From handcrafted toys to one-of-a-kind mementos to hand-knitted sweaters, caps, and blankets, the Woman’s Exchange is a top destination for baby shower gifts. You’ll find books, wooden toys, whimsical stuffed animals, and clothing for older kids, too.
For adults, the Exchange offers a unique variety of gifts, including pottery, kitchenware, birdhouses, note cards, edibles, and hand-made jewelry. Please stop in to browse our thoughtfully curated collection.
Hand-Sewn Children’s Clothing
For 75 years, the Sewing Room at the Woman’s Exchange has been providing heirloom quality clothing for both girls and boys. Using the finest fabrics and lace from around the world, seamstresses around the Mid-South create exquisite traditional christening gowns, day gowns, girls’ dresses, and charming boys’ wear.
Please call for an appointment with our Sewing Room Consultant about your special order needs. Remember to order early for the holidays, portraits, graduations, and weddings.
In our shop, we sell hundreds of handcrafted items, including children’s clothing, jewelry, home décor, blankets, and kitchen wares. Every item is sold on consignment, which offers distinct benefits for the artisan consignors we work with and the customers who shop in our non-profit store. Below you can see why consignment is so important to what we do within our community.
How Does Consignment Work?
With consignment, artisans are able to showcase their items in a retail environment, without having the stress of fulfilling minimum orders or meeting specific delivery guidelines. Consignors are paid upon the sale of their handcrafted goods, which is a variation from the typical retail model of paying wholesale for a large order of items and marking them up for resale. As a result of this model, women who consign with the Woman’s Exchange benefit from higher profit margins, while consumers enjoy reduced markup on unique gifts, clothing, and artwork.
Why Does the Woman’s Exchange Use Consignment?
The Woman’s Exchange was founded in Memphis in 1885, following the movement developed in Philadelphia in 1832. This movement encouraged women to sell their craftworks on consignment to gain their own financial security while utilizing their unique talents. When the Woman’s Exchange of Memphis was founded, it gained the praise of the community by supporting artisans and seamstresses with the consignment model. In order to continue offering women the opportunity to support themselves with the creation of artisanal goods, our shop operates with a volunteer staff of over 250 members. About 96% of our staff is comprised of volunteers, though we do employ skilled seamstresses to produce the heirloom infant and children’s clothing for which our shop is well-known.
Examples of “Helping Others To Help Themselves”
A 93 years young seamstress who lives in West TN makes outfits for boys and uses her earnings from the WE to pay her taxes.
My Cup of Tea used to be a consignor and is now a vendor. They create jobs, skills, and stabilizes families in the Orange Mound area of Memphis.
A local artist used the sale of her artwork to recover from a move from CA after she lost her position with a company that moved north. She has been substituting, was a top seller in the WE Art Gallery 2018, and she has been conducting art workshops for WE. “If it were not for the opportunities I receive at WE I would not be able to make it financially. I can’t speak highly enough of the WE mission and the truly dedicated ladies who work so hard to make this mission happen.”
Also, our Sewing Room Manager is an example of how we help young mothers who wish to stay at home and bring in some household income. We contracted her as a young mother to sew heirloom children’s outfits for the Woman’s Exchange. Now she is our Sewing Room Manager and oversees our seamstresses and the children’s clothing that they sew for the WE.