Friday, January 27, 2012

For the Love of FREE clothes!

Who loves new clothes? Who loves new-to-you clothes? Who loves FREE clothes? I Do! I do!!
Look at all those happy shoppers... I mean Swappers!
Well may I suggest a clothing swap? A clothing swap is where a group of women get together bringing all of their new or gently used, current, clean clothes and swap them with each other. Everyone taking home new-to-them clothing without spending a dime! It makes women happy.....it makes husbands happy too.
Want to try it? Here we go....

1. You need to assemble a SWAP Team. You girls will pick the time, date, location, the invitees and the rules to this swap. It's not easy to organize something like this yourself. Pass out assignments of who will be the "Drop off Location", who will make signage at the event, who will collect money (if you choose to), Invitation/Publicity, Set up & take down, etc... It's up to you to decide how big you want this event to be. There are some who do a small gathering of friends in their home and there are even some that make it a huge event inviting the public, having caterers & vendors, live music, massage therapists, etc.


2. The invitations. No matter how you do it (facebook, phone calls, invitations) you need to make sure a few things are clear:
Date, time & location of the event
My front room was {PACKED} with clothes
for the swap!
If you are asking guests to bring clothes before the event (so you can organize them) be sure they know where & when they need to be dropped off by.
Clothing NEEDS to be: New, current, gently used & CLEAN (having clean clothes makes all the difference - in my opinion it's what separates this event from a regular yard sale) **Swaps don't have to be just clothing, you can include purses, shoes, accessories, maternity, etc***
The rules of the swap (and if there is a cost).

3. The Rules. You need to decide how women will swap the clothes. There are many different ways to do this. They can buy/bring a bag and fill it. Some parties issue tickets equal to the amount you donate (i.e. you bring five items you get five tickets) with this method nicer donations can be worth more tickets. In smaller parties ladies can draw numbers for who goes first to pick. Make the rules fit the size of your party.

Setting up!
4. The location & Organization. Be sure there is enough room to display all the items you have and that there is room for multiple women to look through them. It might be nice to provide mirrors or even areas for ladies to try on what they like. It's helpful to organize clothing by sizes or making sections for similar items (dresses in one area and accessories in the other)

5. Make it an event! Create a play list of music that deals with clothing/shopping to play in the back ground. Give your event a title. Add some decorations. For smaller parties you may like to have some finger food available. There was one swapping event that held a fashion show for anyone who wanted to show off their new outfit created by the clothing pieces they found at the swap. Again this should be more of a party/event than a yard sale.

Our guests sign-in table with their adorable shopping bags!
I was really happy with how successful the clothing swap I co-hosted was. I had a great team of ladies helping me & it turned out well. We called our swap "My Girlfriends Closet". Each of us was in charge of inviting ten people (think Pinterest, by invitation only-wise). We provided bags and charged $1 a bag. We asked our ladies to bring their items before the event offering them two drop off locations. We sorted and displayed items in categories and by size (there was a table of large tops, medium tops, small tops, etc) so it was easy for ladies to find the size that they needed. All clothing that was left over was donated to our local women's shelter. It was so much fun and I'm currently in the middle of planning another "My Girlfriend's Closet" event for this year! Last year I picked up a cute Banana Republic dress with the tags still on it - score!! I wonder what I will find this year?


Have questions on how to organize your own swap? Feel free to e-mail us at shesaidblog@yahoo.com or comment here or on Facebook.


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2 comments:

Natalie said...

What a great idea! New clothes for everyone, a fun time, and even clothes for the needy! You guys are awesome!

Rebecca said...

Awww....that was awesome!!! Your pics look great! The sign in table looks so great, the color coordination :)

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