The Inspiring Story Behind This American Girl Resale Shop
I'll admit it: I love the American Girl brand. Maybe that's horrible for an almost 31-year-old mother of four to admit, but it's the truth. I grew up dreaming over their catalogs. And although our family could not afford any of the pretty things I dreamed over, I loved looking at the pretty dolls and accessories and most of all, getting lost in the stories that each doll represented.
Now that I am a mother myself to three daughters and a son, I've been lucky enough to pass my love of American Girl on to my daughters. They regularly check out American Girl books from the library, we watch the movies (thanks, Amazon Prime!), and we've taken two trips to the American Girl store, where I had just as much fun as they did.
So, while I'm an open American Girl fan, I have to say that just when I thought I couldn't love American Girl anymore, I learned how very wrong I was.
Marjorie Madfis is the owner of Girl AGain, an American Girl resale store in New York that has a very inspiring purpose: to help train women on the autism spectrum with job skills that they will need. Madfis's own daughter, Izzy, is on the spectrum and Madfis told The Mighty that her daughter's passion is American Girl dolls, so the idea for a shop that would not only support her daughter's passion but help train her with marketable skills felt like her life's purpose.
The store was born as part of Madfis' non-profit organization, Yes She Can, Inc., and trains young women in the shop with skills such product sorting, packaging, product inventory, pricing, and system management. So far, the program has trained 28 young women, who have all gone on to find successful job placements. The store, which is open Wednesday through Sunday, also offers diverse programming such as creative writing workshops, crafts, and other activities. Madfis's site explains that young women with autism may find a special fit in her store because unlike women who are not on the spectrum, young women with autism do not feel pressured to give up their passion for dolls — and a love of imaginative play is always encouraged within her organization.
If you want to help support Girl AGain's mission, you can also get involved in a very cool way: you can donate your child's gently used American Girl doll or accessories to the shop and know that your beloved doll will be in very good hands.