Sequim resident and real estate agent Nora Lowery doesn't like to think of secondhand items as "used."
Rather, she refers to them as "preshrunk."
Munchkin's children's consignment store opened its doors to the public Oct. 1. A grand opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 11, complete with face painting from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Lowery opened the store with friend and business partner Sharon Morris. The two women met about six years ago when Lowery sold Morris a house and they have been friends ever since. Lowery is a grandmother of four. Morris, who doesn't have children of her own, describes herself as "the favorite aunt." Together, the duo intends to fill a much-needed void in Sequim, Morris said: children's clothes and gear.
"We don't have a lot of shopping options here. Period," Morris said. "It's basically Wal-Mart or JC Penney's because with gas prices you don't want to go to Silverdale unless you have to."
Lowery prefers shopping at secondhand versus big box stores. Consumers can find their own style rather than what's "in fashion;" clothes fit and won't shrink in the wash; and brand name products are less expensive, she said.
Buying used children's clothing makes sense, Morris added, because children outgrow clothing so quickly.
Although opening a business amid a depressed economy might seem risky to others, a children's store isn't unsafe at all because parents always will buy products for their children, according to Morris. "If times are tight, they will do without themselves so that their children have what they need," she said confidently.
On the consignment end of the business, parents are encouraged to call the store and set up an appointment to go through items. Morris and Lowery are allowing individuals to set the price of items for sale. Items are placed on display for 60 days, at which point the owner can either take back the merchandise or it becomes part of the store's collection. If sold during the 60 days, 60 percent of the value is given to the original owners and 40 percent is taken by the store.
Toys and equipment endure a particularly stringent examination before being put on consignment for safety reasons. Morris and Lowery encourage parents to inspect items carefully before purchasing them as well and to buy age-appropriate toys.
Some new clothes and items are available.
Work from multimedia artist Ailene Sanders is on display and for sale throughout the store.
Munchkins is the second children's store to open in Sequim. Dungeness Kids Company, a retail shop geared toward families with children 7 and younger, opened in August. Dungeness Kids Company primarily sells new clothing, toys, books and other products.
Munchkins, located at 166 E. Bell St. in Sequim, is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. Owners Sharon Morris and Nora Lowery will consider extending hours if customers express an interest. For more information or to make an appointment to place items on consignment, call 683-7878.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
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