Thursday, June 4, 2015

Meet Eunice - Owner of JBF Everett, plus a giveaway!

Just Between Friends is a nationwide consignment sales event that features children and maternity clothes and gear. Each event is a local franchise and the items that are consigned come from families in the area. In the last 3 years that I've been shopping at these events I've spent less than $1,000 on clothes and toys for both of my girls! Because the wide range of sizes are available at these sales I am able to shop ahead for what I'll be needing in the near future - so I'm also saving a lot of time by having it all available in one spot.

This summer JBF Everett is mixing it up and adding in a 3rd consignment sale event! I am beyond excited for another opportunity to de-stash our kid clothes and gear and to .. well .. stock up on more. If I'm being totally honest.

JBF is really what started my commitment to thrifting or consigning most of the clothes and toys I buy for my kids. The cost of children's clothing is incredibly high and for the short time that they wear it, I can hardly see the reason why I should spend the money! Buying clothes on consignment or thrifting is also a very "green" activitiy - it's giving life to

Today I'd like to introduce Eunice, the owner of Just Between Friends of Everett/Monroe. She and I have worked together since her first event in Monroe and I always love getting a chance to talk with her when we meet up. If you happen to spot her at a JBF event, be sure to pull her over and say hi! This woman is a meticulous powerhouse, and she's often seen buzzing around the event like a determined humming bird! ;)

The Pierogie Mama: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your beautiful family, Eunice! 
Eunice Gong: Thanks for asking! My early years were spent traveling the world with my family since my dad was in the military. It was an adventurous time for me being able to experience different cultures throughout the US and Europe and eventually we settled here in Washington. This was actually the second time I lived it Washington as we first came here when I was 4-6 years old and then returned again in the late 1980's when I was in high school. I did the typical teenager things, played sports (soccer/softball) and hung out with my friends. I worked 2 jobs at a grocery store and library plus babysat on the weekends to earn money for college. I attended the University of Washington as a psychology major then got the travel bug and headed south to study physical therapy at University of the Pacific in California. I was fortunate to meet my husband, Michael, within the first month of starting college at UW. In fact, I met him while we were both participating as lab rats in a psychology experiment! We were only 18 years old at the time with so much to accomplish individually and together, so it was 7 years before we got married and then it took another 7 years before we were able to have kids. Marcus (8 years old) was our first born and then Tala (5 years old) came along 3 years later. Both kids were our miracle babies in so many ways as we thought at one point we weren't going to be able to have kids, let alone two, so we feel truly blessed to have these two little ones in our lives. We've homeschooled them each starting at 3 years old. Marcus did attend K-1 grades, but we decided to bring him back to homeschool and have been loving the time together to live, laugh and learn as a family ever since! 

TPM: When you're not prepping for the next JBF sale, what are you and your family up to? 
EG: I worked as a Physical Therapist before I started coordinating JBF Everett/Monroe. Helping others to recover from pain and injury is still very rewarding for me, so I continue to work part-time in addition to running JBF. Evenings and weekends are primarily spent homeschooling the kids so I'm sure you can imagine how busy it gets the 2-3 months before an event. However, when I'm not working or homeschooling the kids, I'm usually spending any spare time I have out exploring life with my family/friends.   

TPM: How did you first hear about JBF? Describe your journey to becoming an Owner. 

EG: I was initially introduced to JBF when my son was 1 years old. A friend in my baby group told me about this "REALLY BIG kids' sale" that I just couldn't miss! So I went with her and was instantly blown away by the concept of helping parents, the community and the environment all at once! I started out as a Shopper that first sale, but by the next sale I was signed up as a Shopper, Consignor & Team Member. From then on I stopped shopping retail and was hooked on JBF! I spent the next 5 years happily saving and selling off items from my 2 kids at several of the area JBF sales. I enjoyed helping out and connecting with some amazing moms in the process...some of which I still know and keep in touch with through JBF. So when the opportunity to take over the JBF Everett/Monroe territory from the previous owners came up, I jumped on it and have enjoyed helping other families and the community ever since! By the way, the friend who introduced me to JBF, has become one of my best Consignors. Isn't it crazy how things turn out?

TPM: How long have you been the Owner of JBF Everett/Monroe? How has the sale changed in the amount of time that you've been running it? 

EG: I've been the owner of the JBF Everett/Monroe territory for the last 2.5 years. We started off in Monroe with just 2 sales (Fall and Spring) for the first 2 years and now we've grown to hosting a third event in Everett this year (Summer). My goal for the territory is to be able to host events all 4 seasons so that Consignors can have more options to clear out the clutter in their homes and earn money as well as offer more frequent opportunities for Shoppers to come and get the things their children need at huge savings with us rather than having to pay more with retail.   

TPM: The Puget Sound area has quite a few JBF locations to shop at throughout the year. I love that as a Shopper I can expect the same care for quality of consigned items and a similar format at each event. But tell me, how does JBF Everett/Monroe differ from other local consignment semi-annual sales?

EG: Because Just Between Friends is a franchised system, you'll see a lot of similarities and benefits to working with JBF as a whole because you can tag your items for one event and then take them to ANY of our 9 events throughout the Puget Sound (and North America if you ever move). However, each Owner has their own strengths and focus for their event. For me, it's about having a welcoming, family-friendly event that is well-organized and accessible so that it benefits all of our Consignors, Shoppers, and Vendors. 

TPM: When I shopped at JBF for the first time I was really impressed with the wide range of what you can find. It's not just kids clothes! There's all kinds of gear (like bedding, bath, babywearing, car seats, strollers), toys (new and vintage) and local vendors set up too. How much does the average Shopper save when they shop at JBF? 

