New Edwards consignment shop offers gently used and brand new kids clothing and gear
September 28, 2016
EAGLE COUNTY — Local mom Kate Ragan gratefully clutched a pair of girls' soccer cleats while surveying the racks at Cool Kids Colorado, a new upscale kids consignment shop at The Riverwalk at Edwards.
"There's no place in town you can buy cleats," said Ragan. "I am so glad this shop is here, especially for kids' sporting gear."
Ragan isn't alone. According to Cool Kids Colorado owner Lynn Randall, every day there were similar sentiments to be heard from valley moms looking for children's clothing and gear.
"Talking with people, we knew this was so needed," said Randall of her new business. "The Eagle Valley didn't have a shop like this until now."
Treasure hunting shopper
According to Randall, at Cool Kids Colorado, about 75 percent of the merchandise is "gently used" while the remaining 25 percent is new — overstock or last year's models from area shops. She based her business model on a consignment shop she used to frequent in Denver.
Randall describes herself as a treasure hunt shopper — it isn't enough to find what she is looking for, she needs to find a terrific bargain. That's what originally spurred her to try consignment shopping.
Eventually, she roped her kids into the hunt. When she bought their clothes and toys, she reminded them if they took care of their possessions, they could consign them when they were done with them. Then they could earn money to shop some more.
"It was fun for me and fun for the kids," said Randall. "Eventually I didn't shop anywhere else."
That's the very model she hopes attracts both consigners and shoppers at Cool Kids Colorado.
Because Cool Kids Colorado is so new to the valley, Randall has to educate her consigners and customers. The first rule is basic — a consignment shop is not a donation drop-off. Clothing has to be freshly laundered and in good condition without holes or stains. The store doesn't have storage space to spare, so consigners are asked to bring in no more than 20 to 25 pieces of clothing at a time and to bring in only items that are appropriate for the season. That means Randall can't take in winter coats in July or sundresses in February.
Toys, strollers, bikes, baby seats and other equipment must be clean and workable, with no parts missing.
Other than that, if a kid's item has life left in it, Randall is in business of helping it find a new home.
When a consigner's items are accepted, they are priced at approximately 50 percent of retail. Items are tagged so the store's point of sale software recognizes who the consigner is and the computer system keeps running track of what items sell and the consigner's proceeds. Items can spend up to 90 days on the sales floor and after that time expires, the consigner can either claim his or her items or the store will donate them to a thrift shop.
Because the store's system keeps a running total of their balance, Randall hopes her consigners become shoppers, just like she did. Because of the costs young families face living in Eagle County, she believes many of them will.
"So many people live up here for the lifestyle, but it's difficult to afford it," said Randall. "We are offering more affordable prices and both like new and new items so we can appeal to everyone."
Since celebrating its grand opening over the Labor Day weekend, Cool Kids Colorado has settled into its regular operating hours. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The store has a Facebook page at Cool Kids Colorado where Randall said she would share information about specials and events. To reach the store, call 970-446-6521 or email email@example.com