New downtown shop aims to ease cost of raising kids
by Deirdre Long
dlong@annistonstar.com
Feb 10, 2013 | 6678 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ashley Martin, left, and Abby Bass, in their new shop on Noble Street. (Photo by Deirdre Long/The Anniston Star)
Ashley Martin, left, and Abby Bass, in their new shop on Noble Street. (Photo by Deirdre Long/The Anniston Star)
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Raising a child is expensive. About $234,900 over the next 17 years, to be more specific, according to the USDA’s Expenditures on Children by Families annual report. But a new business in downtown Anniston aims to help to curb that cost.

Growing Trends, a children’s and maternity consignment shop located at 11 E. 10th St. next to Couch’s Jewelers, opened its doors Jan. 29. Owned by Abby Bass and her sister-in-law, Ashley Martin, the shop offers gently used clothing, toys and equipment for babies and children, as well as maternity clothes for women.

Martin, a former graphic designer for The Star, said she was inspired by a friend who runs a consignment shop in Chattanooga. “So it’s always been in the back of my mind,” she said. Martin fell in love with the feel of downtown Anniston last year while working on Mayor Vaughn Stewart’s campaign, which had its headquarters on Noble Street. “We’ve had a lot come in who were at the bank, or paying their water bill,” she said of their choice of location.

The shop has an open feel with brightly colored paintings, skylights and even a play area for children. Strollers, bouncers, train tracks, booster seats and all the other odds and ends that come with child-rearing line the walls. The clothes, ages infant to 12 years, are on racks with labels such as “Too Cute” for fancy smocked dresses and “Rough and Tumble” for play clothes, priced cheaper to account for missing buttons or light stains.

“I think that we’ve needed this in this town,” said customer and consignor Michelle Wallace, who was trading in some of her daughter’s old clothes for some in a bigger size. “They are doing it the right way, being selective of the clothes. It’s not a thrift store. And it’s not a kids’ boutique, per se. But it’s boutique-y.”

Wallace has consigned and shopped consignment in the past for the yearly markets that happen in this area, but says using the shop is much easier.

“I literally put it in a box and drop it on Abby,” she said.

“We’re open year-round,” added Bass. “You don’t have to wait until November” to shop or sell consignment, she said.

When someone signs on as a consignor, they get a percentage of the sales, and so does the business, Martin said. Items for sale in consignment shops are usually in better condition than items found in a thrift store, because Martin and Bass are picky about what items they will sell.

“Condition is the main thing. There are a lot of name brands, a lot with tags still on it” in the inventory, Martin said.

The store will celebrate its grand opening Saturday, Feb. 16 with refreshments, face paintings and a “We Love Mommy” gift-basket giveaway, which includes a robe, bath essentials and a gift certificate to Classic on Noble. The grand opening will be from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

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New downtown shop aims to ease cost of raising kids by Deirdre Long
dlong@annistonstar.com

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