How did peace. love. swap. all start ??
Hi! My name is Meg- and I have 4 kids – Christian 17, Milla 7, Lola 4, and Ava 2…. and a very supportive husband, Mat. The idea for peace. love. swap. came when I was on my way home from the consignment store. As usual, I had brought in the maximum amount of stuff, and they kept the usual 2 or 3 items. As they went through the bag, I shopped and found about $30 worth of stuff to buy… Perfect! My credit was around $10 or so – so I left $20 in the hole!!.. So, I headed over to Salvation Army to drop the rest of my stuff off. As I approached the back door to leave my stuff, I noticed there was no one working, but I decided to leave it anyway. I noticed this other pile of kid’s stuff, and thought… hmm, it would be nice to be able to just go through and see what’s in there — I am getting rid of stuff – They are getting rid of stuff — I didn’t of course. But, that night I went home and decided to create a local swap in Grass Valley, CA, where I live.
After I did the first swap in Grass Valley, I was addicted. I decided I wanted to do them regularly- that we should be available on a monthly or bi-monthly basis for moms – because that’s how quickly we pile stuff up to get rid of. So, I decided to make it my goal to get peace. love. swap events going in communities everywhere.
Why is this so important to me?? Mainly for 2 reasons:
Reason #1. I hate how out of control human consumption has gotten – I want to see more people trading & using secondhand stuff. If you have ever read my blog I mention a movement called The Compact. Where people commit to not buying anything new for a whole year. My husband I tried it, (fell of the wagon a couple times) but for the most part we did it…. We still live by the same idea – we aim to shop local, only buy what we really need, and when we do buy, we try to buy used or get things from Craigslist, Freecycle, Consignment or Thrift stores. When I see something I want I ask myself.. do I really NEED that? Usually the answer is no. I think by Reducing, Reusing and Recycling we are all doing our part in our community to help cut down on what goes into landfills. My mom was “green” before green was trendy – she sewed all of our clothes when we were little, and she was a huge fan of swap meets and flea markets (even opened her own swap meet once.) We grew up being thrifty – not because we had to, but because it was the smart and environmentally sound way to be…and, who doesn’t LOVE a great deal?? Although I didn’t appreciate it much when I was little, somehow – she must have rubbed off on me. She passed away in 2000, but I know she would be very proud of p.l.s.
The #2 reason. There’s nothing out there like a p.l.s. event ~ and we need one in every city! Anyone that has kids knows you always have a boatload of stuff that they don’t use, grow out of or don’t want anymore. There are several swapping options out there, and as far as I am concerned – any swapping is good swapping. However, nothing fit into what I wanted to create for myself as well as for other families. I wanted something fun for the whole family, LARGE with 50+ moms, ongoing, easy, cheap, and accessible to families everywhere. I wanted to be able to give back to communities by donating leftover items to charity. That is what peace. love. swap. is all about. For only $5, you take as much stuff as you need – period. Need a pack n play? done. Clothes for all three of your kids? done. Books, toys, shoes, swings.. we have that – and it’s all only $5. Just don’t take what you don’t need, and make sure to bring it back when you are done. That’s all we ask.
In February 2010, I realized in order to take p.l.s. to the next level I would need help. Enter Elle Beyer, also a mom of four, wife, small business owner, performer, artist, martial arts pro. Elle found me while posting her children’s clothes online, loved the idea and became a regular swapper. After the first swap, she was addicted as well, and wanted to help take p.l.s. to the national, or even worldwide level. Along with Elle, I think we have what it takes to recruit moms everywhere and offer our events in different cities across the US.
And.. there you have it… we plan to continue these on an ongoing basis – and expand into different locations, brick & mortar locations – “swap & plays” where moms can come 7 days a week and swap & play! (meg recently opened a flagship location in Grass Valley, CA.). If you would like to have one in your area or if you have any questions, comments, ideas – if you want to volunteer, or just want to chat – email me or email elle! I look forward to meeting you.
Meg & Elle
Meg and Family (Portrait by Fowler Hill Photography)
Elle and Family