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Tell us about Little Swappies!
Little Swappies is every parent’s answer for what to do with all that stuff that your child no longer wears, plays with, or reads and is cluttering up your home.  We are the premiere resource for children’s clothing, book, and toy swaps in New York City.

 

Little Swappies: #baby #clothing #consignment events, interview via brunchwithmybaby.com
How did Little Swappies begin?
When Grace was born we received so many wonderful presents from family and friends for her.  I had visions of dressing her in a cute outfit every day, but quickly realized that we spent most of the day changing her out of onesies that she had vomited on. When she was around six months old, I must have finally been able to come up for air. I remember vividly going into her closet to pick out a cute outfit to put her in and realizing that she had already outgrown a huge amount of the clothes in her closet. After systematically looking through everything, I realized that another chunk of clothing would never be worn because it was the wrong season. When you live in New York City, you can’t dress a baby in a sun dress in February.
I’ve always been a person who hates clutter and waste. I didn’t have any friends or family members who were pregnant with girls and we weren’t sure if we would have more children. Storage space is limited in New York City and I didn’t want everything cluttering up our apartment. One day, a member of one of my my mom’s groups posted about organizing a kids clothing swap and it all clicked that this was the answer.  I volunteered to organize the event, and that is how Little Swappies started.
Little Swappies: #baby #clothing #consignment store, interview via brunchwithmybaby.com
How has Little Swappies grown?
Since that first event, the size of our events have grown exponentially. We now cap the events at 200 tickets and have expanded swappable items to include maternity clothing, children’s clothing (sizes 0 — 6T), books, and toys. I have always wanted these events to be community events where parents can meet and mingle with other parents, and where the whole family is welcome. Our events have a kids area with free babysitting, arts & crafts, and music.
Little Swappies: #baby #clothing #consignment events, interview via brunchwithmybaby.com

We also have an important charitable component to our events. All items remaining from the swap are donated to our charity partner, Covenant House. Covenant House’s Mother/Child Crisis Center and Nursery programs provides assistance to homeless teen mothers and their children. This also means that every single item brought to our events is given a second life in a wonderful new home.  It is a great way to give back to our community and to actually take home items that you need.

Little Swappies: #baby #clothing #consignment events, interview via brunchwithmybaby.com

Tell us about the next Little Swappies event
Our next Little Swappies event will take place on Saturday, September 28 from 10am to 12pm at Avenues: the World School in Chelsea.
In addition to the swap portion of the event and the kids area with free babysitting, arts & crafts, and music, we invite sponsor companies to attend.  I try very hard to work with local companies, especially those started by local moms, to support them and help to increase their exposure.
Little Swappies: #baby #clothing #consignment events, interview via brunchwithmybaby.com
You’re also mother to two small kids. What has your parenting experience in NYC been like?
I was nervous about raising children in New York City before our first child was born, but have been so happy that we are doing so. I have found that living in the City where you can find almost anything that you need within walking distance, that I was able to meet so many other moms that live in the same neighborhood through my mothers groups, classes, at parks, and at events. Sometimes motherhood can be an isolating experience, and I have never felt alone, thanks to the tight-knit communities that I was able to access by living here.
Lauren Patterson, founder of Little Swappies, via brunchwithmybaby.com
I think living in the city is harder in some ways as well. It definitely takes a lot of organizing and efficient packing because you have to be mobile and don’t have the luxury of throwing anything you can think of in the trunk of a car.
What are your favourite places in NYC to take the family?
We live close to Madison Square Park, and love to go there when the weather is nice. They have a wonderful playground and a lawn that is open in the summer months and great for picnicking. Madison Square Park also has incredible kids programming, including their Summer Concert Series, every Tuesday and Thursday morning during the summer months.
Lauren Patterson, founder of Little Swappies, via brunchwithmybaby.com
What are your favourite local restaurants to eat out with kids? We love to go to brunch at The Coffee Shop in Union Square.  They have a huge back room that can easily accommodate large groups and our double stroller. They have high chairs, and a great kid-friendly menu (the pancakes are great!).
Fave place for treats?
For cupcakes, our go-to is Cake Alchemy. Lauri, the owner, does not have a storefront but can custom-make anything you possibly dream up.  She is such a talented artist.  She literally made a baby in a claw-foot bathtub with bubbles (made of sugar) for a baby shower that I hosted. It was so beautiful that we were scared to eat it, but her cake and cupcakes are so delicious too.
Best pizza with kids?
For pizza, our favorite pizza place is Grimaldi’s Pizza in the Limelight Marketplace. Their pizza is fantastic and their restaurant is very casual and great for families. Grimaldi’s has a take-out option but watch out, they have rules. No delivery, no reservations, and no credit cards so come prepared.

Read More: http://brunchwithmybaby.com/2013/09/19/brunch-special-lauren-patterson-founder-little-swappies/