How long have you been in business?
“We purchased it in November 2018.”
Did it have the same name before?
“Yes, the previous owner was named Season. A lot of people didn’t realize the reference unless they knew her name, but honestly, it’s a great store name. I had no desire to change it.”
What inspired you to want to go into the business?
“Season (the previous owner) posted that it was for sale. We understood the need for it in the community. We also realized right away that we were pregnant (with daughter Harper). I was working for the after-school program at Long Beach Elementary and the grant was going to expire, so I knew I was going to have to look for a new job regardless. When the store came up for sale it was just the perfect fit to be able to keep it in the community and not have to worry about childcare, which was another issue.”
Can you tell me about the inventory?
“We carry clothing for the whole family, from newborn through adults, both men and women. We have new and consigned toys. We try to keep a good stock of Melissa & Doug (American toy manufacturer). Our toys tend to be more for age 8 and under but we’re trying to get more for older kids. We have baby equipment — potty seats, nursing pillows — that kind of thing. It’s constantly fluctuating what we have in since we’re a consignment shop.”
How do you acquire inventory?
“Local consigners. The Melissa & Doug items and the shoes we purchase and bring in. We recently started carrying Beach House Teas, made by a local tea maker. Those things I purchase and bring in. The clothing and equipment is generally local consigners whose kids have outgrown it. They bring it in and get a percentage of what sells, which they can take as a cash payout or use to purchase things in the store.”
Have you expanded or sought to change any inventory?
“Recently, we’ve added more of the newer retailer items. Other than that we’ve really tried to keep it how the community had been using it. We didn’t want to make any huge changes. If it wasn’t broke, why fix it? People appreciated the way it was. She (Season) had been here for 17, almost 18 years. There wasn’t a need for a big change.”
Is there anything you wish more people were aware of?
“That we’re not just a kid’s store. A lot of people still think that we’re just a kid’s store. A lot also don’t realize how big we are and how much stuff we have. We also still have the Starfish Project, which is a charity account started by Season. People can donate their items to it and when that item sells it goes into the Starfish account. People in the community in need can use store credit from the Starfish account to purchase items. It’s a full circle way to help the community.”
What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on business?
“We had to close for two months, which was really hard. My fiancé was also laid off, so we lost our whole income for two months. It was rough because on top of that we still had store bills including internet and rent. It’s been a little slower since we reopened, but the community has been great. Ninety percent of my customers are locals from the community. I’ve been lucky. I feel blessed to still be here and confident that we’re going to be here. I had two friends, one of Long Beach and one from Gearhart, both post that they were closing their businesses for good. It hit hard as a friend and small business owner.”
What’s the biggest challenge of running a business?
“Just balancing the work and home life and all it requires. Before COVID, the kids were with me, which goes both ways. It’s amazing to have them here but also it’s a struggle.”
What part do you enjoy the most?
“One of the things I really missed upon reopening was the customers and the people I saw on a regular basis. I just love getting to chat with them when they come in.”