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Children's Orchard, located in the Whispering Woods Plaza at Gibraltar Road and I-75, is set for a four-day grand opening celebration the weekend of July 18-21 with something planned for all ages, including giveaways, prizes and family entertainment.
This is the first business for husband-wife team Chris and Tracy Allen, community residents who grew up in downriver and live with their family in Brownstown for more than 20 years.
Leaving behind a career in "big box" retail, Allen plans to use her experience to help families earn money even as they recycle and repurpose children's clothing, toys and accessories.
A national franchise, Children's Orchard, specializes in items for ages newborn to pre-teen and unlike many consignment stores pays cash on-the-spot to purchase "gently-used clothing, games, toys, strollers, play and home equipment." The Brownstown store, which features items sometimes as much as 70 percent off retail price, is the second Children's Orchard located in the Detroit metro area.
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Allen is partnering with Purple Heart to take any clothing or items she doesn't purchase and donate back to the community. She is also working with the Helping Hands program at Flat Rock's Community Lutheran Church which helps families with clothing and household items, to ensure any donations she may receive from customers stays with downriver families.
"I want to help people with the high cost of raising their children while also giving back to the community," said Allen, who can also help families find other avenues to repurpose or recycle anything she does not purchase. "We are a different kind of resale store. In this day and age when we all overconsume, it is important to repurpose, re-use and recycle what we have."
The Environmental Protection Agency estimated in 2015 that 35 million tons of plastic, including toys, were going to the waste stream in addition to 16 million tons of textiles such as clothing and footwear. Children's Orchard is helping families divert plastic toys, clothing and shoes from the landfill by instead giving them a new life with a new family. And the Allen family practices what it preaches, using the community recycling system, donating all of their clothing and personal stuff when they no longer need it.
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Getting the new Children's Orchard ready has also been a family affair involving the Allen's two daughters, Tracy's parents Richard and Cathy Lindemann, sister Kristi Urso and brother Rich Lindemann who all live in the community. The progress made on this project could not have completed so quickly without their support.
Another thing that makes Children's Orchard a unique kind of resale shop is that customers will experience a neat, well-stocked, colorful space with plenty of bargains and products and a friendly staff able to assist in the sometimes-challenging world of finding good clothing and toys for children and infants.
Allen's store will be a part of the Children's Orchard app community, "Club CO," where customers can earn points on their purchases as well as special offers for their birthdays and rewards certified for up to 20 percent off store items.
The new Brownstown store will be open daily, Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. while they are buying their inventory. Watch for Allen's Facebook and Instagram pages and feel free to contact her at (734) 676-4898.
"We are currently buying and building our inventory," said Allen. "Come sell to us. We can't wait to open up and begin buying and selling anything and everything a family needs to maintain a great quality of life and on an affordable budget."
Sue Voyles, Logos Communications
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