Today we’d like to introduce you to Niki Patel and Melanie Doshi.
Niki and Melanie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Niki – Having a very big family afforded me to have lots of nieces and nephews at a very young age. My parent’s house was the nucleus for our family so we constantly had children in and out and then grew my love for them. It came all full circle when my first buying job was for the children’s department for a major department store where I was able to learn about kid’s items more in depth. I moved to Silver Lake from Fort Worth, Texas in 2014 and fell in love with the city and community ever since. Grow Kid Grow is a way for me to have a deeper impact on our neighborhood while being able to culminate in my fashion background for our tiny tots!
Melanie – Living in the East Village of Manhattan while going to college — working for a fashion designer during the week and hitting rummage sales, consignment shops and thrifting for cool (and chic) vintage and one-of-kind garments on the weekends. I’ve always loved fashion and after decades of working in Sales both in NYC and then in LA’s Fashions Districts, the recession hit. I decided to buy and successfully run a Women’s designer clothing consignment shop for five years before having two daughters – two years apart. Life changed drastically, but my passion remained the same. I love clothing, reusing and selling treasures and finds and meeting and fostering new relationships and having a love for my family and the community we live in… So what better place for me to be than the present.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We both knew it wouldn’t be easy, but we knew it would be worth it and that’s what kept us going. With Niki working another career and Melanie being a working mom of two, we were tugged in multiple directions while starting a new business. We wanted to give up but we didn’t! What our biggest struggle has been so far is managing the flow of inventory. We have been overwhelmed with the response in trade drop off’s for resale that it can be very timely in our process of getting it on the floor! We meticulously go through our clothing items for holes, stains, etc, sometimes wash and press, price each item, then enter into the system and then lastly steaming and doing a final check before it goes out. It can take several days depending on how busy we are in the store!
We’d love to hear more about your business.
GrowKidGrow has been a wonderful way to give back to our local community and our environment by re-using and recycling practically perfect children’s clothing, toys, accessories and gear and we just launched a Maternity section as well! Being that children grow so quickly and we are all looking for simple ways to help the environment so why not RECYCLE & REUSE – GO GREEN and shop second hand! We are set apart but simply being one of the few resale shops in the LA area that caters to just children’s clothing.
What were you like growing up?
Melanie – I was born in New York and lived in Brooklyn until my parents moved our family of five to a suburb in New Jersey, 20 minutes outside Manhattan at the age of nine. I missed NYC. As soon as I graduated High School I was determined to head back and go to school for fashion and move back there. While in college, I won design awards for melding textures and prints of florals to exotic silk fabrics from my part Indian culture.
After college I wanted to see the world so I traveled to Europe, obtaining my workers permit determined to work in a fashion Couture house, but after months of calls and visits to many top design houses and being denied, I decided to see as much as I could before my last dollar ran out. Traveling alone at the age of 18 taught me so much about life, and prevailing even if it doesn’t always go as you had planned.
I worked in fashion in NYC after college for a few years, but a turn of fate brought me to LA but that is a whole different story 🙂 I did work DTLA for over 10 years in fashion, before buying a women’s designer consignment store, which I closed a few years ago.
Now owning GKG makes me feel whole. It is the next phase in my life, Its sorta exactly where I need to be, I can meet and help people, work with clothing daily, be creative and also be present for my five & seven-year-old daughters. Many of my children’s friend’s parents shop at the store and I am honored to be able to give back to the community in which we live. Also being able to recycle and reuse, helping our environment makes me feel like we are doing the right thing at the exact right time!
Niki – Growing up as a first generation American, I saw the hurdles my parents faced as being immigrants. They worked 20 hours a day seven days a week. Seeing their hard work ethics and owning their businesses always grew that fire inside me to do the same and make them proud. As every Indian parent wishes, I was programmed into wanting to become a doctor… Until I took a rotations class in my senior year and passed out in a patient’s room. I realized medicine wasn’t my path and I had no idea what it was it was supposed to be.. Until I met my (then) fashion director at a college fair. When I told my parents I wanted to study Fashion Merchandising instead of being a doctor.. My mom wouldn’t speak to me for MONTHS. It wasn’t until I graduated and had my first buying job until my parents thought it could be a real career. Fast forward to me moving to LA for an amazing buying job with BCBG that my parents said they were proud of the choice I made! I loved buying and the dynamics it came along with. Fast forward a few years later and I met Melanie at another company and we instantly became friends. She’s now a big sister to me. When the opportunity to purchase Grow Kid Grow came about, I jumped to it. Not only have I lived in the Silver Lake community since moving to LA, but I also loved the idea of owning a business and putting everything I learned throughout my childhood to use! I loved everything about the store – the concept is almost one of it’s kind (for children at least) and helping the environment at the same time became a no brainer. I have learned so much about myself and business and even more so about this community and I am thankful everyday I made the right choice!
- Consigmment items (big ticket over $50), we offer 50/50 payment in cash once item sells.
- For trade, receive 40% store credit of the Grow Kid Grow retail.
- Address: 4310 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029
- Website: www.growkidgrow.com
- Phone: 323 661 GROW
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @growkidgrowLA
- Facebook: facebook.com/growkidgrowLA
- Twitter: twitter.com/growkidgrowla
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/grow-kid-grow-los-angeles