Easter Basket Ideas for Any Age

The following article was written by Alison Craun, Director of Communications and Creative Design for Rhea Lana’s Franchise Systems. Alison has been married to her high school sweetheart, Casey, for 8 years and is the mother to sweet Claire who is 3 years old.

Easter is one of my favorite times of year. Spring green grass, blossoming trees, buying a new Spring dress for Church and of course, dying Easter eggs. As a child, I always looked forward to waking up that Easter morning before getting ready for church and running to the dining room table to see what all was in my Easter basket. My parents were always so thoughtful and always had some of my favorite items like lip stick, nail polish, $$ and of course, all of my favorite Easter candy (No PEEPs).

Now that I am a mom to a 3 year old girl, I am finding myself struggling with what all should go in her Easter basket. I don’t just want a basket full of candy but I also don’t want to break the bank by buying more toys, etc. I am sure other moms and dads are wondering the same thing. Here are some great tips to help you find just the right items for your child at any age.

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Hanger Tricks

One thing we’ve learned in the last 15 years is that the better you prepare, the more money you make. It may seem like it’s taking you hours, but when you divide the check you receive by the hours you spent, you’ll determine it was well worth it. Here are some hanger tricks to help you get things hung well so they sell fast!

OK, these are not really tricks but maybe new ideas for you! We want you to sell all of the great things you bring to Rhea Lana’s. We know it takes work to get them prepared. So, we encourage you to use the right hangers so your items don’t end up on the floor!

Clip hangers are the BEST for bottoms…but if you don’t have enough… If you have other hangers that are the right size you can do this:

****Pull the pants over the arms of the hanger and pin them at the top. You’ll need to pin them close to the neck of the hanger on each side. You don’t want them to fall off during shopping!

Don’t try to squeeze a toddler short on an adult hanger, it only works if the hanger is the size of the bottom.

A lot of people do this:

But don’t! The larger pins make larger holes in the item and could tear it during shopping. ALSO, they always end up like this:

and they won’t be sold because they can’t be seen!

****If you have TANK TOPS you really need hangers with some kind of indention at the top so you can hook the straps:


If you put them on a hanger without indention they will slide off and be on the floor. This looks fine now, but on a full rack with hundreds of shoppers it WILL NOT STAY ON!

Some consignors try to put childrens tank tops on huge hangers so they will stay on, but using the indentations and pinning them on the hanger is best for those sliding straps.

****There are a couple of options on TWO PIECE SETS. The most important thing is that they are pinned together so they are not separated. We cannot put sets back together with thousands of items in the store.

OPTION 1:
Pin the pant to the back of the shirt. I use 3 pins to help with the weight of the bottom. I try to put the pins in the seams. This particular pair of pants is really light so it could be done like this:

OPTION 2:
If you attach the pants to another hanger, rubberband the hangers together. Don’t use a a string tag to attach the hangers! Make sure they will stay together. Some people tape them, but it’s not as good as a rubberband.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you pin the two pieces together if one of them breaks the outfit will still be together and can be sold. A volunteer will replace your hanger, but she can’t match your outfit!

HAPPY HANGING!

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Rhea Lana’s Smart Phone Item Entry

Have you heard?  Rhea Lana’s has something new available for the first time in the consignment industry.  You can use our new smart phone page to enter items anywhere.  Rhea Lana’s is now offering item entry through your smart phone – either by hand or using the voice recognition feature.  Using voice recognition, consignors can enter items with ease by speaking the details of the specific piece into their phone for translation and entry.  This means consignors will no longer need access to a computer to enter items.  Smart phone item entry also means more mobility and productivity.  Moms can enter items while busy at home or even while waiting at school or the doctor’s office.  The new item entry page can be accessed by our consignors at smart.rhealana.com or through the Rhea Lana mobile site.

We love helping make a difference in the lives of parents across the nation, and smart phone entry is another step in this direction. We hope you enjoy the freedom and ease of smart phone item entry.

Sincerely,

Rhea Lana Riner

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Rhea Lana’s vs. Virtual Garage Sales

There are many ways to sell your gently used children’s items these days.  As fast as they grow out of clothes and toss toys to the side we tend to have mounds of it.  Some popular options are to have a garage sale, take them to a consignment store, post each item on a virtual garage sale site, or consign them in a seasonal consignment event.  So what is the best option for getting the biggest bang for your buck?  Today we are going to dive into selling your children’s items on a virtual garage sale versus consigning them with your local Rhea Lana’s event.  Let’s look at a virtual garage sale site first.

What Is Your Time Worth?

