The new show in town

It's no secret that kids go through clothes quickly. It’s still a secret to some that tucked away in the corner of the Yukon Inn plaza is a place packed to the ceilings with brand name stuff.

It’s no secret that kids go through clothes quickly.

It’s still a secret to some that tucked away in the corner of the Yukon Inn plaza next to the dollar store is a place packed to the ceilings with brand name stuff for children at half the retail price or better.

“We’ve been in here, in this space, for a year,” says Christine Pottie, who owns and runs Second Show Kids Consignment. “And I still get people every day that say, ‘We didn’t know there was a consignment store for kids.’”

As we speak Pottie’s three-year-old son plays with a toy vacuum cleaner in the front section of the store, converted to a kids’ play space with brightly coloured foam mats covering the floor.

As if on cue, a mom from Watson Lake walks in with her young son.

“I didn’t even know you were here before. Now I know,” she tells Pottie.

Pottie interrupts our conversation to call a cab for the young family.

The space feels almost like a community centre, with moms catching up while kids play.

“Often the kids don’t want to go when it’s time to go,” says Pottie.

Pottie used to be a teacher, but after taking time off work to have her two children, now three and five, she wanted something different.

After some researching, she and her husband settled on a consignment store for kids’ stuff. She recalls many conversations with moms around town about the lack of options.

The rest happened quickly.

“It was all within a month. We went out, and we got some stuff from other places. I went to Saskatchewan and got a few things so we had a little bit in every size before we got consigners in.”

By February 2013, Pottie had opened a small store in Riverdale.

“We were open, I put it on Facebook and had a little website. Just from having the sign up in Riverdale we had consigners coming in right away and it’s been going good ever since.”

So good, in fact, that within six months she was able to expand into the current, bigger location downtown.

“Moving to a central location has been really, really beneficial, and does bring a lot more people,” says Pottie.

“A lot of people come from out of town and stay at the Yukon Inn, so then that’s their first time seeing us.”

Having the flexibility to spend time with her kids was the priority, she says.

Being able to bring her kids to work was “probably the main reason for starting the store.”

She spends her mornings with her son at various activities around town, and opens shop at noon.

Her daughter, five, gets dropped off in the afternoons after kindergarten.

The new store seems to have come at a good time. Over the past few years the Yukon has experienced a bit of a baby boom.

The birth rate has climbed steadily since 2005, with about 300 babies born, to a near-record 426 births in 2012.

Pottie’s store is loaded with kids stuff you won’t find other places in Whitehorse, including tiny tuxedoes and mini tutus.

If there’s demand for a certain type of item that isn’t coming in through consignment, Pottie will try to bring it in.

There wasn’t much rain gear coming in this spring and summer, so now the store carries new Oakiwear brand outdoor gear for kids.

She’s also picked up Melissa & Doug toys and craft kits.

Although it’s a consignment store, that doesn’t mean you won’t find brand new items on the shelves.

Pottie regularly travels Outside to find wholesale deals on items to fill out the store’s stocks.

By searching out those deals, she’s able to pass along the savings and sell most brand new, ticketed items for no more than half the suggested retail price.

Old Navy skinny jeans are really hot right now, she says.

And the consignment side of the business allows parents not only to get a deal on gently-used items, but also gives them a way to get rid of stuff their kids have grown out of or moved on from.

People like the recycling part of it, says Pottie.

“I do have quite a few shoppers that buy a certain amount consigned because they like the fact that it’s not going into the landfill.”

The types of things people bring in, and the types of things people buy, hasn’t ceased to surprise her, Pottie says.

“I have one consigner who brings me everything. She brings me toys, and clothes and laundry hampers and curtains and everything. I’m always like, ‘I don’t know if I should put that out,’ and then I put it out and people buy it.

“It’s interesting. I never know. Things surprise me still.

“Sometimes I think, oh my goodness, that’s an ugly dress,” she says with a bright, infectious laugh, “and it sells right away.”

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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