Open six months, the consignment boutique builds client base
“I’m really careful about pricing, and really careful about product,” said Tammy Newman, owner of Gumballs & Overalls, a children’s store consignment boutique located at 120 Courtland in downtown Rockford.
Newman opened the doors of her business six months ago, and said that business has been good. The boutique offers new or like-new items and is 100-percent consignment. Only name brand clothing is accepted and Newman said people often have to ask if the store is a resell boutique because the quality is so high. “That’s a pretty good compliment,” she laughed. Eighty percent of what she sells is new, but offering like-new at 30-percent of retail cost is an option that many parents appreciate.
With a former career in accounting, Newman used her business knowledge and ingenuity in planning the success of her store. Selling on a consignment basis is smart, and is also a value to her clients, who can bring in like-new children’s items as their young ones outgrow their clothes or accessories.
The Rockford resident said she decided to take the plunge of self-employment after much research. She wanted to work closer to home and loves the downtown shopping district. “Atmosphere is huge,” she said. “I love leaving the doors open in the summer and love the music playing in the street.”
Atmosphere is huge in the boutique as well. Custom-build cabinets, beautiful lighting and a painted tin ceiling grace the interior. Many of the qualities of the historic building were saved when it was remodeled from its former life housing the American Legion for many years.
Newman believes shoppers are more often finding ways to be green and reselling like-new clothing is a good example. Those who bring in name brand items can chose either to receive 40 percent of the sale price in cash or take an in-store credit and split the sale price 50-50 with Gumballs & Overalls.
More than just a children’s clothing store—the only one in downtown Rockford—Gumballs also offers maternity clothes, gifts, accessories, baby equipment, furniture and handcrafted gifts, accessories, and custom pottery keepsakes. They are also the only location in the area to sell an extensive line of cloth diapers and accessories. They offer baby sign classes and diaper classes. The store is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointment is needed for consignment drop-off.
“I always have some sort of sale going, and I carry a lot of gifts,” Newman remarked about the store’s success. She said more people are coming up Courtland from the “Squires Street Square.”
“The restaurants helped, the War Chest has helped,” she said. Newman also offered another reason for her customers to come in. On Thursday, February 11, she had a repeat visit from photographer Dusty Brown, who created an in-store studio for children’s portraits. She plans on having him return periodically as an easy way for parents to keep up on family pictures.
Brown, who got right down on the ground to pose his young subjects, said there is no secret to taking good children’s pictures. “You can’t be an adult,” he said. “You have to be goofy with them.”
Gumballs & Overalls is a store with a promise: “Although we can’t guarantee we will have exactly what you are looking for on any given day, we can guarantee that you will experience brand name, quality, like-new, in-style items for your children at a fraction of the cost of retail.”
Stop by and discover the savings for youself or visit online at gumballs andoveralls.com. The gumballs are free.