“We’re looking for nice items,” said owner David Mengel. “We want to have thrift shop prices with boutique quality.” Tummies to Tots takes clothes, toys, books, furniture and other items for children on consignment, sells them at low prices and returns a percentage of the transaction to the seller. This makes it easy for parents to recoup their losses from seldom-used items, and by selling items on consignment and using the store credit to buy the next size up, parents can save thousands of dollars.
Tummies to Tots originally focused on items for infants and kids up to 5, but recently widened its scope. “To Tweens” offers clothes, video games and sporting gear for kids 5 to 12, making it easy and affordable to keep active kids in style. Brand names such as Levi’s and Justice sell right alongside clothes for everyday use.
Since Mengel and his fiancée, Amanda Betorina, are expecting a baby boy this week and are are raising Amanda’s two children from a previous marriage, they’re acutely aware of the need for quality children’s items at low prices. Pants at Tummies to Tots sell for an average of $4-6, and shirts usually go at around $3-5.
“We try in theory to price it at 50 percent of retail,” said Mengel. The dollar rack of toddlers’ clothes has proven highly popular with parents, as has the wide selection of baby furniture, maternity clothes and even handmade bows, burp cloths and other items from local craftspeople. The store offers “everything, from the time you find out you’re pregnant, through middle school,” said Betorina.
The toys have proven enormously popular with young shoppers. “This is the best toy store in town,” said Mengel. “Everything is out of the box.” Children are encouraged to play with the toys while their parents shop, and the store also provides a room with a crib, glider chair and baby monitor for sleeping babies or nursing mothers. Wood floors, a clean setup, and Scentsy air fresheners make for a pleasant shopping experience for all members of the family.
The store’s convenient location, just a few doors from men’s and women’s consignment stores and a yogurt shop, has also made a significant impact. “It’s bringing in a lot of out of town traffic,” said Mengel.
“I love it,” said Jeannine, a mother who comes into the store on a regular basis. “Clothing for children right now is out-of-control expensive, so it’s nice.” As a sustainable, affordable and convenient way to sell outgrown items and buy newer ones, Tummies to Tots (to Tweens) generates enthusiasm among all ages.
Tummies to Tots, located at 3860 Balfour Road, Suite A in Brentwood, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call 925-513-6556 or visit www.tummiestototsconsignmentshop.com.