Minitrade.ca, a Quebec City-based online clothing consignment service, has announced a seed round of $650,000 from several investors. The startup offers busy parents the opportunity to purge their cluttered closets and purchase new and pre-loved top quality clothing brands at 70 percent off the retail price. In the last year it grew its customer base to 6,000 active Canadian members.
With a professional background in fashion, Minitrade.ca founder Isabelle Doucet created the site in 2012 through her own need, recognizing of a gap in the marketplace through personal experience. “Prior to having children, I would have scoffed at the idea of purchasing previously worn items for my children,” said Doucet. “But once I experienced the frustration of investing in my children’s wardrobe and having expensive items outgrown while still in absolutely pristine condition, I knew there was a better way to dress my children…while having it make more sense financially.”
Statistics show that Canadian families are spending a reported total of $800 million annually on children’s clothing, yet much of the clothing is only worn once. This is especially true in the baby and toddler years. If a piece is only worn once and stores away, it diminishes in value and style.
According to Minitrade.ca, while Canadians still enjoy shopping at brick-and-mortar establishments, “the increasing growth of online shopping and newly-established e-commerce retail extensions indicates consumers are looking to shop more conveniently, to suit their busy lifestyles and seek out the most competitive pricing.”
Minitrade.ca believes that if Canadians are spending $15.3 billion shopping online, with 83 per cent of those shoppers placing orders with businesses located in Canada, then it can take a piece of the pie.
Armed with a modest investment of $650,000, the ecommerce site should be able to boost its momentum. Investors included Ferst Capital, FIER FSR (Fond de Soutient Rive sud), Pierre Delagrave of Cossette Communications, Martin Aubut of L’Oréal Canada, Maxime Lemieux and Malik Yacoubi of Cossette Communications. Also included were two members of Montreal’s “mafia” of active entrepreneur-investors, in Martin-Luc Archambault of Wajam and Daniel Robichaud of Password Box.
The startup was also recently recognized by the Canada Post E-Commece Innovation Awards, where it picked up the “Best e-Tailer” and the “Most Innovative Retailer”.
With a quickly-growing community across Canada actively trading, buying and selling brand new and pre-loved items from conventional and designer brands, Minitrade.ca “helps meet price-and eco-conscious Canadian parents’ needs for children’s clothing without sacrificing style or quality.”