When Leslie Engledow, owner of the Smarty Pants resale shop in Waco, was a young mother, she appreciated finding a good deal on the items her children needed most. She often visited a store that sold gently-used kids’ clothing in the Austin area, but realized there wasn’t anything like it in the Waco area.
So, Engledow and her husband James decided to open a similar shop where their friends and neighbors could benefit from discounts on clothing, toys and other children’s items. But the couple didn’t just want their business to offer affordable prices, they wanted to truly provide a service for the community.
“I knew that when I had my own business I wanted to change women’s lives,” she said. “I wanted the jobs we filled to help make that employee’s life better.”
Not long after the business opened, Engledow was able to hire a few women from the Family Abuse Center. Smarty Pants was already donating a portion of its revenue to improving services at the center, so the new step in its partnership made sense to the owners.
And because the employees are cared for, they return that kindness to their customers.
“The people who work [at Smarty Pants] really do care about the shoppers who come in and want to give them the best deal,” she said.
Engledow, who has five teenagers at home, knows how hard it can be for parents to buy for children and stay on budget. That’s why Smarty Pants buys gently-used clothing, toys and other items.
“We buy people’s clothes and give them cash the same day,” Engledow said. “Or they can get store credit, which is 20 percent more than the cash value. We buy all seasons, all year round.”
Not only does buying and selling gently-used items help parents save a little money, it also helps the environment.
“By us taking these items off of their hands and giving them a little bit of cash in exchange, that keeps so much out of landfills every year,” she said. “I really do think people want to do their part to recycle, but they just don’t know where to start. This is a great way for families to make a difference.”
Parents can visit Smarty Pants at their brand new location next door to the La Bella Salon & Beauty Lounge at 4316 West Waco Drive in Waco. There’s even a child’s play area to keep the kids entertained while mom and dad shop.
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Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.