Written by Liz Taurasi
James Fedas and Ann Marie Palmer’s partnership to create Itsy Bitsy Thrifty evolved while looking for a solution to a common parenting dilemma - what to do with children’s clothes, toys and gear when a child outgrows them.
“Over lunch one day I was telling him how I saved all of my daughter's things and then had my second child, a boy, and was looking for a way to get rid of everything,” Palmer said.
She checked out local consignment shops and was disappointed not only in how much money she would make, but how long it would take to sell them. In her search for how to unload all her things without just giving them away, Palmer came across large-scale consignment events that were popular in the midwest.
She relayed what she discovered to James, the two worked together in the past, and after some convincing and a year’s worth of homework the duo had their first sale and Itsy Bitsy Thrifty was born.
“Moms, Dads and families are all pretty much in the same boat. Everyone has kids, kids have stuff and most of it is barely used so why not find it a new home, while keeping things out of landfills and making a little extra money to invest in whatever your kids need next?” Palmer said.
Four years after their idea was born, Itsy Bitsy is still going strong and runs twice annually - once in the fall, once in the spring.
Shoppers can pick up all sorts of baby gear and clothes for up to 70% off name brand retail prices including clothing, shoes, toys, strollers, bouncy seats, you name it!
Consignors can take part by signing up to sell their wares at the event and using the online inventory system so they can get everything set to go and priced at home and drop it off during a scheduled appointment; the selling is left to Itsy Bitsy Thrifty volunteers throughout the weekend.
Itsy Bitsy Thrifty’s fall event is coming up the weekend of Oct. 19-20 at the Courtyard Marriott Billerica/Bedford, 270 Concord Rd., Billerica, MA. And while it’s the perfect opportunity to clear out your children’s closets and toy chests to make room for the new, while making a little money for consignors, a big aspect of this event is about giving back to the community.
The Itsy Bitsy event benefits Children’s Hospital Boston, donating 25 percent of all new registrations to Children’s Hospital and consignors can donate a percentage of their total profits to their fundraising efforts. Funds raised help defer medical costs of patients whose families can’t afford care, to purchase essential medical equipment, support pediatric research and provide training for the next generation of pediatricians.
The twice-annual event is also held in partnership with Cradles to Crayons, a local organization that assists children in need. At the end of the sale weekend, consignors have the option to have all items not sold donated to the organization.
The event is open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free. Sunday, Oct. 20 everything is 50% off and is open from 8 a.m. to noon.