TAMPA - Ryan Wigginton is on a mission to find clothes for two-year-old Jake before four-month-old Logan has had enough shopping.
With three kids all under the age of four, shopping isn't easy or cheap. Unless you shop like Ryan. “You find something you like at a department store and you're like, 'Do I want to pay that much?' Maybe you watch it if it goes on sale."
But at the bi-annual Just Between Friends consignment extravaganza, she bought a Gymboree shirt and short set for a bargain. “At Gymboree this would be $25 and the shorts would be $25. So a fifty dollar outfit cost $7.”
Just Between Friends was created in a living room in Tulsa, Oklahoma by the mother of two young kids and her friend. They hosted a sale and invited 17 of their friends to consign. Every year the event got bigger, until they made it a business and started selling franchises like one in Tampa.
Moms can shop here in Tampa, but they can also earn money as consignors by selling new and gently-used children's items their families have outgrown. Unlike most consignment stores, moms keep 70 percent of the money.
Christina Ruhlig of Just Between Friends says there are other differences, too. “We’re much larger. You won't find a consignment store that's 8000 square feet, which means we're able to accept in a lot more items. It’s also different because families are preparing the items themselves and pricing them themselves."
So has Ryan sold any of her stuff? “I haven’t yet because we just keep on having babies!”
But she does have some advice for other moms. “If you can get a babysitter, it’s much easier. Other than that, come early, come now. Don’t wait until the last day."
The Just Between Friends event is scheduled for Friday, March 4 from 9 am – 5 pm, and Saturday, March 5: 8 am- 5 pm. You can find the bargains at the Tampa Bay Baptist Conference Center, 15601 Lake Magdalene Boulevard, and learn more about it at www.jbfsale.com .