Business profile: Angelita Rivera

Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2003

Title and company: Owner, Mommy-N-Me Wear

Services: Mommy-N-Me sells previously owned maternity wear, baby and children's clothing and baby equipment. The items are sold on consignment, which means Rivera collects half of the price and gives the rest to the person who brought in the item.

More than 250 people have supplied clothing and equipment to the store since Rivera opened it in April 2002, and the store's inventory has gone from a scant four racks when it opened to "bursting at the seams" today, Rivera said.

The store is one of the few in town that sell maternity wear, making the specialty clothing one of the store's hottest items. Children's clothing sizes range from newborn to a youth's size 16. Rivera doesn't limit the clothes she sells to those that are season-appropriate, either.

"People that travel south, they're looking for shorts in the middle of January and they can't find them at Fred Meyer or Kmart," she said. "So I'll carry off-season items as well."

Baby equipment at the store includes car seats, play yards (the new name for playpens), high chairs, baby bottles and breast pumps.

"A lot of the infant car seats, they may be used for two to three months max," Rivera said. "A lot of the equipment is in excellent condition when it comes through."

Rivera generally prices items at half the retail price for new items.

"If it's in excellent condition, we'll go down 30 percent from retail costs, but most is about 50 percent," she said. Merchandise is allowed to stay at the store for no more than 75 days. After 60 days, the set price is reduced by 50 percent.

Clothes that don't sell in 75 days either are returned to the consignor, if requested, or donated to the Salvation Army, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, or local charity garage sales.

Biographical information: Rivera was born and raised in Juneau, and has spent two years in Los Angeles.

She spent the 11 years prior to opening the shop working as an administrative assistant for the state and at the admissions office at Bartlett Regional Hospital.

While traveling and living in the Lower 48, she visited many consignment stores, which gave her the idea of Mommy-N-Me.

"I love going to consignment shops down south," Rivera said. "You can get great deals on name brands for a fraction of the cost."

She has no formal business education, but learned about running a consignment shop from other owners, books and the Internet.

"Before I decided to open the doors, I spoke with Lisa (Ibias) at Alaska Dames," Rivera said. Alaska Dames is a consignment shop in the Airport Shopping Center. "She was real helpful, gave me pointers about the business and referred a few consignors to me."

Rivera learns more about the business on a daily basis, she said.

Family: Rivera lives in Juneau with her husband, Carlos, son Diego, 2, and daughter Monika, 6. Her mother, brother and sister also live in Juneau.

Quotable: "We always say we're helping families save, because there are significant savings in buying consignment," Rivera said. "Our motto here is, 'Why pay more - you have their future to plan for.' "

Contact information: Mommy-N-Me Wear is at 9104 Mendenhall Mall Road, across from Super Bear, 789-1811. The store is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Rivera also will open the store by appointment.

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