Kate Young wants YOUR used kids’ gear

Kate Young wants YOUR used kids’ gear at Once Upon a Child. Photo by Alison Richey.
Kate Young wants YOUR used kids’ gear at Once Upon a Child. Photo by Alison Richey.

Kate Young is a prime example of bringing sustainable options to the neighbourhood, and beyond. 

Young has been using her years of fashion retail and marketing experience to promote environmentally friendly alternatives. Focusing on the children’s retail sector, she has set her sights on providing parents with ecoand wallet-friendly –options. 

As the child of a hotel executive, Young and her family frequently moved around the world. With a love of fashion, she worked in retail from the age of 14, selling clothing of varying price ranges to people all over the world. 

She completed a degree in fashion marketing and management at Humber College and once again hit the road. She held a number of fashion positions, including managing a Roxy store in Australia, as well as working at Yves St. Laurent in Wales. Eventually drawn back to Canada, Young and her husband settled in Leaside.  

Young and many of her parent friends became aware how quickly kids outgrow their clothing. Why, she wondered, would parents want to shell out vast sums of money for clothing their children would outgrow after as little as three months?

She soon dipped her toe into the sustainable fashion world by creating the Leaside Great Gear, Baby/Kids/Maternity Facebook page. With an obvious interest in selling and swapping new or gently used items, parents from around Toronto flocked to the site. 

Young then discovered the eco-friendly store Once Upon A Child on Bayview (OUAC, as it’s known to regulars).  

The store provides two invaluable services for parents: It purchases new or gently used items on the spot for cash, and it resells these to other parents looking for a large range of items including clothing, toys, strollers, books, skates, cleats, dance apparel, high chairs, scooters, and more. (Halloween costumes for $10? Yes, please!)

When the Bayview store closed and moved to the East York Town Centre in Thorncliffe Park at 45 Overlea Blvd., the business was purchased by Jeff Levens and Michael Cowans, also a Leasider. Thanks to a space five times that of the original store, inventory quadrupled. 

Young initially offered to set up a relationship between the original store and her Facebook site. When the owners of the new location learned of her initiatives, including events such as story time to draw traffic, the new owners knew they had to persuade Young to come on board. 

She now works as the store’s social media and marketing director, organizing in-store events and giveaways and posting regularly on the store’s social media pages.  

With new inventory arriving every day, Young points out that for “people who want luxury goods but don’t want to pay luxury prices,” the store is a no-brainer. 

A mere hop, skip and a jump from Leaside, the eco- and wallet-friendly Once Upon A Child is an invaluable option for parents. And with Leasider Kate Young leading the drive to promote such a sustainable alternative, the earth can breathe just a little bit easier.

About Susan Scandiffio 156 Articles
Susan Scandiffio was born in Scotland and raised in Toronto. While she holds a master’s degree in history, her main passion (besides her wonderful family) is sports. Susan can often be found at the A.C.C. or in a Leaside arena or playing field, scoping out stories for Leaside Life.