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August 14, 2017

Pop-up shop offers bargains on children’s clothes

Photos/Cassandra Brown
“I had just had my second daughter and I knew I wanted to be home, but I also wanted to feel like I was contributing to something else other than raising my kids and taking care of the house,” Angela Sain says of her motivation for starting the business 16 years ago.
The pop-up shop in Warrenton Village Center has about 20,000 items for the two-week sale.
Ashley and Taylor Sain help stock inventory at their mom’s shop.
When you have four kids to back-to-school shop for, it can get expensive. It’s nice to come in and buy nice clothes without breaking the bank.
— Lauri Nelson
Kids Haven Consignments
• What: Temporary consignment shop with more than 20,000 items, including clothes for infants to teenagers, toys, baby accessories and maternity apparel.

• Owner: Angela Sain.

• Where: Warrenton Village Shopping Center next to Sears; 143 W. Lee Highway.

• Space: 8,500 square feet.

• Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday Aug. 12; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 13 to Tuesday, Aug. 22; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27.

• Phone: 540-547-2099

• Website: www.kids-haven.com

• Facebook: Click here.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Racks filled with more than 14,000 pieces of children’s clothing bring life to a previously vacant storefront next to Sears in Warrenton.

For the next week and a half, thousands of bargain hunters will descend on the pop-up shop, Kids Haven Consignments, for its annual fall sale.

For about two weeks each spring and fall, shoppers can find a wide selection of gently-used children’s clothing, toys and baby items.

Angela Sain, a stay-at-home-mom from Culpeper, came up with the idea to start the business 16 years ago.

“I had just had my second daughter and I knew I wanted to be home, but I also wanted to feel like I was contributing to something else other than raising my kids and taking care of the house,” Ms. Sain said.

“I knew that it was very expensive buying clothes for the kids and they were immediately growing out of them and I thought, there has to be a better way than just buying it retail.”

She launched Kids Haven Consignments in 2001.

“It’s a way to recycle items back into the community,” Ms. Sain said. “They’re not used up yet. They’ve still got lots of life left.”

The average item for this year’s fall sale costs $4.72.

“I wanted to help families,” Ms. Sain said. “I knew the struggles we were going through as a young family with two girls — the cost of things being so outrageous.”

Her inventory comes from Fauquier, Gainesville, Culpeper, even as far as Front Royal. Sellers sign up in advance to consign with the business.

The fall event runs through Tuesday, Aug. 22. The shop will conduct a 75-percent off sale Sunday, Aug. 27.

Kids Haven splits proceeds 50-50 with consigners.

“Most of the time my consigners end up making the same amount they spend,” Ms. Sain said. “It’s kind of like trading in what you don’t need and getting what you need.”

About 70 percent of the inventory typically sells.

Unsold items get donated to charitable organizations in Fauquier, Culpeper and Prince William counties. Recipients include Fauquier Family Shelter Services, crisis pregnancy centers and Head Start programs to help children and families in need.

“They actually get to come in and shop for free and pick exactly what they need for their children,” Ms. Sain said of citizens who receive the donations.

To start the business, she took out a $5,000 small business loan. Kids Haven operates as a sole proprietorship.

The sale, which started with 36 consigners, has grown to more than 200 this year.

“I probably make about as much as if I had a full-time job, but I’m only working half a year; so I get to be home with my kids the other half of the year,” Ms. Sain said.

She believes customers shop at Kids Haven “for the value — to stretch their budget. They can get the clothing, shoes they need for their kids at a third to a quarter of retail and be able to sell what they don’t need.”

Warrenton resident Lauri Nelson has consigned items with Kids Haven for about seven years “to save money.”

“When you have four kids to back-to-school shop for, it can get expensive,” said Ms. Nelson, who also has served as a shop volunteer for five years. “It’s nice to come in and buy nice clothes without breaking the bank.”

Ms. Sain relies on volunteers to organize the merchandise.

In return, those volunteers get the benefit of shopping before other customers and consigners. Sixty volunteers helped organize for the fall sale.

To help streamline the process, consigners label and price all their items before bringing them to the shop.

“We want stain-free clothes, with no holes, in good condition. We don’t care about brands,” Ms. Sain said. “We inspect the clothes on the way in.”

Ms. Sain rents the 8,500-square-foot Warrenton Village Center space for about six weeks to run the sale, which requires a town zoning permit and a special event lease with the landlord. She also maintains a town business license and collects sale tax.

She chose Warrenton for its central location and abundance of retail space.

For about a year and a half, the shop operated in Culpeper but moved back to Warrenton this spring.

“You’re bringing life back to a dead area of a shopping center,” Ms. Sain said. “These stores have sat vacant for years. But when you bring in an event like this, when you have thousands of people coming to shop for two weeks, they don’t just come here; they go to the dollar store and Safeway. Other retailers benefit from having us in the center. That took awhile for the shopping centers to realize.”

In the future, Ms. Sain hopes to grow the number of consigners and franchise the business.

Barbara Cominsky, who lives near Opal, has shopped almost a decade for her grandchildren at Kids Haven. She started consigning about six years ago.

“It was lucrative, because we could sell their outgrown clothes and on the shopping day, we could upsize,” Ms. Cominsky said. “You can find Easter clothes, summer things in the spring. It’s all very appropriate for the season, and she has it set up so it’s easy to find everything.”
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BJ · August 15, 2017 at 4:58 am
Thank you Ms. Sain!! This used to be what people did within families and friends, then parents started letting their kids run the bank account, where second hand clothes weren't good enough. You are providing a great service and I am personally glad that you are doing this service, and making a living for your own family at the same time.
Rover 530 · August 14, 2017 at 7:20 pm
This is an amazing service. Kids may only get three wearings of a garment before moving on to the next size. Why not recycle gently used kid items at an affordable price so moms and grandmoms can keep their kids in clothing and toys. This business helps the people putting up their goods on consignment and Ms. Sain for putting it all together. Wish this business was here all year 'round.
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