LUMBERTON — April Pittman and Tara King aren’t interested in the skeletons in your closet, but they might be able to get you a few bones for the clothes.
On Saturday, the two will launch the first in a planned series of biannual consignment sales at the Southeastern Agriculture Events Center in Lumberton.
“It’s truly a community activity that will involve working together to make successful,” Pittman said. “We knew that a new business would be a struggle in Robeson County, but we started this because we love consignment sales.”
The women caught the consignment bug four years ago as pregnant educators at Gray’s Creek High School, where they both teach agriculture and lead the campus FFA. A native of Lumberton, Pittman was looking for an affordable way to stock up on baby clothes with King, who lives in St. Pauls.
“We both started when our children were born,” she said. “It’s great for mothers because you can easily cloth all your children.”
Shopping for secondhand garb soon became a regular activity for the teachers.
“It’s fun to go with your friend; it can be competitive, too,” Pittman said. “Sometimes you go, ‘oh, she beat me to that good deal!’”
Eventually, the two figured they’d seen enough consignment sales to know how it’s done.
“We think differently, which makes us a better team,” King said. “April and I have worked together for so long that we know what each other’s strengths are.”
King described Pittman as the more analytical, logistics-orientated member of the duo. Pittman says King is the abstract thinker. Effective as they might be as a team, King knows it takes more than two to tango in the world of consignment.
“We can’t grow without the community helping us,” she said. “That’s literally part of the business model.”
People have until Tuesday to register their clothing and housewares for consignment. Items will be divvied up into four categories, including Bridal, Formal, Home and Youth.
Consignors will receive 66 percent of what their garments earn — a competitive rate, according to Pittman.
“At a traditional consignment store, you would only get around 40 percent,” she said. “The reason we can allow 66 percent is because we don’t have the overhead of a permanent building.”
After the sale ends, consignors will have the option to donate any unsold items to charity. For every customer who mentions that they were referred by participating schools, churches and outreach facilities across Robeson County, Pittman and King will donate a dollar to the place that referred them.
“It’s a great way for us to help the homeless and the needy in Robeson County,” Pittman said.
King has reasonable expectations for the inaugural sale.
“For me, the best case scenario would be that this place is full of a variety of items and that people come to check us out and have a good experience,” she said. “To hear someone leave excited and say they’re coming back, that’s what I’m hoping will happen.”
Finders Keepers Consignment Sale will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information, visit finderskeepersconsign.com
Jaymie Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5771 or on Twitter @Jaymie_Baxley.