#SheInspires Kelly Ross of Kaden’s Closet

July 27, 2020

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself – who you are and what you do

I live in Brisbane and my background is actually finance. Kaden’s Closet is a website that I created which sells pre-loved designer clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories and all of the money raised from items sold goes towards supporting the Kaden Centre. Every Thursday I release a new round of styles and sizes so people can always find new things on the site.

 

Why did you start Kaden’s Closet?

In 2018 my sister started the Kaden Centre which is a not-for-profit, registered charity that specialises in providing targeted oncology exercise programs for cancer patients and survivors.  One of the struggles that the Kaden Centre faces is the one-off nature of donations and grants. There is never a reliable stream of income from one month/year to the next, and with no major sponsor) applying for grants to support the Centre has become a full-time job.

I had initially thought about doing a pop-shop to raise money for the Kaden Centre but then I thought it would be similar to other one-off fundraising events with limited opportunity for additional funds to come in to the Centre. I also debated what would happen to the clothes that did not sell on the day of the pop-up. So that led me to think ‘what if I built a website’ that could operate all the time and then donate all of the money raised back to the Kaden Centre.

I used my spare time during lockdown to dabble in some website design and development and started to build Kaden’s Closet. I take all of the photos myself and then edit them, removing the backgrounds etc. and I manage and maintain the website, marketing, orders, shipping etc. It’s a lot more of a commitment than a one-off event but hopefully it can continue to raise funds to support the important work that is happening at KC.

 

What is the Kaden Centre? 

In 2009 my sister, Sue was diagnosed with cancer and she spent the better part of a decade fighting and surviving three separate cancer diagnoses. Throughout her treatment and recovery she was always dedicated to her exercise regime although she struggled to find a facility that could help with the specific and considered exercise programs, and provide the support she needed.

The research and evidence on the beneficial effects of exercise for cancer are significant. Exercise has been shown to increase the chance of survival and significantly decrease the chance of recurrence. The research also shows that targeted, individualised exercise programmes are safe, before, during and after treatments.

So knowing how important exercise is when you are faced with the battle of cancer and her own experiences my Sister decided to create a Centre that was dedicated to offering programs to people from diagnosis through to survivorship. But the Kaden Centre is now not just an exercise facility, it has grown to be a community where everyone is on a similar journey and they can share their experiences. They are surrounded by people who know what it is like to experience what they are going through and there’s a very strong support network.

The Kaden Centre has over 200 clients come through its doors each week and has been embraced by the medical community as well. They have strong relationships with local oncology doctors and hospitals and are an integral part in proving how important exercise is from diagnosis, through treatment and survivorship.

What does Kaden’s Closet mean for the Kaden Centre?

Kaden’s Closet is my small way of supporting my sister and all that she is doing at the Kaden Centre.  The site has only been live for two weeks and I have already raised close to $2,000 so there is real potential that we can raise significant ongoing funds and contribute in a meaningful way to the running of  the Kaden Centre.

I also think there is an opportunity to bridge that gap between your traditional “op-shop” and people making new purchases.  All the clothes are in amazing condition from high-end Australian and international designers. People love a good bargain and you can definitely find one at Kaden’s Closet. Things are not priced with profit in mind. I price things to be sold so that we can keep raising money. These clothes would otherwise be sitting unused so they are better off being sold at a reasonable price to someone else that can love them.

 

Where do the clothes come from?

At this stage, mostly from my close friends, family…and myself!

 

How do you choose what is placed on the website?

All of the clothes need to be of a certain quality before I put them on the website. I choose items of clothing that I would wear myself or if they’re my own clothes that I am donating I choose the ones I know I have worn minimally and are in great condition.  I want to make sure whoever buys from the site are getting high quality items. I generally look for things that I think would be minimum $50 to sell. Also, to make the process worthwhile I have tried to keep the calibre of the designers quite high and look for a range of Australian and international names.  At the moment I have clothes from Scanlan Theodore, Aje, Zimmerman and Missoni. Shoes from Alexander McQueen, Prada, Miu Miu and Jimmy Choo and handbags from Yves Saint Laurent, Tory Burch, Armani and Longchamp. I like to keep a range of styles and prices so hopefully everyone is able to find something they love.

 

Will you be accepting donations? If yes what do the donations need to be? 

If people have some well cared for pieces that they would like to donate we would absolutely love to accept! I am aiming to release new styles and sizes each Thursday but of course that means I need to keep the stock coming! So we are definitely looking for donations. Plus, if someone does want to donate a few items I can provide them with a tax receipt once the clothes are sold as all of the money goes directly to the Kaden Centre.

 

Any other information you would like to share about your online business?

I think it is important to remember that every dollar benefits the Kaden Centre and in turn benefits those people who turn up every week even though they may be just starting their journey or have survived cancer and are now working on getting their lives back on track and regaining their fitness and strength.  To have over 200 people consistently come through the doors each week to use this facility and for the Centre to be embraced by so many others in such a short time, it is a testament to the valuable work that is being done and how important it is to provide ongoing support.  Like a lot of worthwhile charities it is always a challenge financially to achieve this.

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