Children#039;s clothes get second chance

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Though most need a big reason to motivate themselves to start their own business, Suzi Blum's was very small.

Her children's consignment shop Baby Bloomers Boutique was opened mainly so Blum could have more time to spend with her now 2-year-old daughter, Delanie.

"When she was born I knew I wanted something fun, something that I could make money doing," Blum said. "But also somewhere that I could take her with me."

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Delanie continued to be Blum's muse, as the little girl even helped dictate what sort of business Blum would be involved in.

"After having a girl I thought 'Well, I buy her all these clothes, now what do I do with them?'" Blum said. "All my friends, we all had all these clothes and I thought it would be a good way to get rid of the old, and get new in."

Though her Ironton shop started with clothes from friends, Blum, now celebrating her one-year milestone, currently stocks hundreds of garments from all over the area.

Consignment is an especially effective way for Blum to distribute children's clothes, she said, because children rarely stay in any one garment for too long as they go through regular growth spurts.

She also chooses to sell via consignment as it allows her to offer brands that are not regularly represented in our region such as Gap Kids, and to discount 50 percent or more off the retail price. As a single mother of three, selling clothes at a discount was important to Blum.

"Everything's expensive these days," Blum said. "This way you can dress your kids cute without spending a fortune, and give them the things they like without taking out a loan to dress them."

That's not to say that Blum considers her merchandise second-rate, quite the opposite, she won't sell anything to her customers that she wouldn't put on her own children.

"You can get cute things, my little girl, most of her clothes are consignment, and you would never know it," Blum said. "They look like new because they're not in them but three months, at the most, the way they grow."

Though she's proud of her product, Blum is still attempting deal with problems with her location, namely, helping people to actually locate it. Her shop is nearly hidden in an alley between Fourth and Fifth streets and Park Avenue and Vernon Street with an official address of 412 Park Ave., Rear.

Those having trouble finding the shop on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays when it's open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or on Saturday when it's open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., can call (606) 615-3369 for a little guidance, or to set up an appointment to browse on a Tuesday, Thursday or evening.

Though it maybe difficult for customers to find the shop, Blum's most important browser has no problems finding the locale. In fact, the shop is a favorite playground for two-year old Delanie.

"She loves to come and play, she'll try on everything, mostly boys' clothes" Blum said, laughing. "She gets all the jerseys out and tries them on, she gets all the shoes down, she has fun."

The influence of Blum's family on the shop goes beyond her daughter.

In addition to running Baby Bloomers Boutique, Blum also works in cosmetics at Proffitt's, so the shop is often manned by her mother Carol Allyn, whose home next door to the shop provides a tree swing for customers' children, and a place for little Delanie to crash after a long day of trying on jerseys.