We agree – kids should be kids, and all kids should love all types of play, all types of colors, all types of clothes.
We love that some stores are beginning to take away gendered signs. We have often thought about doing the same. We have had many passionate parents even ask us if we could. It’s not that we don’t want to, but let us explain.
The entire sale is filled with items, brought in by consignors, in just hours. 600+ consignors bring in their items and have to put their items on the sales floor in the proper places, and want to get in and out as soon as possible! Volunteers want items to have been put on the sales floor in the right spot – like by like! There are just a few short hours to get the entire sales floor ready for the sale. From 8pm until 11pm, volunteers work frantically to make sure everything is organized. The less work that they need to do, the more likely that the sale is easy to shop.
And we know shoppers want to be fast. Most people only have a short period of time to shop and they want to zero-in on where they need to go. Me? My youngest is a slender 7 year old who loves crafts, and soft bright colored pants. For him I shop in 5, 6 and 7 boys, and 7 girls for slimmer fitting bright colored straight legged jeans and soft pants. I shop in the craft area, game area, and boy toys (because he also loves star wars and pokemon with a vengence). And I always peruse the girls toys and the nursery area, because you never know what might catch my eye (like the cloud lamp I bought him last sale). And I always shop girl and boy shoes because he really loves all colors and tends to have narrow feet. I don’t feel funny about it, because he doesn’t shop with me, and even if he did, he knows what he likes and what fits.
That said, we have no interest in making children feel sad, confused, or stereotyped about anything! Starting this sale, after Consignors have come and brought their items and after the volunteers are done sorting, we plan to remove the ‘boy toy” and “girl toy” signs. We will re-label them simply with “toddler toys” and “big kid toys”, and perhaps some more specific signs as able and appropriate. We will keep the clothing signs as they are. Not sure if your item goes on the boy or girl side? Ask a friend or another consignor and they can help you decide. We know that with itty bitties it seems extra ridiculous, but our gender neutral areas have NEVER been shopped well (for the same reasons as we listed above).
We’ll see how it goes for shoppers and revaluate after the sale. Let us know how it goes!