Profitable business up for sale

Gumballs and Overalls owner moving away

Now that her children are grown and off to college, Gumballs and Overalls owner Tammy Newman believes it is time for her to make a life change as well. The one-year-old business located at 120 Courtland is up for sale as the newly-engaged Newman makes arrangements to leave Rockford for a new home. It’s time, she said. “I love my business so much I would literally live here,” she said. “That’s not good.” She hopes someone, perhaps a person who has lost their job, will find the business their new life’s calling and a way to make a good livelihood.

Sweet Peas are one of many locally crafted items that sell new at the store.

Newman said if she doesn’t “take the plunge” into her new life, she will be too attached to her store, this town and her customers to give it up. The unique children’s clothes consignment shop stands apart from other resale because it is an upscale, boutique store with only brand-name, gently used and new quality and hand-made items. “I have 50-60 vendors who are little mom and pops trying to sell locally,” Newman  noted. She pointed out one of the store’s very popular items—Sweet Peapods, little baby garments and hats that make great gifts. They are knitted locally by Jennifer McCoy, one of the vendors that have been with Newman the whole year.

In addition to clothing, she sells many products that parents need—blankets,  bibs, nursing covers, tutus, toys, balls, ring slings (baby carriers), an extensive line of cloth diapers and more.

Tammy Newman at the register in her downtown Rockford store, Gumballs and Overalls. The trademark gumballs are always free.

Newman said her store, opened a year ago on July 12, 2009, is doing well. Timing is right with the green movement and resale being so hot now. She has 1,600 square feet and could double the size and make good use of it, she said. A play area in the back allows parents to shop while children play. Currently she is clearancing out sizes 10 and up because it is the smaller sizes, 8 and down, that move quickly. Find 60 percent off those larger sizes until they are gone.

The success of the store may lie in a good concept with a smart business model. As consignment, Newman doesn’t pay for product unless it sells. With 20 years in accounting, she is careful about the bottom line, allowing the store to prosper although a new business. The locations previous own was Wiggles and Giggles, and before that the building was the local American Legion post. At one time the town newspaper, The Rockford Register, was located in the building.

“I’ll miss the downtown,” Newman said. She said she loves running into people she knows and appreciates the friendly atmosphere between merchants in downtown. She also plans to open another store like Gumballs in her new location because boutique resale is such a great idea and has done well here in Rockford.

To find out more about Gumballs and Overalls, email Newman at or visit the store in person or online at

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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.