Wingmoms: The Fairy Godmothers & Fathers You Didn’t Know You Needed
Good Buy Gear created the Wingmom, and more recently the Wingdad, to give families an honest and friendly boost of support when shopping for and researching baby and kids gear. Especially second-hand and open-box items.
After all, many people have heard the phrase "wingman" and "wing-woman" in regards to that person who helps you pick up guys and gals at a bar or offers emotional and physical support when needed. Most of the time those roles play a part when you're in your early 20s, single and looking for a partner. Once you're a parent that role tends to disappear, when we potentially need that support more than ever. Enter the Wingmom.
So Who Are These “Wingmoms”?
“Our Wingmoms are product experts, and since we carry all brands they are able to provide unbiased reviews and recommendations for all types of budgets and lifestyles," says Good Buy Gear co-owner Jessica Crothers, adding that aside from providing quality kid gear, her company strives to help parents save time when shopping so they can use it for the more important things in life, like that dance recital, story time or cooking with your children (or even some good old fashioned “mommy time”). "We want to be the go-to resource for parents who are on the hunt for a great deal on the must-have products for their child."
The Birth of Wingmoms
Jessica knows why this sort of service is important. Both she and co-founder Kristin Langenfeld are parents themselves, a boy and girl each, all under 10-years-old. The pair started Good Buy Gear as a way to offer a safe place to sell and buy gently-used kid gear. They wanted to take out the mystery of buying second hand toys, cribs, walkers, sports equipment and other items from random people on social media and digital marketplaces, and create a clean and secure place for parents to connect—that didn't involve meeting up with a stranger in a parking lot.
Good Buy Gear started with Jessica and Kristin in 2016, and over the past four-plus years the business has grown. It now operates out of a large warehouse in the Denver and Dallas areas, and from that first Wingmom, Kihra Hekkers, who still works for the company, the workforce has grown too. The job has also changed. Wingmoms initially just cleaned, inspected, photographed and listed the cache of gently-used bikes, highchairs, dolls, block sets and changing tables that sellers brought in. They still process this gear, but now the title encompasses a variety of duties and responsibilities from chatting with customers to consulting on the best gear to deciding what products should be featured.
"The Wingmom role has evolved over time and become a core part of our business," adds Jessica. "It started as a product expert, someone who was familiar with all the essential gear you need for your baby and could easily identify what something was, how it was used and if it was safe. But now the role is integrated into many aspects of our business."
Wingmoms Have Your Back
One important part of the Wingmom and Wingdad role is to make the final decision on what goods that come in will be sold. There are a lot of things they look for including the safety of the item, condition, worth and cleanliness. The latter is a big part of the processing job and involves making sure there is no dirt, grime, old food, old fluids or anything else that makes the stuff unsanitary, be that on a box of Hot Wheels, Pottery Barn crib sheets or Graco baby swing.
"The role of a Wingmom is extremely important because we want every product to be tested so the next child to enjoy it can do that safely," says Amanda Brown, Customer Success Manager. "If we didn’t have the Wingmoms we wouldn't be able to list products on our site with the guarantee that each item has been inspected."
Wingmoms Know the Ropes
Experience is another great aspect about our Wingmoms, they are parents too and can give advice about a baby carrier, activity gym, scooter and dollhouse because they have used and tried out many of these items. And if someone doesn't know about the latest Mockingbird stroller, another Wingmom or Wingdad can educate them. The staff doesn't promote gear they don't believe in, so customers know they are getting an honest assessment of whatever it is they need.
"Without the Wingmoms we wouldn’t be able to thoroughly quality check every piece of gear and save a lot of this stuff from ending up in landfills," says Amanda, who has worked for the company the last four years, starting out as a Wingmom herself. "Being a Wingmom for Good Buy Gear has been an amazing and rewarding experience, and knowing that you are making a difference helping the world by reusing and recycling products is a great feeling."