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London mum ‘overwhelmed’ working from home during lockdown launches app for struggling parents to help them find cheap or free second-hand toys

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A London mum who struggled working from home during successive coronavirus lock downs is making it easier for struggling parents to buy, sell and donate children’s toys which clutter up the family home. Jennifer Mathisen, 38, who lives in East Dulwich, realised when she was spending so much time at home that her son and daughter had too many toys which they had outgrown – and had no easy way of getting rid of them.

Along with a friend who is a technology expert, she has worked non-stop since summer developing an app called Kidsie after her job at a gluten-free bakery dried out. It launches later this month, and parents will be able to create a profile, listing items on an Instagram style feed. With the app’s location feature, parents can search for items within their local community or further afield. There will be the option to list items for free – meaning that struggling parents will have a place to find toys for their children.

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Speaking to MyLondon, mum-of-two Jennifer, who moved to East Dulwich from Pimlico just before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, said: “The idea for Kidsie was born after I was astonished by the amount of stuff that piles up when you have kids. Like many, I’m a conscious consumer concerned about the environmental impact of our waste but I’ve also been frustrated having to use multiple platforms like EBay and Facebook Marketplace to buy, sell and donate second-hand kid’s clothing, gadgets, toys and other essentials.”

Kidsie will launch later this month

It’s a well-known fact that kids – especially babies and toddlers – grow out of items quickly and parents often find themselves laden down with kit, clothes and toys – many times barely used. After searching around and realising no one else had done anything like this, Jennifer, who lives with husband Oystin and toddlers Isla, 3, and two-year-old Oscar, hopes to solve this problem with the mobile app – which will be free to use at first.

Jennifer, who is originally from San Francisco, California, added: “I wanted to create a one-stop-shop for parents to build a circular economy within their local communities – making it easy to shop, sell and donate their kids’ items, ultimately reducing waste and costs. It helps that the global online second-hand market is speeding up.

“Purchasing for our children is costly, things add up and right now, 80 per cent of outgrown goods end up in landfill. We hope our app can app to tackle the issue of waste and help parents reduce their eco footprint and overall spending. Our app provides an easy-to-navigate and joyful community marketplace to shop, sell and donate all second-hand items suitable for babies and children up to 12 years old, as well as maternity items.”

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The market is worth around $36 billion today and is set to hit $77 billion in the next five years – growing 25 times faster than the traditional retail market. UK second-hand platforms grew 150 per cent during lock down.” When using the app, payment transactions are processed in the app through secure payment provider Stripe. Kidsie allows searching for specific items, brands, categories, age groups, free items and more all in one place.

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I’m Sam, a News Reporter at MyLondon with a special interest in covering court and crime. I started in September 2021, and I’m based in Ealing. You can follow my Facebook page here.

Three stories I’ve worked on in the past month that I’m particularly proud of are:

Coming from a small town in rural Scotland, my favourite thing about London is the incredible mix of people and exploring all the amazing independent pubs, restaurants and cafes that the city has to offer.

Got a story? You can email me at [email protected] or WhatsApp me on 07711924442.

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/london-mum-overwhelmed-working-home-22966053