Michelle Toctocan is back in the consignment business.
The former owner of Little Bugs recently opened Flip, which focuses on children's and maternity clothes. The 2,500-square-foot store is at 189 Telegraph Road, next to a men's and women's clothing consignment store called Restyle and near the Denny's restaurant.
Toctocan sold the Little Bugs business a few years ago and took some time to figure out her next step. She helped a few other local businesses get started before deciding to get back into business herself.
In restarting a consignment store business, Toctocan decided to do more in what she believes is an underserved market in Whatcom County: maternity apparel.
"When you are pregnant, the last person you want to spend money on is yourself," she said, noting that brand new maternity clothes can be expensive. "I thought this was an opportunity to get into this market."
One of the challenges is supply. Toctocan has had to travel to Seattle and beyond to stock her store with maternity clothes. Generally, people tend to pass along maternity clothes to relatives and don't realize the value they have in consignment stores.
"Maternity clothes have good re-sale value," she said, adding that it is a steady, year-round business.
It's currently the slow time of year for children's clothing, but that will change in August, when back-to-school shopping season starts. To get ready, Flip is currently accepting all types of children's clothes, no matter what the season.
Toctocan also has started a program to have contracts with children. It's a good way to encourage recycling at a young age and the importance of taking care of clothes. Plus, they get a chance to learn about handling money, she said.
The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For details about the store, visit flipbellingham.com or call 360-671-0954.
NEW BAKERY OPENING IN EVERSON
Jessica Hamerski and her sister, Stephanie Turner, are opening a bakery in Everson called Sugar Mama's.
The bakery is scheduled to open at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 5, at 102 Everson Road, right on the bend that turns into Main Street. They plan on giving out some free samples on opening day.
Hamerski has been working on wedding cakes for seven years, and she and Turner decided Everson needed a bakery. The closest bakery of this type, she said, is in Lynden.
Along with wedding and special occasion cakes, the bakery will have seasonal treats as well as a wide variety of cookies, muffins, cupcakes, truffles and cake doughnuts made from scratch. The bakery doesn't have much of a sit-down area, so they are expecting it to be a place people can quickly pick up items. They also will deliver big orders and special occasion cakes.
For further details about the bakery, visit sugarmamas.biz or call 360-927-8067.
-- After 11 years as a brick-and-mortar business, Fourth Corner Quilts announced last week it is closing its retail store at 1844 N. State St. A liquidation sale is now underway, with quilt material and accessories selling at 30 percent off. Owner Julia Menkee said the plan is to expand the online store, which is at fourthcornerquilts.com.
-- The Black Cat restaurant has applied for building permits to improve its kitchen area.
-- A building permit was filed to put in a restaurant called Burrito King in the Viking Plaza retail center at 505 32nd St.
-- Avenue Bread has applied for building permits to add 576 square feet of space to its baking facility at 2020 Humboldt St. ... A new electronic cigarette business called Master of Vapours has opened at 206 W. Magnolia St., in the former Port of Subs space.
-- The awards continue to roll in for local breweries. Kulshan Brewing Co. took home five medals at the Washington Brewers Festival earlier this month in Redmond. Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen won three medals while Wander Brewing and Menace Brewing each won two medals. The competition had more than 450 beers from 75 state breweries.