Norman Wells mom turns free kids clothing 'mini store' idea into reality

When you walk into Christine Turner’s newly built shed, you will find a colourful array of little kids clothing instead of traditional outdoor household items.

Christine Turner and her family began building a shed at their home this summer

'It’s just a place where people can donate what they don’t need anymore and somebody else can come in and grab what they do need,' says Christine Turner. (Submitted by Christine Turner)

When you walk into Christine Turner's newly built shed, you will find a colourful array of kids clothing instead of traditional outdoor items.

"My family and I have been fortunate enough to have friends and family pass down clothes to us, for our boys and our daughter. We wanted to help out other families," Turner said.

The Norman Wells mom — with three kids all under the age of four — has noticed something most parents tend to learn.

Kids grow. And they grow fast.

"Young kids outgrow their clothes long before they wear them out and sometimes when they are really little, they even outgrow them before they have a chance to wear them at all," Turner said.

Some of the items up for grabs inside the shed. (Submitted by Christine Turner)

Living in a small, isolated town like Norman Wells, parents experience a unique set of challenges.

There isn't a place to go in-person shopping, and online orders can not only be costly but sometimes take so long to ship that a child may have grown out of the clothes by the time they arrive.

Which is why Turner wanted to create a place in town that ran like a consignment store, but with only kids clothes — and no cost.

"It's just a place where people can donate what they don't need anymore and somebody else can come in and grab what they do need," she said.

Turner says that because of space constraints, they're only accepting clothing for kids five years old and under. (Submitted by Christine Turner)

Positive response

Turner said she got a positive response to the idea on Facebook.

So she and her husband, Matthew, with some help from their kids, got to work on building the shed this summer.

Turner said neighbours, community members and businesses also stepped up to donate some items to make the shed possible.

They completed it by the end of September and it's beginning to fill up with clothing, starting with her own kids' clothes.

She put a call out on Facebook last week for other families to donate clothing and says the response has been great so far.

"I've tried to set it up like a mini store so it's a fun experience for people to shop at ... I'm just really excited to help out," Turner said.

Since there isn't that much space in the shed, Turner said they are only accepting clothing for children five years old and under.

However, if there ends up being more space they will accept clothing for more ages.

"It's a fun idea instead of just doing a clothing swap with big bags of clothes," Turner said.

"To actually walk in and have the whole store experience … I thought I'd appreciate that and it would be fun for me. So I thought it was nice to have the ability to do that for others."

Turner said they are still putting in more clothes and adding finishing touches to the shed, but it will be opened soon.

Families will be able to reach out to Turner and make an appointment to see the store.

Residents will be able to book an appointment to drop by the shed to check out the second-hand clothing. (Submitted by Christine Turner)


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?