The market research involved in establishing a new business can be daunting. Not so for Kentlands residents and recent entrepreneurs Diane Strodel and Valerie Dugan. With four kids between them, the duo had to look no further than their own homes to glean insight into their target market.
“It was frustrating to try and find really nice secondhand clothes for kids or a place that would take all of the great things that our kids have outgrown,” said Strodel. “In this area, we really don’t have an upscale consignment shop for kids.”
The pair hopes to fill that niche with Green Jeans New and Recycled Children’s Boutique, which opened on June 5. The store, located at 375A Main Street, will focus on quality used clothing and select new items including unique gifts and clothes.
“I have had this idea in the back of my mind for a long time,” said Dugan. “We all have special occasion clothes that our kids have worn once or twice, and we have no way to buy and sell them. We want to be a one-stop shop for one-of-a-kind clothes and gifts. We will offer gift wrap service for people running in to find a last-minute present.”
The store is not a true consignment in that items are bought outright and then resold. This means consignors do not have to wait for their payment.
“It is easier for us to track from an accounting standpoint if we structure it this way,” said Strodel.
Because of the structure, Green Jeans will be judicious in the items it accepts for sale. Despite this, the inventory for the opening is robust.
“The response from the community has been overwhelming,” says Dugan.
Strodel added, “We have heard from so many people who want to know when we are going to open. It is exciting.”
Both Dugan and Strodel stress that they very much want to be a part of the community. “We live in the Kentlands and we are working here so we can be close to our kids and be a part of everything that goes on in the neighborhood,” said Strodel.
Although the local community will be integral to the business, the women hope word will spread beyond Kentlands.
“Our goal is to attract shoppers from all over Montgomery County and to show them not only our store, but [also] what Kentlands has to offer,” said Strodel.
Green Jeans will hold a grand opening celebration on June 9 with a lemonade stand, cookies, a Stella & Dot trunk show, raffles, and two young, local artists who will be selling jewelry and artwork.
Store hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 12 – 5 p.m. on Sundays.