What’s the fastest growing segment of retail in the U.S.? Dollar stores. There are a lot of reasons this isn’t great: the gutting of any remaining local retail; the poor quality of the food, clothes and other essentials they provide; and their negative ecological and social impact.
Enter Kids on 45th, a startup that sells boxes of pre-loved clothes for an average of $3.29 per item—a competitive price with the dollar store. The founders Elise and Bookis Worthy are engineers who bought one of the oldest consignment stores in Seattle and turned it into an online operation with national scale.
Their innovation is simple: they realized parents are happy not having to pick and choose each shirt, each pair of shorts and leggings for their kids. Kids on 45th asks for your kid’s size and a few other parameters (girl, boy or gender neutral, sporty or not) and how many of each item you need—and that’s it. You find out what you get when the box arrives.
Our kids call it the “surprise box” and they love it. There may be a few items from Patagonia, The Gap, or other easy-to-recognize brands. Everything is lightly used but pristine, some still had tags.
Creating a product everyone can afford seems obvious, but as Connie Loizos notes on TechCrunch, many entrepreneurs overlook this vast market:
A seemingly endless number of startups has attracted funding in recent years to make life easier for people with money to spend. Overlooked in the process is the overwhelming majority of Americans. Most families aren’t spending money on making life easier or more glamorous for themselves because they can’t afford it. More, they’re often too busy to think much about it.
We’re proud to be investors in Kids on 45th. We love their mission, the founders, and the business.