Designer Collections Foundation is a not-for-profit social enterprise created and managed by teen volunteers focused on serving their community while learning valuable lessons about building a sustainable platform for commerce. Designer accessories, jewelry and designer clothing is collected locally, assessed for value, inventoried, then sold and distributed to a broad consumer base. Proceeds from these sales are given, as directed by the donors, to a select group of deserving charities.
Designer Collections was founded by Lucy and Jack Golub, who are twins. The siblings began discussing ways to become more involved with philanthropy during their sophomore year. They were looking for an opportunity to address the social needs of which they were becoming more and more aware. “For years, we’ve watched our parents (Karen Finerman and Lawrence Golub) dedicate what little free time they have to non-profits like The Michael J. Fox Foundation and The New York Stem Cell Foundation. We just thought we’re now old enough to start making a difference,” offered Jack.
Although they are like-minded in their desire to contribute, being typical siblings, Lucy and Jack couldn’t agree on one charity on which to focus their energy. As Lucy put it, “Being students in the Bronx, we both wanted to support Brilla College Prep, but Jack also liked DonorsChoose.org while I liked City Harvest… We ended up with a long list of groups but knew there was no way we would have time for each one. That’s when we got the idea to create something that would raise money to support each of them.” The teens quickly developed an idea: work with friends and fellow students to collect designer label accessories and clothing, resell the items online to people who otherwise could not afford them, and donate the proceeds of each sale to a charity selected by the donor. "I just thought that maybe selling nice clothing that was not being worn would be how we could raise money.“
From that flash of sartorial inspiration came the idea for Designer Collections. Lucy acts as the Foundation’s President and Chairman while Jack is the Vice Chairman. They are using media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Twitter and Tumblr to recruit volunteers, solicit donations and sell their pre-owned merchandise. Lucy even utilized Tumblr to create the Designer Collections logo. “It’s amazing how much we accomplish just from one laptop,” said Jack. “We’re basically soliciting door-to-door at the moment, but we’re hoping that we eventually get enough support to have the whole process run from our website. People can schedule to have donations picked up and select where the proceeds of their donation will go; we want to make it as easy as possible to donate.”