About the Company
We are Swap Shop - an eco-friendly, user-friendly, subscription-based service that provides boxes of high-quality, recycled clothes to families with young kids. Because kids are rapidly outgrowing and, as a result, discarding their clothes, they create lots of fashion waste. Swap Shop tackles this problem. Our subscription boxes promote sustainability by reducing the volume of kids clothing going to landfills, where they will sit in a landfill and won't be able to decompose. We aim to allow everyone to be an ally of the environment, even if it is unbeknownst to themselves.
Progress to Date
To get our business off the ground, we gathered inventory by holding clothing drives at schools in the Saint Louis area, asking friends, family, and even families we babysit for, to donate. For testing, we asked our customers to complete the profile on our website to ensure that our boxes were tailored to their children's size and the upcoming season, but also to check that our website was functioning correctly. We then hand-delivered the boxes to each of our customers within a week.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Having gone through a lot as a team, our best pieces of advice are:
1. Take the first step. The idea for our startup was up in the air for a couple of weeks, but if we hadn't had the courage to act on it, we would’ve gotten nowhere. That basketball saying about missing every single one of the shots you don’t take, well, it applies here. We know it probably seems scary reaching out to that successful business owner you are trying to partner with or asking someone for a bag full of clothes (that one might only apply to Swap Shop!) but we promise it will be worth it, and the worst possible outcome is that they say no. Then you simply dust yourself off and try again.
2. Use your time wisely. As a high schooler, it can be very challenging to run a business while trying to keep your grades up and manage a whole range of extracurricular activities. The only way you can successfully keep your life in balance without dying from stress is by planning ahead. Don’t procrastinate, keep a tight schedule, and always remember to set aside time to unwind!