It seems to be pretty time consuming to do all what is involved in selling individual items on a virtual garage sale site.  In order to sell an item you must:

  • Photograph and post each item on the board (sometimes waiting for it to be approved by the administrator)
  • Converse with each interested person
  • Sometime send additional photos at buyers request
  • Sometimes negotiate a lower price
  • Set up a meeting time with interested buyer that suits you both
  • Meet the buyer to exchange item

After adding up all the time invested to sell a single item, it no longer seems worth the time to collect $3, $5, or even $10.00

Save The Drama For Your Momma

If you have been a part of any virtual garage sale groups you know exactly what I’m talking about!

  • Buyers receiving items that are not what’s promised
  • No shows at meeting places/times
  • Items are being held for buyers only for them to change their mind
  • Keeping up with each set of rules and regulations (and when they change) to be a buyer/seller is impossible

Risky Business

Letting a stranger into your home or even meeting them in a public parking lot has proved to be very dangerous.  Many recent news stories have reported:

  • Sellers being robbed at the time of pick up
  • Sellers receiving fake cash

As a mom we almost always have our children with us.  Even if you think it is safe to meet in a public parking lot to exchange an item the other party can easily just follow you home!  Please remember you are meeting a stranger.  Authorities suggest if you choose to meet a stranger to exchange an item, please meet in the police station parking lot!

At your local Rhea Lana’s Children’s Consignment Event

When you consign with Rhea Lana’s you simply hang, tag and enter each item into our user friendly inventory system.  The system allows you to do a little at a time, saving your inventory as you go.  Our consignors earn 70-80% of their sales and receive a pass to shop our private pre-sale event.  They can also watch their sales live online!

Consignors check-in their items on designated drop off days.  The process is super simple and we have a friendly, professional staff to assist you.  After that, WE do the rest of the work for you!!   Our extensive marketing efforts bring hundreds of shoppers through the door looking for exactly what YOU are selling.

When the event is over we have your unsold items neatly sorted, provide you a printed sales report, and your check is ready!

If you have some spring cleaning to tackle this season, I invite you to experience the ease, safety and benefits of consigning with your local Rhea Lana’s!!

~Thank you Amanda from Rhea Lana’s of Greater Wichita and Rhea Lana’s of West Wichita for this great article! Join Amanda in Wichita this spring for TWO great events!

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My Special Friend

I’d like to introduce you to a special friend of mine. And I wonder if you have a friend like this as well? My friend’s name is Anne. You see, when our friendship began 17 years ago, it was a very brief encounter. We didn’t even live in the same community. She lived in Northwest Arkansas and I lived in Central Arkansas 4 hours away with my husband and 3 young children. I was a stay-at-home mom and our family was on an extremely tight budget due to my husband’s career change. He had recently left a well paying engineering job with a prestigious petroleum company to go to work for a nonprofit organization with an incredible mission. Our income drastically changed, and I was looking for a creative way to continue to be a stay-at-home mom, while stretching our family budget. I loved cute children’s clothes, but I found myself in a position where I wasn’t able to afford the quality and brands that I valued.

I’ve always loved bargain shopping – it’s like a treasure hunt! But I was also disappointed by the second hand shopping experiences I’d had. I began to wonder if I could create a different experience for my friends and myself – a high quality experience that we could trust and enjoy while benefitting our families. It was a little dream forming in my heart and mind. I began to share this little dream with my mother because I trust her counsel and advice in my life.

This is where my special friend, Anne, comes into this story. My mother suggested that I call Anne Sloan who had done something similar to this in her home for a number of years in Northwest Arkansas. I still remember that phone call to Anne. She was gracious to share her experiences with me. Unbeknownst to either of us at the time, this call was foundational to what Rhea Lana’s is today, 17 years later. This is where the idea of our string tags was born.
Anne had used string tags and shared with me how important the small string tags were to help moms feel special, as if they were shopping in a store, not at a garage sale. She mailed to me a postcard she used with permission to refer to it as a template, which I did. The original name of our early events in my home also came from Anne – The Children’s Clothing Exchange. We still have those banners from the early years with this name!

That phone call was brief but impacting for me. I added Anne’s ideas to my little dream to help my family and friends and had our very first Children’s Clothing Exchange in my living room in 1997. Although I would keep up with Anne through my mother over the years, it wasn’t until recently that I had the unbelievable privilege to go to her home and personally thank her for investing and believing in me, a young struggling mom, with a very small dream. Anne is almost 80 years old now, and truly one of the most beautiful, wise women I know. To have spent an afternoon in her presence is something I will treasure for a lifetime. She prayed for me and Dave, our family and our company. She understands our hearts and the mission of our company to serve families.

I am forever grateful for my special friend, Anne. Little did I know 17 years ago, how one phone call to a gracious woman would forever impact my life.

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