The Cincinnati Cladwell Clothing Swap

As told by our Event Planner & Communication Specialist, thee one and only, Natalie Wink (yeah, her last name is that cute... AND she's even cuter!):

This past Saturday, Cladwell teamed up with Lane & Kate, a local boutique here in Cincinnati, to host what we called a Curated Clothing Swap. What is a Curated Clothing Swap, you ask? Let me tell you right now, it’s the best thing you’ve never heard of. I’m here to make your day.

First, let me back up to when we were brainstorming for the event as a marketing team. We knew we wanted to host an event that tapped into our local community, aligned with our company philosophy, and spread the word about the Outfits app to people that may have never heard of it before, but would definitely love to use it. We wanted the event to be fun, unique, and authentically us.

One of the concepts that we’ve been pushing lately is the closet clean-out, so we thought, what better way to promote closet clean-outs than provide the women of our community with a place to bring the clothing items that they never wear, but just can’t seem to get rid of? You know those items—the dress from your favorite brand that you bought on super sale (such a deal!), but the colors are all wrong for your skin tone, the shirt that could maybe be cute on you if you found the perfect skirt (a skirt that doesn’t seem to exist), the sweater that you once loved, but are tired of.

Those items always end up sitting in your closet, but never leave it. They clog up your clothing rack. They are a big part of the reason why we hate getting dressed in the morning. If you can’t see the pieces that you love in your closet every time you look at it, then you feel as though you see nothing at all. And then you buy more. And more. And more.

And so! The clothing swap was born. We don’t want any of that closet-clogging nonsense plaguing our friends, ESPECIALLY when those items that are taking up so much space could be well-loved and used fully in another’s closet! What is the point of nice clothes if nobody is wearing them? Answer: nothing.

This brings us to last Saturday. On August 12, 2017, we took our first step as Cladwellians to speak up with our actions as well as our words, and invite our immediate community members to take action against our closet-stuffing problem. The good news: we at Cladwell are not the only ones that want to be rid of our overstuffed wardrobes. The turnout was much better than we expected, and we had between 250 and 400 people show up with clothes to swap. It was truly a beautiful sight.

We did some fancy things before the event, like marketing and partnerships with local stores, as well as some fancy things during the event, like provide coffee and homemade muffins, but at its core, a clothing swap is something simple and pure that you can do yourself in your hometown! We plan on running many more clothing swaps—we definitely learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t through our first event—but we want to embolden you to run your own, too.

The event can look however you want it too (since we had ours in a boutique, we set it up to look a bit like a retail space), but the integrity of the event is always the same: bring some clothes, and take some clothes. Bring things that you are finished with, but a friend might like. Leave with less than you brought. Slowly, surely, you’re curating. The end goal is what it always is for us at Cladwell: a bigger life with a smaller wardrobe.

Cleaning out your closet while still being able to come home with quality pieces that you love, pieces that will fit well with what you already own, pieces that take up less space than the things that you removed, is an ideal, yes. But the crazy thing is, this exact thing is what happened for so many on Saturday in Over-The-Rhine, Cincinnati. And we want it to keep happening.

Make it a party: sips and sweets are a clothing swap requirement!  

If you want cladwell to come to your city—let us know! We'd love to meet our trusty followers face-to-face, and help you shop with a swap!


Yes, so-and-so absolutely needs to see this article. Yes, you should share it. Yes, with everyone.