Sharla Faul knows how expensive it can be to buy kid’s clothes. The Prince Albert mother was tired of having to go all the way to Saskatoon to get second-hand kids’ clothing. So she decided to do something about it.
Saturday, Faul will hold the grand opening for her new venture, Tot’s Treasure Trunk, a business she’s opening with her dad. The store is a kid’s consignment store, and Sharla said it fills a much-needed gap in the Prince Albert clothing market.
“I always have to got to Saskatoon to shop for things like this,” she said. “Especially with Sears closing, there are not a lot of options. You save a lot of money when you buy second hand. We decided it would be a good idea to open (a store) in Prince Albert so people wouldn’t have to travel so far.”
The Fauls were in luck. A storefront was available across from CJ’s Playground, an indoor play place for children.
“We chose it because we thought we would get traffic from them and they would get traffic from us,” Sharla said. “We thought it would be a great place to start.”
The store carries gently-used shoes, bibs toys and clothing from newborn to size eight, as well as maternity wear. New accessories such as blankets and sunglasses are available, and they have a catalogue to order anything else you might need.
Now, just days to opening day, the store is fully stocked, with more than 6,000 items in the initial inventory.
“We’re starting with thousands of items,” said Robert Faul, Sharla’s dad and business partner.
“It’s not like a garage sale where you have a couple hundred things. We’re like 100 garage sales all in one spot.”
That initial inventory came from people contacting Sharla and through their own buying. Going forward, people can drop off their stuff and the store will make an offer. They can either get cash or store credit in the form of a gift card. With the gift card, they can get a greater percentage back.
The Fauls are optimistic their new venture will be a success. Their spirits are buoyed by the initial community response.
“Everyone has been very excited about it, and enthusiastic. We’ve had people contact us without really trying, so that’s been awesome,” Sharla said.
Their journey to opening, about one year in the making, has also been very educational. This is Sharla’s first venture, but her dad has been in business in P.A. for over 20 years with Adcom solutions, a computer and print shop.
“There have been a lot of learning curves,” Sharla said. “It takes a lot of work to figure everything out and to figure out how to make everything work seamlessly.”
“There’s a reason chain stores charge a large amount of money to start them up,” he said.
“It’s because they’ve figured out all this stuff already.”
In addition to figuring out the business, the Fauls had to figure out how they would work together.
“It’s definitely different,” Robert said.
“You have to get along for it to work. We’re both bosses, so I have to listen to her as much as she has to listen to me.”
Robert and Sharla are hopeful some of those kinks have been worked out. They’re opening to 10 customers who won a social media contest for an early shopping visit Thursday, and open to the public Saturday. They’re hoping the business does well.
“I think there have been a few people who have tried it,” Robert said. “but not on this scale,” added Sharla.
“Being in the mall and having the traffic, I think it will be an easy place for people to get to and find what they want. We have so much stuff,” Robert continued.
“It’s just a matter of letting people know we’re here. I think it can go really really well.”