Kirkland consignment store Boomerang brings back 'cute kids' clothes' to parents
By MATT PHELPS
Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor
May 2, 2012 · 2:16 PM
Anyone who has small kids knows that buying clothes can get pricey. Most kids can fit into a pair of pants or shoes about as long as it takes for the season to change. And if the genders are different, forget about hand-me-downs.
Kirkland resident Shannon Barnes has spent the past 16 years shopping for her two children at various consignment and secondhand stores. But she has taken that thrifty idea and opened Boomerang Kids Consignment in the Juanita neighborhood of Kirkland on April 23.
“Originally, I did it so it would take a little less out of the budget,” said Barnes, who has a background in retail management.
“I love cute kids’ clothes. So when my kids got too big I had to open my own store so I could still play with cute kids’ clothes.”
Boomerang Kids Consignment, located at 11634 98th Ave. N.E., caters primarily to young kids: Newborn to size 16. The store consigns clothes according to the season, but will sell a lot of everyday wear year round – such as jeans, sweatshirts and of course in Washington, rain wear.
“There is a lot more variety in a consignment store,” said Barnes. “In a retail store there is a theme for every season.”
Consigned clothes are not confined clothes when it comes to style and they still keep up with the seasonal demands.
Barnes said she has been pleasantly surprised by how the community has welcomed her.
“I have received a tremendous amount of support from the community,” said Barnes, noting that the business is family owned and operated.
She has received help from friends in creating her website at www.bkconsignment.com, designing the store’s logo, painting and redesigning the interior of the leased space, which used to house Blockbuster. She had a friend, Becca Bassingthwaighte, volunteer to design and paint a koala mural in the store.
“I love this mural,” said Barnes. “… People seem excited I am here - I am excited. It has been a good time so far.”
Barnes even visited Forget Me Not consignments a few months back, which is located just 20 blocks to the north on 100th Ave. N.E. She had been a customer and wanted to be courteous and let them know about her store.
“They were very welcoming,” said Barnes. “They asked me how they could help.”
Forget Me Not is a broader clothing consignment store for kids and adults, that is also family owned.
“I will send my customers up the road to them when they size out,” said Barnes, who’s 16-year-old daughter helps out around the store.
She played around with several names before landing on the Boomerang idea.
“I wanted something fun, kid related and memorable,” said Barnes. “It was my 10-year-old son that made the link between the boomerang going out and coming back (and the idea of consigning).”
As with most consignment stores, Barnes takes client’s clothes and puts them up for sale for eight weeks. When they sell, she takes a percentage. In the seventh week of consignment the items are put on sale for 25 percent off. At eight weeks they go to 50 percent off. Consigners can decide to pick up the clothes and take them back at any time but must choose if the clothes will be donated or returned to the owner if they do not sell. Consigners have to sign a contract with Boomerang. Barnes said that she has signed a three-year lease in the space.
One of the areas that the store might find a big customer base is in used sports clothing. Barnes has first-hand experience with kids’ sports clothing.
“Every year I have to go out and get that new under armor,” said Barnes. “It might take time for people in the community to find me for that.”
She said that as with all of her items, they can’t have stains or holes and must be in good condition.
“We won’t take anything that has been too well loved,” said Barnes. “We have to take items that are in season because we don’t have any storage.”
She will make a small exception for sports pants when it comes to stains.
“They start out white but if they have been worn once they will not remain white,” joked Barnes.
She also sells various handcrafted items made for kids by community artists.
“I am excited to have them,” said Barnes. “My mom was a weaver. I know how important it is to support this kind of stuff.”
The store also carries some books, something that many kids consignment stores shy away from because they don’t resell for very much and take up a lot of space.
“I am just so passionate about reading and kids that there was no question that I would sell books,” said Barnes.
The store also carries some toys, games, puzzles, bibs, hats and other various items.
Boomerang also intends to carry some special occasion maternity items that are typically only worn once or twice during pregnancy, like fancy dresses.
The store is also equipped with dressing rooms and Barnes began accepting items for consignment in March.
“Some of it is from friends, some of it is mine,” said Barnes. “But after we got the sign up people started coming in.”
For those clothes that do not sell and get donated, Barnes is working with www.treehouseforkids.org, an organization that provides clothes to foster families.
“My mother-in-law has foster kids and having a place for those families to go and shop for free is great and I am happy to be a part of that,” said Barnes, who also wants to be able to donate to the Lake Washington School District.
Boomerang Kids Consignment is open from 10-6 on weekdays and 11-4 on weekends with some extended hours for working families that can be found on the store’s website.
Contact Kirkland Reporter Regional Assistant Editor Matt Phelps at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-822-9166 ext. 5052.