Arlington Heights-based MoxieJean.com, an e-commerce site for buying and selling used children's clothing, is just two years out of its incubator and already has garnered nearly 10,000 customers nationwide. It's now looking to add product lines and double its workforce later this year.
MoxieJean.com sells used upscale baby and children's clothing with major brand names, so busy families can get the next needed sizes delivered quickly as their children grow, said co-founder Sharon Schneider.
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"I was looking for an opportunity for doing well and for doing good with something to make the world a better place," Schneider said.
MoxieJean.com was the brainchild of Schneider, who was a philanthropic consultant, and her sister Sandra Pinter, a CPA, and their partner and mother, Rosalie Sturtevant, a former financial executive for the Vincent DePaul Society in Dayton, Ohio. All three women were from Dayton, Ohio, and now live in Mount Prospect. The sisters are also married and have children.
They started the e-commerce site as Good Karma in 2011 at the Excelerate Labs, now called Tech Stars, a Chicago incubator of new businesses. Good Karma aimed to have families subscribe, send a number of outfits, use them until the kids outgrew them, and then return them. But customers didn't flock to the site.
"We couldn't get many subscribers, only about 35, and parents were telling us that borrowing the clothes was actually more stressful and it became a burden of care, because they didn't want to ruin the clothes because they had to be returned," Schneider said. "We weren't supposed to cause more stress. We were supposed to be a convenience."
So in 2013, they retooled the site to sell and buy used children's clothing and re-christened it MoxieJean.com. No subscription was needed this time, she said.
Just by word-of-mouth, MoxieJean.com grew and moved into a 9,000-square-foot former call center in Arlington Heights. They transformed it into an office and work space with 15 employees.
The website offers about 40,000 outfits for boys and girls. Sizes generally range from infants to size 14 in clothes and up to size 4 in shoes.
While consumers can go online to purchase clothes, they also can order a bag, send in their used children's clothes, and either receive cash or store credit to buy more.
The business continues to grow, and the women plan to add other product lines, such as toys, sporting goods and maternity clothes. They also hope to double their workforce by year's end, Schneider said.
"We've finally figured out what moms want and deliver it consistently and with high quality," Schneider said.
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