Christina Boehk and Michelle DeMartino, owners of Recycled Lines, always dreamed of owning a small business together. Friends since high school in Lincoln, RI, with boys the same age, they saw a unique opportunity to use their knowledge and skills to buy Recycled Lines and make it their own. Christina is a former Novartis HR professional and our social media content creator, Michelle is a former Deloitte IT product manager and our website developer. Over the last 17 years, both Christina and Michelle have gained valuable leadership skills through various Fairfield PTA roles at Mill Hill, RLMS, and FLHS. Both are SASO (Scholar Athletes Serving Others) board members and have volunteered their time with various organizations throughout Fairfield.. They are excited to use the power of social media, their own social network, and word of mouth to reach new markets and expand Recycled Lines.
Recycled Lines is a premium consignment business based here in Fairfield. We feature Mens, Women’s, Boys, and Girls clothing from brands such as Vineyard Vines, Lilly Pulitzer, Patagonia and so many more. The vast majority of our consignments come from other Fairfield Moms whose children have outgrown these items. We decided to get into this business because I wanted to do be a small business owner. We loved the Recycled Lines concept and knew we could take it to the next level.
Welcome Christina (C) and Michelle (M) as today’s Meet a Moms!!
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in Fairfield?
C: I was born and raised in Rhode Island and have been in Fairfield for 15 years.
We moved here from Boston when my oldest son was 2.
M: I grew up in Lincoln, Rhode Island, and have lived in Fairfield for 17 years.
Tell us about your Family!
C: I am married to my husband, Christian of 19 years and we have 2 boys: Christian, age 17 (senior in high school) and Grant, age 14 (freshman in high school)
M: I have three energetic, fun-loving kids. Anthony is a senior at Ludlowe High School. Luke is a freshman at Ludlowe High School. Ava is in sixth grade at Roger Ludlowe Middle School. My college sweetheart husband, Anthony and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. We are always on the go and love new family adventures.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
C: I am very much an introvert extrovert! I love meeting new people and getting to know them but I also love being home.
Also, not many people know this but Michelle and I actually went to high school together in Rhode Island 🙂
M: My kids are sailors, so during the summer months you will often see me in our Chevy pickup truck towing boats down 95.
One thing you wish someone would have told you about motherhood?
C: It gets better with age! As I get older I find myself more confident as a mom.
M: How amazing it is to watch your little kids grow into young adults. Although it has many moments of stress, watching them become the people they were born to be is pretty exciting and often has me beaming with pride. It has also contributed to my many gray hairs!
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield?
C: The community! We moved here from Boston when my oldest son was two years old and we thought we would eventually go back but after being here we realized this was very much a family town. Everyone supports each other in one way or another. It’s what I love about living here.
M: I love the community, the schools, and the liveliness of living in a college town. I’m a Rhode Island girl and being able to drive by the beauty of the beach every day always makes me incredibly grateful to live in this beautiful town.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
C: I’m a paper calendar kind of girl so all activities/events are written in the calendar for the entire family to see. Everyone takes a look at the calendar at the beginning of the week and knows exactly what the week looks like and where everyone needs to be. It’s nice to see everything laid out!
M: The snooze cruise! Though my children are older now, if my littles fell asleep in the car, I’d cruise over to Sasco Beach and enjoy the views. I highly recommend this to any mom to enjoy a few moments of peace.
Tell us about your business, and when & why you decided to get into this business?
Both: We were former customers of Recycled Lines! When our boys had a special occasion we would shop with them for a blazer, dress shirt, pants – the whole ensemble! When the former owners were selling their business, Michelle approached me and said ” we can do this!” We would volunteer in our kids schools together and having known each other since high school, we knew this would work and here we are! We bought the business in January 2023 so we are approaching our 1-year anniversary!
Why is it important to consign?
C: To promote sustainability! Clothing is often thrown away and in doing so it ends up in a landfill, adding to the already high number of textile waste. Consigning your clothing gives it a second life! Maybe you have clothing that no longer fits or you have items that aren’t your style. Those items may just be the pieces someone else is looking for in their wardrobe!
M: I believe it is important to consign because in this age of fast fashion, clothing has become disposable. By consigning premium clothing, we are able to live more sustainably, provide quality clothing at a fraction of the cost, and feel good about our impact on the community and environment.
Where can I find your consignment items?
Both: We just moved all our inventory to the Westy Storage facility in Fairfield. Our online presence through our website/Instagram/Facebook lets people browse and shop our inventory . We also schedule private shopping appointments! Our future goal would be to get all of our inventory on our website but what you see now is just a snippet!
Tell us about hobbies other than working and being a mom?
C: I love to exercise and I have a love for organizing. Give me a room full of clutter and I can whip it into shape in no time! 🙂
M: I am an avid skiier and enjoy skiing in Vermont and out West. I love working out with our awesome trainer, Ashley Curran Fitness, to stay healthy and strong. And I am always working on my tennis game at the Fairfield bubble to someday get the courage to play an actual match.
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable MOM GUILT handling a career and raising a family?
C: Go easy on yourself! I think it’s a positive thing for your kids to see you succeed professionally.
M: Being a stay-home mom for years, I felt it was important for my kids to see their mom going after her dream of being a small business owner. I am thankful that they are old enough to understand and are able to become more independent as a result of my new career.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom that you are today?
C: My friends. I have a close circle of friends and I truly look to them for support, advice and confirmation that we are in this together!
M: Both my mom and my mother-in-law. They are both supportive, loving, and strong women and they have had such a positive influence in my journey as a mom.
What advice would you share with a new mom or other moms?
C: This sounds so cliche but enjoy all the moments. Time really does fly by. Take time for yourself if you need a break (despite the guilt that comes with that) and most importantly if you need help – physically, mentally, all of the above – ask for help! I can’t tell you how many times I have opened up to someone only to find that other moms were feeling the same exact way!
Also, trust your gut!! It never steers you wrong 🙂
Ok promise this is my last piece of advice (which actually comes from my husband who consistently reminds me of this!): You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing! Do what works for you and your family!
M: Meet other moms, smile, say hello, go outside your comfort zone. It always amazes me how many other women I know in town from simply sparking up a conversation. Use that time at swimming lessons, preschool, flag football, music classes to meet people. I love running into moms that I met when our kids were little, it makes a big town like Fairfield really feel like a small, close-knit community. Also, join the PTA, mom clubs, boosters, stay involved. I can promise you, you won’t regret it.
We love supporting local businesses – favorite places in Fairfield to…
Have Dinner with Family: Colony Pizza
Grab a Drink with Friends: Grey Goose or Sinclair
Spend time together as a Family: Sunset and pizza at Sasco Beach
Outside Activities: biking or walking to South Pine Creek Beach
Grab coffee: Starbucks!
Have Dinner with Family: Old Post Tavern
Grab a Drink with Friends: Grey Goose
Spend time together as a Family: Saugatuck Sweets
Outside Activities: Summers at Black Rock Yacht Club
Grab coffee: Starbucks!
If you’d like to consign with us, we will be reopening our consignment calendar in January so hang onto those clothes and for more information visit our website: www.recycledlines.com
email: [email protected]