EG: Each Consignor prepares and prices their own items to sell at our Events. However, it's my job to educate our Consignors to help them know what to sell and how to price everything to provide a large variety of reasonably priced items for our Shoppers. Because of the awesome job our Consignors have been doing, the average savings has typically been up to 50-90% off of retail for our Shoppers!

TPM: For those interested in consigning, what kinds of items sell the best at your sales?

EG: Baby Gear/Equipment such as car seats, strollers, swings, activity tables, beds, etc. tend to sell the best and are in high demand as they can usually be very expensive items if purchased new. 

TPM: I shopped at JBF for a couple years before taking the plunge to consign. I was convinced that I should save each and every onesie, baby sock and bath toy for the upcoming "someday babies." After I consigned the first time, it's been addicting with how good the purge feels! What kind of advice would you give to the hesitant potential Consignor? What is the average payout per Consignor, and your best guess as to how much time it takes for a Consignor to prepare? 

EG: That's a great question and your experience is exactly the advice I would give to a hesitant Consignor - to shop and get to know how our event works first before taking the plunge to consign. In addition, sign up on our mailing list, follow us on Facebook on both our fan page and our new Consignor group page and also attend one of our Consignor 101 meet-up sessions so that you can see all the great tips we give to Consignors and also ask your own questions. The more knowledgeable you are, the less intimidating it will seem and therefore the better you'll do. In fact, a great example occurred this last Spring event with a Consignor who had been a Shopper the first 2 years at my event and then finally took the plunge and consigned. She is on the mailing list, follows us on Facebook and attended my Consignor 101 and it all paid off as her first Consignor check was over $550! This result was a little unique as our average Consignor check is $347 and 90% of her items were clothing which tend to be in abundance and therefore has to be competitively priced, but because she took her time getting to know the system and followed our suggestions she was able to have a great result. 

TPM: What are your best tips for a first time Shopper or Consignor? 
EG: The best tip I have for first time Shoppers is to make a list of what you absolutely need (including your children's shoe and clothing sizes) so you don't forget anything. In addition, bring a friend with you as shopping is so much better with a friend.

For the first time Consignor, I recommend coming to a Consignor 101 meet up session first to learn what you need to know about pricing, prepping and tagging your items. If you can't come to a Consignor 101 then join our Just Between Friends Everett/Monroe Consignors group on Facebook to ask questions and get great tips. 

TPM: As both a Consignor and Shopper, I've always been very impressed with how smoothly the event runs! There's A LOT of preparation that goes into running these sales! How DO you DO it?? 
EG: A lot of coffee and late nights! LOL! Truthfully, I have awesome Event Staff and the Team Members that give of their time to help me run things during the event. Without them it wouldn't be the fun and well-organized event it has become. 

TPM: I've noticed that the tags are sometimes marked as "Donate." Your website says that Consignors can select for their unsold items to be donated to local charities. Which ones do you work with? 
EG: We currently work with Arlington Kids' Kloset and The Treasure Chest as our charity partners. To date, we are proud that our Consignors have donated over 5,028 items valued at more than $21,372 to our charity partners.

TPM: When is the next JBF event? 
EG: Our next event will be a Summer Event held June 25-28 at the Everett Community College in the Student Fitness Center. I'm especially excited about this event as it will be our first ever Summer Event and also because it will be our first time hosting an event in Everett. Since taking over the Everett/Monroe territory it has been a frequent request to host an event in Everett. However, we first needed to start in Monroe before growing into an event in Everett. However, now that we've reached that milestone, I'm really excited to bring JBF to the other side of I-5. I look forward to everyone joining us!  Please stop me and say "Hi!"

TPM: Thank you so much for sharing a little bit about yourself and giving us some valuable insight into your JBF Sale! Anything else you'd like to tell the wonderful JBF Everett/Monroe and Pierogie Mama community? 

EG: I just want to say "Thank You!" to all you amazing mamas for all of the love and support I have received right from the very beginning! You have embraced me into your community and I feel very much that we have created our own fun JBF sub-community. It couldn't have grown this much without you all and your feedback. I look forward to continuing to grow JBF Everett/Monroe into the premiere children's and maternity consignment event.

This summer's Just Between Friends of Everett event can be found at the
Everett Community College at the Student Fitness Center. 

Thursday June 25, 2015

Friday June 26
10:00-6:00p Free admission

Saturday June 27
  • 9:00a-5:00p Free Admission
  • 5:30p-7:00p HALF PRICE EARLY BIRD SHOPPING! Items without a star are 50% OFF Purchase Tickets Here

Sunday June 28
8:00a-1:00p Free Admission 50% off items without stars

Click to see the full sale schedule 

Eunice and the Just Between Friends of Everett team wants to spread the JBF love and along with the Pierogie Mama, we invite you to enter the giveaway below to get a chance to win early access passes and JBF Bucks!

Winner 1: Prime Time Shopping Pass (good for 6/25, 4p-7p) + $10 JBF Bucks
Winner 2: Prime Time Shopping Pass (good for 6/25, 4p-7p) + $10 JBF Bucks
Winner 3: PreSale Pass (good for 6/25, 5p-7p) + $5 JBF Bucks
Winner 4:  PreSale Pass (good for 6/25, 5p-7p)  + $5 JBF Bucks

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Just Between Friends of Everett. 
All opinions are my own. Winners will be contacted via email. Your presale passes will not be mailed to you. They will be available at will call at the event. JBF Bucks are only valid for the JBF Everett Summer 2015 event. Please see giveaway details regarding winner policies.

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