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Staying just as sweet up the street

by: CORY MIMMS - Christa Daniels sorts clothing at Little Sweet Peas' new location.Little Sweets Peas consignment and resale shop had its grand re-opening on Saturday, Jan. 4. The shop is now located next to the City Hall. Though the move wasn’t a great distance, it did come with some unique challenges, store owner Kim Montgomery said.

The biggest changes? More space and a new tracking system.

“We needed more space,” Montgomery said. The old location was around 1,300 square feet, she said. The new place is about 3,000.

“We had a lot of stuff in a small area,” Montgomery said. Now she has the space to increase her inventory.

Montgomery also switched from a paper system to a computer system for tracking inventory, which will make the store run more efficiently. “We’ve modernized it a little bit,” she said.

The new location needed some work, particularly the floor as at one point that storefront was used as a maintenance shop.

“The floor was a major challenge,” Montgomery said. However, a few coats of paint fixed it right up.

Montgomery also had storage spaces built, along with a changing room and a counter.

The new store is closer to more public parking as well, which Montgomery said will help her customers.

Most of the new space is already filled with inventory, much of it clothing and children’s equipment.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Montgomery said, adding that it was a hectic move but she is ironing out the final details.

As items come in, they go into three month consignment. After that, the items are marked down 50 percent and held for another 30 days. Most of the items that haven’t sold by then are donated to charity, Montgomery said.

In the old store location, the new items and the 50 percent items were all mixed on the same racks because there wasn’t enough floor space to divide them.

The new location has plenty of room to keep everything separate and organized

Helping in that effort are Christa Daniels and Justine Newhouse. Both Daniels and Newhouse are in their late teens and are students in the Work Experience Program at Molalla High School. Through that program, they have been working at Little Sweet Peas for about two years, said Judie Babcock, who is the vocational trainer for the Work Experience Program.

Babcock said her students were excited to get to work in the new location. “[The owners] do a good job working with them,” she said. “[The kids] love coming to Little Sweet Peas.”

Babcock said other kids from the program work in other Molalla businesses, like Blockbuster, Carquest, and Art’s Small Engine Repair.

“Wherever they want a student, that’s where we go,” Babcock said.

“I love having them here,” Montgomery said. “I try to be involved as much as I can. It’s a good way for me to give back. It’s a great program. It’s a win-win for everybody.”




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