Jennifer Kern had just returned from maternity leave when she received some disappointing news -- a permanent layoff.
As a mother of two, she saved money where she could. One of her cost-saving methods was selling items her children had outgrown.
Two years later she turned that frugal choice into a business, opening The Little Green Owl at 2500 Carlisle Road in West Manchester Township.
The consignment store opened in July and sells a mix of new and used items: children's clothing in sizes 0 to 16, maternity wear, baby gear, accessories, handbags, jewelry and more.
"It's been awesome," she said.
It's also been a family effort.
Family helped her fund the startup costs, and her 7-year-old daughter helped pick the name.
"They were all words we liked," Kern said. "The green is for recycling and reuse, the little is for children, and owl is because we both like owls."
After she found the name, she searched for a cool space and discovered it in an old grist mill built in the 1850s.
"I love the remnants that are still here, the stone and wood," Kern said.
Consignments: Just as the old building has been reused, so have the items inside.
Sellers drop off what they can't use anymore and receive 50 percent of what is paid once a customer buys the item.
"Toys go as quickly as I get them," she said.
Also selling fast at The Little Green Owl are winter coats and Halloween costumes, Kern said.
"The store has been really busy. Business is off to a great start," she said.
To start the business, she did a lot of research online and relied on her own personal experience of consigning for six years.
Kern browsed websites to find used racks and shelves to store the items sold at The Little Green Owl.
"It fit with our whole theme of reuse. I bought used equipment from other local stores to start mine," she said.
The Little Green Owl is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
For more information, call 885-0308.
-- Reach Candy Woodall at firstname.lastname@example.org.