a mother with a dilemma?
She’s an entrepreneur like Alisa Pastecki who opens up shop to help her and fellow moms out.
And Thoughtful Kids Consignment Shop was born.
“I have a one-year-old and a four-year-old, and this was out of an abundance of need for myself because living here in Batavia we didn't have any consignment options. And when I was living in Buffalo previously, one consignment shop that I did like to frequent was on Hertel Avenue, and there was just, there's no parking. It would not be easy to bring two kids in tow with, you know, boxes of clothes to sell,” she said during her shop’s ribbon-cutting grand opening Friday at Harvester Center. “So this was just out of an abundance of need for myself, and I think for the community and other moms like myself.”
While raising her children, Pastecki began to notice the collection of things that she didn’t want to throw out yet also didn’t have many options of where to put them to good use, she said. A consignment shop is a clearinghouse for such gently used goods in which the donor receives a portion of the sales for those items directly given to the store. Pastecki will buy them outright or offer a percentage of the total once sold.
She chose a street-level spot that’s tucked between a children’s bounce facility and a coffee shop. With help from her husband Douglas and other family members — the grandparents babysat Gloria, 4, and one-year-old Walter — they worked to paint the walls and floor and add custom displays “so that we could get open as soon as possible,” her husband Douglas said.
“It started with a small idea of what are we going to do with all these clothes, we’ve got other parents who are the same as us, who just have all these clothes that need to find a home. And she came up with the idea of doing a pop-up shop or some way an outlet to help people, you know, basically make money and save these clothes from ending up in landfills,” he said. “It's very exciting to go through the process because this is our first time going through starting up the business. So it's been very exciting to see it come to this day of the grand opening. We had so many consignment partners … mothers and families had clothes and needed a place to go.”
They carved out a 600-square-foot niche of assorted children’s clothing, footwear, dolls and other items for newborns up to large kids’ sizes.
Once Alisa had the idea last fall, she just kept inching toward her goal.
“This idea started off probably back in November of last year. And so this started as a pop-up business and grew to be something that I needed a lot more space for. And so that's where the storefront came in,” she said. “And the Harvester, I thought, was the perfect spot to do it, being a business incubator and all. I would say that Thoughtful Kids is quality, savings and community. All three good reasons to shop.”
Pastecki is a native of Tonawanda and moved to Batavia about nine years ago. She met her husband here — he works at Oliver’s Candies — and was familiar with some consignment options in the Buffalo area. But once having her first child she wanted something that would be closer and more convenient for kids’ items.
In addition to her brick-and-mortar store, the 38-year-old plans to offer some pop-up shops in the Western New York area to provide opportunities for fellow moms to buy and sell items as well. It’s a simple concept: “you take stuff and sell it,” she said. People can either drop off their goods or she will pick them up for busy parents, she said.
“So I will drive to their homes. I’ve done Orchard Park and Hamburg in a day. I’ve done Batavia any time, obviously, since I’m local. And then I can really go anywhere, from Rochester to Buffalo,” she said. “The plan is to be permanent here and see where this takes us. Being a business incubator, I don’t know if I’ll ever grow out of the space. But I’m really happy to be at the Harvester right now.”
She is a first-time business owner with a background as a sales executive with a network engineering company. She worked with consignment contracts for telecom equipment.
“So this is kind of a lot of the paperwork and a lot of the things I do for my consigners, it is very similar to what I was doing on a much larger scale for telecom companies all over the world,” she said. “So it kind of fit perfectly when I was home with my kids during the pandemic.”
Benefits of shopping at her place include saving money — an estimated 50 to 70 percent off retail; buying quality, brand name fashions; positively impacting the environment; experiencing an easy consignment process; and the best reason of all, she said, is to support “a small, local, female-owned business."
Hours listed for the next two weeks are 2 to 6 p.m. Monday, 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 23, 2 to 6 p.m. July 25 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 29 at 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia. For more information, call (716) 984-0515 or go to Thoughtful Kids
Top photo: Alisa Pastecki shows some of the children's clothing at her new shop on Harvester Avenue, Batavia. Family members help Alisa and husband Douglas, behind her to the left, with the ceremonial ribbon-cutting for Thoughtful Kids Consignment at 56 Harvester Ave., Batavia. The couple's children, Gloria, front near mom, and Walter, being carried, in back row, enjoy the celebration Friday. Photos by Joanne Beck.