WINS teams up with thrifty Calgary influencer, bringing pre-loved items to you

Calgary influencer Grace Rodgers (left) and Karen Ramchuk, executive director of WINS, showcase the newly-launched Twice New by WINS thrift boxes.

Calgary influencer Grace Rodgers puts her heart on your sleeve with new online Women In Need Society (WINS) project.

WINS launched its online campaign Twice New on Monday morning, offering specially-curated thrift boxes for any occasion. They deliver them right to your door.

“I think these boxes will really appeal to thrifters especially, but we’re hoping it will also make thrift shopping a little less scary for people that are new to it,” said Rodgers, who operates an Instagram account dedicated to thrift shopping that has more than 6,000 followers.

The boxes range between $35-$60. They’re broken down into four categories: Jeans &, Casual Friday, Get To Work, and Date Night.

“The whole point behind these boxes is that you don’t have to go into stores. You can still go thrifting, and you’re supporting a great cause,” said Rodgers.

A lot of love in every box

All donations are collected at WINS main warehouse. From there, Rodgers and a team of volunteers hand select their favourite items. Those items are then separated by size and category.

Each volunteer is responsible for selecting every item that goes into a box. They ensure the items can be worn as an outfit, or as individual pieces.

“We try to put something for every age group in each box. Because each volunteer designs the box from start to finish, every box has its own personal flare,” said Rodgers.

Rodgers knows not everyone will love every item in every box, but the code of the true thrifter mandates that anything you don’t love, you pay forward.

“The thing with thrifting is that you can always give away or re-donate anything you don’t want, and by purchasing a Twice New box, you’re still donating to a good cause,” she said.

Treating pandemic as a speed bump, not a stop sign

Like many businesses, WINS Executive Director Karen Ramchuk said the onset of COVID 19 pushed the non-profit’s focus towards online sales.

“We’ve wanted to do e-commerce since I started with WINS three years ago, and having Grace on board has been the perfect fit,” said Ramchuk, who had discovered Rodgers’ thrift-focused Instagram account.

“I don’t think anyone loves the project more than Grace loves the project.” 

All donations are put into quarantine for 72 hours before they are separated for the Twice New boxes.

Since the pandemic surged in March of this year, Ramchuk and her team have launched Twice New by WINS and a sixth storefront, More Store, located at Unit 141 7007 – 54 Street SE.

“You really need to look for the opportunites,” said Ramchuk.

Ramchuk attributes their success not only to their hardworking volunteers, but also to the generosity of Calgarians.

“Our donors are the best. I’m so grateful that we’re able to put that money back into programs that help women and children living in poverty,” she said.

“It’s been a wonderfully positive experience.”

The Women In Need Society was formed in 1992. It’s dedicated to helping women in poverty meet the basic needs of their families.

Twice New boxes can be ordered online at https://twicenewbywins.ca/.

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