Keira McNeill and I first met several years ago under similar circumstances.
In my former life as a reporter for The News & Observer, I went to her house to interview her for a story about blogs written by local moms. Our older daughters are about the same age, so the interview was spent talking as much about the story as our own experiences.
We both went in different directions. I moved over to Go Ask Mom. And McNeill and her friend Julie Florea bought a long-running consignment sale in Wake Forest. Mom goes from consignment sale shopper to owner
This is how McNeill and Florea first met. I love this story: The two both frequented the Mothering.com online forums. The two had chatted a bit online when Florea asked all of the posters if anybody lived east of Raleigh. McNeill said yes ... in Knightdale. It turns out the two lived just a few blocks away in the same neighborhood. They quickly shut off their computers, walked outside and met. They've been friends, and now business partners, ever since, even after Florea moved to Charleston.
The two decided to get into the consignment sale business after volunteering at the sale at The Factory, then called Kids Junction, a few years ago. On the ride home, they talked about how they could make improvements, including allowing for easy drop off for consignors.
"We are very Type A," McNeill tells me.
The friends immediately began planning a sale and working on a website, but they couldn't find a place to hold it. Then, they learned that they owner of Kids Junction was looking to sell. Within weeks of that initial conversation, they bought the sale and changed the name to Kidaround Kidsale.
They've built the sale, made changes and watched it grow. Among the benefits, the sale is usually able to give consignors checks when they pick up any unsold items.
McNeill, who also works as a nurse, said she enjoys being in the consignment sale business.
"I love the connections with the community," she said. "That's huge to me. When people come back year after year, they become friends. I'm grateful for the opportunity."
She also is happy for the ability to be able to help local charities through donations of items that don't sell. The sale is able to provide consignors with tax donation slips if they choose to donate.
Will McNeill add more sales to her roster? That's the plan, she said.
"I would love to take it on the road," she said.
Registration is closed for consignors to Kidaround Kidsale for this season. Public shopping hours are noon to 8 p.m., Friday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday when some items are half off.
Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.