Behind The Scenes

I thought I had a pretty good expectation of what the work load would entail when I dreamed up this little business of mine,

Source some clothes, snap a pic, & Voila ! Done

Simple. Fast. Efficient. Easy. And although this is essentially true, I think most people would be surprised to find out all the little details that actually go on behind the scenes. I thought I'd write about it..



The first step of our process. Source some clothes. 

Perhaps our most important step. A step that sets us apart from all the rest.

Did you know, that know that 100% of our inventory has either come from my own children's closets, or straight from the hands of mamas just like you? This means that not one piece of our clothing is being picked from local thrift stores and resold here at a higher price. And while this does mean our prices are a little higher than a traditional thrift store setting (to ensure fair purchase), it also means that every order placed here at Lyla & Wren Co. is directly benefitting local parents and families in our community. How cool is that!


Next Step, Collection.

When a parent expresses interest in selling their child's preloved clothing to us, I refer them to our "Sell To Us" agreement, (located in the footer menu of our website), and await further contact. From there our sellers can choose between dropping their items off on our porch here, or arranging a porch pick up from myself there. 


Inspection & Sorting

Once we have acquired the clothing, (and oooo this is my favourite part, I love checking out new inventory) we begin sorting through and inspecting new items, piece by piece. Everything is thoroughly looked over, one at a time. From cuffs being unrolled and jackets unzipped, to completely flipping pieces inside out and back again, items are checked from seam to seam.

(Disclaimer : Probable OCD, but still human. I may miss things from time to time but I’ll always make it right if you do come across an inspection error) 

Any items in excellent condition are sorted into a "Purchase" pile and items that we do not intend to purchase are sorted into an "Unpurchased" pile. Unpurchased items may include clothing styles that haven't sold well for us, pieces with more substantial wear/stains/holes, or items that we rarely accept, like footwear.


Purchase Agreements 

Once we have finished with the initial inspection, it is now time to draft up a personalized purchase agreement. I believe in full transparency and ethical purchasing. Our thorough purchase agreements include charting each individual item (whether we have decided to purchase it or not), the brand, the size, the condition, the price we intend to resell it for, and what the individual payout of each item is. Once the agreement has been submitted to the seller, they have several options,

1. Accept & Donate.

Seller agrees to our purchase offer, and chooses to have their unpurchased items donated to local nonprofit organizations by us, on their behalf. Payout for items purchased is then sent promptly via EMT.

2. Accept & Return.

Seller agrees to our purchase offer, and chooses to have their unpurchased items returned to them. Unpurchased items are then bundled back up and placed in our Porch Pick Up Bin for the seller to retrieve. Payout for items purchased is then sent promptly via EMT.

3. Decline. 

Seller declines our purchase offer, and chooses to have all items returned to them. Items are then bundled back up and placed in our Porch Pick Up Bin for the seller to retrieve. 



Once the items have been purchased, they then undergo a rigorous disinfecting regimen. Clothing is washed on HOT, with an extended soak in an added laundry disinfection agent and then dried on a high heat cycle. (Did I mention already that we are a family of five? RIP laundry machine lifespans) Unwashable items like books or toys are wiped down with a disinfecting agent and then wiped again with soap and water to remove any harsh chemical residue.


Steaming and Ironing

Once dry, articles of clothing then go through a second round of inspections whilst being ironed and/or steamed. Any items that have revealed hidden imperfections post wash, are removed. 


Photography and Editing

After the clothing is photo ready, it's time for pictures. (Well, to be honest, after the clothing is photo ready it usually sits in my living room for at least a week, waiting until I have time to work on it again.) But nonetheless, it is eventually photographed and then uploaded to a program where I remove the original background - which on most days includes a disarray of toys and blurry motion shots of small childrens' limbs - and then place the subtracted image onto our signature Lyla & Wren background white brick background.
I refrain from any further editing of the photos. Although a brightened, extra saturated, and shadow reduced image may look more appealing on the site or social media, I never want to deceive an items true appearance. (Remember, my motto is based on full transparency)  But truthfully, if you ever see an item on the site and you're thinking to yourself, "Hmm. I don't know if thats just bad lighting or what" Trust me, it's the lighting and I've just taken a poor picture. I'll admit it, sometimes the universe just doesn’t align and when I upload a photo I'm like, welllllllll that doesn't look nearly as nice as it does in person. So unless a description states otherwise, you can trust that any poor lit, questionable item, is totally in reloveable condition. 


Uploading & Researching

This is probably the most time consuming step. (And my least favourite if I had to choose. But somehow also the most satisfying?) Anyways, to make a listing we have to jump through many hoops, categories, tagging related key words, double checking that everything is in the right place, right price, right quantity. On top of that, I also research and reference items from their original retailers to make sure that my prices meet our standard 30% -70% + discount. (and also adjusting prices accordingly if I find a really good sale on the OG site.)


Organizing & Storing 

I like, big, maids', and I cannot lie. Rubbermaids, that is. So many rubbermaids. I think Marie Kondo and I share a soul, but I have not yet had the chance to confirm that with her. I'll keep you posted. 

Items are sorted into bins by 'gender' and size, excluding seasonal items, outerwear, swimwear, accessories and gear, all of which receive their own individual bins. The clothing is folded and resorted within the bin by accordance of clothing type, followed then by colour, sleeve length, thickness, etc.

Example :

Fleece Sleepers -> Cotton Sleeper -> Footless Sleeper -> Romper Sleepers

Hooded Shirt -> Long Sleeve Shirt -> 3/4 Sleeve -> Short Sleeve -> Tank

Sweatpants/Joggers -> Jeans -> Pants -> Leggings -> Capris -> Shorts

And of course, each of these different distinctions are each layered in accordance to colour also. So fleece sleepers are organized by colour following ROYGBIV, starting with the darkest shade to the lightest of each colour family. And repeated with each variation of thickness/length through the stack.

(You say Manic, I say Systematic) 


Purchasing & Packing

After finishing my happy dance from seeing you wonderful people and your orders pop up on my phone, your hand picked selections are then retrieved from the bins and subjected to a third and final inspection. Inspected, lint rolled and refolded, items are then carefully packaged and topped with a handwritten note and surprise before the final seal.  (Alright, you twisted my arm, it's candy/chocolate. You can share with your kids, or keep it for yourself. I'll plead the fifth)


So there you have it folks. A detailed run through of all the behind the scenes the magic that you never asked for but I delivered anyways. I hope you enjoyed learning more about us, just as much as I love interacting with and learning more about all of you. 


- B

Proud Owner of Lyla & Wren Co.