Meet Your Neighbor: Ellen Cleveland, LFA Consignment
Roanoke native Ellen Cleveland loves to serve her hometown community and families as well as create events! She successfully merges the two into the LFA Kids Consignment sale in Roanoke.
For more than fifteen years, the LFA Kids consignment events have helped families sell and buy baby and children’s items! The sales are held twice per year at the Berglund Center. Cleveland says around 500 families participate each sale. She said, “Our goal is to connect buyers with sellers and help families in our community. Consignor families with gently used items are able to pass them along to others while making some money. Buyer families are able to afford more clothing and better brands than perhaps they may otherwise be able to purchase.”
Cleveland dedicates part of her life to creating the consignment sales events to help families in her hometown. She grew up in Roanoke, moved away for college, and then moved back in 2005. She has two daughters and wanted to raise them where she grew up. The scenery is one reason she chose this area to raise her family. “The mountains! They are so beautiful. Having grown up here, I knew it would be a great place to raise my girls,” Cleveland said. Her daughters, Emily, 17, and Sarah, 15, now attend her alma mater Cave Spring High School.
In addition to running LFA Kids Consignment, Cleveland is a shopping center property manager, a job she has held since 2012. “Like LFA, I like the relationships I have made over the years and take my responsibility to ‘set the tone’ of the property very seriously,” she said.
LFA has been a major part of her life ever since she returned to Roanoke fifteen years ago. She started as a consignor but also made girls accessories like hair bows, belts, and baby blankets and sold them at LFA Kids events. In 2007, she purchased the event and runs the consignment sales every year! LFA events are a family affair for Cleveland and her daughters. “The sale and being a mom to my girls takes up most of our time. I love that my girls are also able to be involved in the business and learn the value of serving the community while I get to spend more time with them before they leave the nest.”
Cleveland spends the entire year working on the two sales events! She says all of the details, like community education, creating partnerships, website updates, consignor videos, ordering supplies, creating schedules, building spreadsheets, and staff meetings, take a lot of time, effort, and planning. “I love creating these events! We work hard to provide a service to our community. I love that we are part of allowing families to earn money on their items and help the environment by recycling gently used items. Other families can purchase quality, top name brands for almost 75 percent off retail. It’s a win, win, win, for our local families, our community and the environment!” Cleveland said.
LFA Kids Consignment also allows Cleveland to give back to the community in other ways. LFA donates unsold items to Goodwill. Consignors can choose to have their unsold items donated. She says they make two very large donations each year following each event. “So we are helping even more families in the community with those items,” Cleveland said.
While LFA Kids Consignment takes up the majority of her free time, Cleveland and her daughters stay active. Their favorite place in the area is Smith Mountain Lake. “It’s our happy place,” she said! They love boating and water sports.
The family also spends time at home and with close friends. They have two cats and two dogs! Cleveland enjoys working on home projects, dinners with friends, and playing board games as a family.
Cleveland believes her LFA team and the consignors are like an extended family. She said some consignors have been with her since 2006! “My team is amazing! The best around and they never let me down. They are the face of LFA and I am forever thankful for each one of them,” she said.
The next LFA Kids Consignment event is scheduled for March at the Berglund Center. More information is available at lfakids.com.