Lake Barrington’s dueling consignment sales fill family needs
Ten-year-old twin sisters, Hannah and Julia Welsh, flip through the books for sale at their mother's seasonal consignment sale last weekend in Lake Barrington. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 12, 2012 11:06AM
BARRINGTON — Responding to the high prices for children’s clothes and sporting goods, Barrington residents Jenny Welsh and Tammy Kerr have started their own consignment companies to sell both sets of gear at discounted prices.
Welsh and Kerr explained that many parents are having difficulty keeping up with their children as they grow and develop new interests. So the consignment shop duo has stepped up, offering gently used but high-end sporting goods and children’s clothing.
“Many of us who have small children realize how quickly kids grow out of things,” said Welsh, who started Growing Cents of Style six years ago.
Last weekend, Welsh and Kerr held sales in Lake Barrington. Stationed across the street from each other, Welsh and Kerr reported selling thousands of items to area residents.
“I’m a mother of three children and we’re very active. We like to be outside,” said Kerr, who started Play on Sports Gear in 2011.
Kerr said she launched the consignment company because she was finding it difficult to keep up with her children’s hobbies, as they would change from year to year.
She quickly came to the realization that she was buying expensive equipment that would soon move to the garage. Quality sports equipment, she explained, typically holds its value.
“I’m a big proponent of resale and recycling,” said Kerr. “So that’s where the idea started.”
Welsh started Growing Cents of Style after collecting an overabundance of clothing that her children outgrew.
“People are looking at ways to cut back on expenses,” said Welsh, who sells clothing from newborn sizes to 16.
All clothing that’s brought in, she explained, goes through an inspection to make sure the items are in good condition.
“As long as they’re in good, salable condition, (customers) can walk away with a higher brand snowsuit for $20, and boots for maybe $8,” Welsh said.
The local consignment partnership began last year when Kerr approached Welsh about starting a joint consignment sale.
“We were both using the same software programs, and we wanted to market ourselves as a one-stop for the whole family,” said Welsh.
This year, Welsh said, she experienced a 35 percent increase in sales over last year. The two consignment groups also partner to support local charities.
“I really want people in the community to understand that this isn’t just about sports gear,” said Kerr, explaining that the partnership uses its sales to raise money for Barrington-based “Wishes for Scarlett” and Buffalo Grove-based “Hope for Bridget.” The two charities help two local families with ailing children.
“It’s a nice way to do something for the community,” Welsh said.
“In the cash-strapped world we live in, they can donate items and we can turn that into the cash needed to help these families,” she said.
Welsh reported that these type of consignment sales are becoming very popular in the south and are gaining popularity in the Midwest.
“I feel like we got in early in the game,” Welsh said. “We would like to continue our partnership. I think it’s worked really well for us.”