POCATELLO — Andrea Binggeli saw a need for a children’s consignment store in the Gate City, and she decided to take the plunge and be the one to fill that gap.
Poky Kids is a resale store for quality clothes, shoes, baby gear, books and educational toys. They also feature some new items if they’re cute and stand out to Binggeli.
The shop, which is located inside Station Square at 200 S. Main St. in Old Town Pocatello, is now open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. A ribbon cutting, sponsored by the Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce, will be held at 5:15 p.m. Friday at the store.
“I just realized Pocatello really needed a place for people to swap out their kids clothes,” Binggeli said. “I’m really into reusing and recycling and I was shocked by how much stuff I acquired and I just have one child, and I’m like, ‘This is loads of stuff.’ I’m also shocked by how much it costs when you buy everything new. It’s insane.”
Binggeli graduated from Idaho State University with a degree in business management, but for many years, she didn’t use the degree, instead teaching elementary school and various other things.
After she had her daughter, Binggeli kept expecting for someone to open a kids’ consignment store in town, but when no one did, she decided to take it upon herself to bring one to Pocatello.
“I was just waiting for someone to open this store because I really thought Pocatello needed it and nobody did, and I just decided, ‘I’m a smart gal. I can do this,’” Binggeli said. “It’s scary. It’s really crazy. I don’t come from a lot of money. I don’t have investors or anything like that.
Before she opened her independent shop, Binggeli looked into opening a franchise but discovered that the fees to do so were too exorbitant.
“So I just got to do it independently and hope for the best,” she said.
Binggeli looked into several different storefronts and had almost given up when she posted in the Think B.I.G. Facebook group, a local organization that promotes brainstorming and connecting local businesses with the right resources. People in that group pointed her to the spot in Station Square, which Pocatello Running Co. was in the process of vacating from.
“This was kind of my last ditch. I tried a couple of different spots to get in, and it’s just a headache, or they just weren’t right,” Binggeli said.
She was specifically looking for a location with a decent amount of foot traffic that was also close to a coffee shop. She’d like her business to be a place that moms visit after getting their morning coffee.
Binggeli found the perfect place in the Station Square location, which is right on Main Street and also has a coffee shop in the same building. Crafted: A Beverage Co., which serves coffee and will soon serve beer, also opened there at about the same time.
“Conceptually, I just really want it to be a hub for moms, for families (to meet) down here to have a coffee date and come shopping,” she said. “It’s a social piece, and that’s really super important for moms, especially stay-at-home moms to have a social outlet, and I don’t feel like there’s a lot of that here in Pocatello. I hope that they like to come in and chat and have a little face-to-face time because I know they can eBay and they can Amazon their kids’ clothes, but it lacks the richness of a face-to-face interaction. So that’s what I’m hoping to provide.”
Binggeli also wanted a smaller space in which she could display her items without it feeling crowded.
“I wanted kind of a cozy spot also just to not acquire too much stuff. Like the racks upon racks upon racks is not the feel that I wanted,” she said. “The ‘we’re going to stop in and see what’s new this time’ is the feel that I wanted. So the revolving inventory and the fun finds.”
For Binggeli, it’s also important for her business to have a minimal environmental footprint. Fast fashion is one of the primary contributors to climate change.
“We’re trying to have a super green environmentally friendly approach, obviously with the recycling of clothes instead of buying new. But even down to I’m not using plastic bags,” she said. “It’s only paper bags, which are much more expensive.”
Binggeli said the Small Business Development Center has been an excellent resource for her as she’s starting up her business.
Although Poky Kids has only been open since the beginning of August, Binggeli said she already has an overwhelming amount of people looking to her to sell their clothes. When she was getting her initial inventory, Binggeli said she had to be less picky about the types of clothes she took in. Now, she can afford to be a little pickier.
Every week on Facebook now, she posts a list of the items she’s looking for and only exchanges items for store credit, instead of giving cash as she did in the beginning.
“To acquire the inventory, I had to be a little less picky just to start up,” Binggeli said. “Moving forward, I will be even more picky. We’re looking for high-quality, durable brands.”
In the future, Binggeli would like to expand her hours, but she said she would likely need an employee for that, and the business isn’t to that point after only a few weeks of being open. Besides, with a business that caters to moms and kids, those hours work a little better than if Poky Kids was a different kind of Old Town Business.
“I call them the ‘momma shopping hours,’ while the kiddos are at school,” Binggeli said.
Being in the heart of Old Town Pocatello was super important to Binggeli, who said, “Old Town has character, it’s like the bones of the city, and that’s where I think people should be putting their positive energy.”
Poky Kids can be found online on Facebook at Poky Kids, on Instagram @pokykidsresale and at pokykidsresale.com.