3 min read
Launched only 3 months ago by hardworking mother and business owner Nyla Obaid, the idea to create Lode, a children's vintage and/or gently used items, began in September of 2019. "I've always loved thrifting, and when my kids were born it was kind of a natural progression to want to dress them in second-hand clothing because kids grow so fast," she notes. Lode exists as a thrift shop for parents to buy second-hand clothes for their little ones: "What we do is we sell second hand kids clothes," Obaid says, "it's like a thrift shop experience, except it’s all online." Obaid offers clothing items for newborns and children up to size 12, in addition to shoes, outerwear and other child apparel items. "Basically it’s anything your kid needs," the businesswoman says.
Like many other business owners, Obaid faced considerable losses during the pandemic. "We had a pop up retail space secured that was suppose to open April 1st," she recalls. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced the leasing arrangements to fall through and Obaid was left stranded on what to do next: "I wasn't sure what to do with it; I was sitting on a whole bunch of inventory," she notes. Obaid, however, was determined to make Lode a reality. "So then I thought, I'll just through this all online and see what happens," she says as she recalls her decision to turn to e-commerce. "I threw a few things up on Instagram, but then quickly got a website up and running once sales began to flow," she further notes. Lode was originally suppose to exist solely in brick-and-mortar form, but the push of the pandemic created a new market for Lode: online shoppers. "I'm not particularly tech savvy or anything, so to have to pivot online so quickly was very scary and a bit of a leap of faith," she further expresses. Though shifting online created a new challenge for the hard working entrepreneur: shipping and delivery. Despite being a busy mother of young children, Obaid was committed to ensuring her customers, whom are mainly parents, are able to receive their items in a timely fashion. "I actually personally drive around and deliver ordered packages to local customers two nights a week after my kids go to bed," she says, "I put on some good music, take all my packages in my car, then drive around and deliver." Obaid shares that her local delivery efforts has been one of the most valued parts of her business: "It's hard for parents to get out and do their own shopping, so for parents to wake up and have it right there at their door is something they really appreciate."
When customers shop at Lode, they can expect hand-picked, high quality vintage kids clothing that is sure to make their little one smile. Unique to Lode, Obaid insists on remaining gender inclusive with all her featured items: "I don't gender any of my clothing on purpose; kids and parents are able to figure out what works for them and their family -- it's something I personally believe in," she passionately states. Though not advertised on their main page, behind the scenes, Obaid is committed to ensuring that 15% of all her proceeds go to the Black Lives Matter global network and will continue to so long as the business is in operation. "I consider myself an activist and someone who is really passionate about social justice," she expresses. "Above all, I hope my business has an environmental and social impact in the world."