A PTSD Diagnosis Leads to New Zorra Home-Based Business

Kaitlin Ackert has been a paramedic for 17 years, doing her part on the frontlines of health care. It was one of the dangers of the job that led to the creation of Kaitlin’s Closet.

“I developed post-traumatic stress disorder from my job, and I was trying to heal from that and get rid of some of the clutter in my house. I started selling some things online and some people asked if I could sell their stuff, so I did. So, the business came out of my trying to keep myself healthy.”

Kaitlin sells everything from clothing for the entire family to toys, books and sporting goods. The Thamesford business started out on Facebook, but a new website launched in June where customers can send in orders. “I’m trying to spread the word about the website to drive more people to it,” she said. “I would like to focus more on ladies’ wear, boutique wear and expand housewares with more home décor, lamps and linens.” Like so many Oxford County businesses, she is also supporting others. “I’m promoting local businesses on my social media through product giveaways to my customers.”

Kaitlin does a monthly online auction through her Facebook page, and it has proven to be very popular. One auction featured back-to-school wares while another focused on housewares. “My house looked like Walmart with toasters and microwaves, mini fridges and more.” She also has special sales highlighting themes such as holidays. “I did a Christmas bazaar last year because no one was holding any events in-person because of COVID-19. I also do a big toy sale where parents can purchase them at a fraction of the cost.”

Kaitlin is setting the bar high in terms of the condition of the goods she sells. “I really pride myself on quality. Much of the clothing I sell is new or new with the tags still on. People know when they come on the website that they aren’t getting junk. People can shop anywhere so I want to be sure they are getting great products. I won’t sell anything that has stains or isn’t like new.”

Not only is Kaitlin’s Closet a home business but it is also a family business. Kaitlin said everyone gets involved. “It’s been so beneficial. My husband helps with packaging and writing out orders. My two boys help pack orders, and they oversee unlocking the bin where the money envelopes are left. Everybody helps and everybody benefits. It is great the kids can see hard work and they are learning about finance and saving money.”

Many small business logos have a personal touch and meaning, and the flamingo in Kaitlin’s is no different. “My husband designed the new logo with that Caribbean feel behind it because it is a sign of comfort for us, as well as excitement. We have many fond family memories from vacations and cruises and if you look at the logo it has a Miami Vice vibe to it.”

For more information on Kaitlin’s Closet have a look at the website at https://kaitlinscloset.ca/