Veyonne Washington is turning her passion for children and her community into a career. January marked the one-year anniversary of her store Grow Outs Resale Shop, 12206 Larchmere Blvd.
After 12 years of running a child care center out of her house as her own children grew up, Washington decided she needed another challenge. She opened Grow Outs on Jan. 8, 2011.
Grow Outs specializes in pre-owned children’s clothes. By working with local charities and churches, such as Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, which also takes in donated clothing, Washington acquires more than enough to keep her shelves stocked.
Many clothes are also donated by parents, some who have a hard time parting with the clothes and want them to go to good use.
“You wouldn’t believe the stories behind these clothes,” Washington said.
Washington said she wants her store to be a warm, welcoming place in her community where people feel at home.
“There were no children’s stores in the area before mine, based on my research,” she said.
Washington currently runs the small boutique with the help of only a few workers but has high hopes for growing her business in the years to come.
“I want Grow Outs to be on every corner like Walmart,” Washington said with a smile.
“I remember when I was growing up there was a ma and pop store on every corner," she said. "Not anymore.”
The store may soon introduce a loyalty rewards card for frequent shoppers.
Washington still watches up to six children at her home, which she dubs “Miss V’s House of Tots," during the week.
She started that business after working for the city and realizing she was paying $200 a week for her own children's daycare. That was 13 years ago and Washington is once again looking to succeed in turning her passion for helping children and her community into a career, one piece of clothing at a time.