The whole idea has snowballed way beyond what I could ever have imagined,” said Tammy, on the eve of her online store (www.clothesline.ie) going live on the web on Sunday or Monday.
Tammy, who was made redundant 18 months ago, explained what ‘The Clothes Line’ has to offer, along with the practical benefits it ought to introduce into many parents’ lives.
“There has been a huge resurgence in the past few years of activities such as clothes swapping parties, and many parents are now buying their children’s clothes online, as high street prices just don’t reflect the current economic situation,” she said.
“The website offers a new nationwide system whereby parents can submit their outgrown, maternity, babies and children’s clothes and exchange them for more suitable items.
“The items are practically new, and of excellent quality and are on offer at hugely reduced prices, ranging between €4 and €20 in price.
“The site rewards its members with credits for the items they submit which can then be used towards new purchases, cutting the prices even further.”
Early indications suggest that the site is going to hit the ground running, much to Tammy’s delight.
“We’ve got 152 members already and over 600 items available when the website goes live, which is fantastic news,” she said.
“Obviously we needed to have clothes in the online store before we officially launched the site, but I certainly didn’t anticipate having such a wide and extensive range available from day one. Let’s hope it’s a good omen!
She added: “The beauty of the site is that the more people that join, the more items we can offer, and the lower we will keep the prices, so it’s worth it for the members to spread the word!”
Eight months of detailed preparation have gone into creating and developing the website, according to Tammy, who said the site should prove of particular benefit to parents affected by the recession.
“Parents in Waterford and across Ireland have been trying to find countless ways to cut spending since the boom ended,” said Tammy, who has a background in retail management.
“December’s Budget made further cuts to child benefit which follows the eradication of the early childcare supplement, and there’s no light to be seen at the end of the tunnel for a long time to come.
“Those seemingly hit the hardest are those with young families, many of whom are struggling to keep their heads above water.”
Tammy continued: “Even though the economic situation may start to improve in the next few years, parents will have learned to become more resourceful and savvy when it comes to shopping for a long time to come.
“We’ve all learned some hard lessons, myself included. Most of us have realised that we can still have fashionable quality clothes, but we don’t have to blow the bank to get them.
“Bargain hunting has become more of a way of life than it used to be, and we’re not ashamed to brag about how clever we are – and this site goes hand in hand with such a buying strategy!”
Tammy has spent the last eight months developing the site, having spent many years researching the idea.
The seed of this online idea was first set several years ago, but having been made redundant following the birth of her third child, Tammy “bit the bullet” and embarked into entrepreneurship.
“I feel that ‘The Clothes Line’ could well prove a breath of fresh air for anyone trying to buy clothes for any growing family and I mean that in every sense of the term,” she said.
“Parents can get involved at any stage, submitting their maternity clothes to gain baby clothes, and so on right up to older children. It’s a win-win situation!”
Tammy Darcy’s ‘can-do’ attitude is one that has surfaced across Waterford city and county in recent months through a whole host of exciting, new business ventures.
Given the website’s national scope and the wildfire-like news that’s spread around the web on parents’ forums regarding the site prior to its launch, ‘The Clothes Line’ looks set to be a sure-fire hit.
Best of luck to Tammy, who deserves enormous credit for taking the plunge and launching her own business.
For more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log onto www.theclothesline.ie