That's Adorable EC

Kids Consignment You'll Adore!

Credit Cards……Foe or Friend?

Do you carry cash or your checkbook anymore?

Do you think about where the funds are coming from when you lay down that plastic card?

Find these signs at stores?

Find these signs at stores?

When I took over this small store in 2012, maybe 10 people asked to use a card in the first 10 months.  Now, it is a daily occurrence, just 3 years later.  The thing about using your debit or credit card, that I hadn’t even thought about until forced to consider it, is that there are fees for using them.  Those corporate giants, “Visa, Discover, American Express, Mastercard,” they don’t provide these services for free.  There are employees, advertising and overhead costs.  Generally, the merchant where you are shopping get charged the fees for YOU to choose to use your card.  It isn’t really a small amount either.

Well, perhaps it is small to big box retailers, to the small local shops like That’s Adorable it is a huge thing.  Over the past year, I’ve met with three credit reps and investigated three of those devices you plug into your phone like most craft booths use (Square, Intuit, Paypal).

For example:  With the Square Reader, I am charged 2.75% of my total sale to swipe your card and must have internet access to process it.  If your card has to be manually entered, the fee is 3.5% of the sale plus a $0.15 flat fee!  Those reps I told you I met with insist that these readers are not “secure” as well, that you take a chance in information being breached.  In October 2015, most are unaware that you now need a special “chip” reader that you have to purchase for the new cards being released.

For a small store like mine, that operates on consignment say you are purchasing a $2 shirt.  The consignor gets $0.50-$0.80.  The credit card gets $0.06 (or $0.22 if keyed in).  Leaving just $0.98 – $1.44 left to go to the store.  There is rent, phone and other operating costs to having a store front.  NO – I do not take a paycheck.

CHALLENGE:  My family and I are trying our best to use cash at the small local shops we will support this holiday season.  Please consider using cash or only using your card on larger purchases when at small local stores.  The owner will truly appreciate it.  Just think, your pocketbook may as well in the stormy winter months when you do not have those credit bills to pay.

Ipad - Credit Card Processing

Our mini-Ipad is ready, when the internet is connecting properly to accept cards. We ask that you consider cash instead though.

That’s Adorable is now able to accept credit cards.

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October…..the month of Halloween

Kevin's Juggling & Balloons does a unique window display every year!

Kevin’s Juggling & Balloons does a unique window display every year!

Does your family celebrate Halloween?

How about a Harvest Festival of some sort?

Do you let your kids dress-up?  Seek candy?  Attend community events?

How do you decide what to hand out to your neighborhood?  Do you participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project?

The month of October is full of fun fall activities including apple orchard visits, pumpkin patches and trick-or-treating.  In fact, Downtown Eau Claire offers a fun, safe environment for kids 12 and under to trick-or-treat.  This year it will be on Friday, October 30 from 3:00-5:00.

Businesses downtown will offer treats during those hours, That’s Adorable included.  I have organic suckers without all the food dyes and we participate in the teal pumpkin project for kids with allergies (yes, I have kids with allergies) and I will have some sort of non-candy item for those kids.  Plus, we have a Halloween story time offered at 1:30 that afternoon!

Stop by and visit, please be polite, wait your turn and smile!  We usually have 400-500 kids stop to see us on North Barstow.  Which is less than the 1000-2000 on South Barstow.

Oh and if you still need a costume…..don’t pay full retail.  We have plenty available for $1-$15 each!  Stop by soon for the best selection.

These hats are ADORABLE and made locally by Lavender's Green.

These hats are ADORABLE and made locally by Lavender’s Green.

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Surprise! Baby Bump #4!

Yes, the That’s Adorable family will be growing this year.

Surprise, yes we we’re surprised as well!  Baby Schwartz #4 will be making an appearance sometime in early November 2015.

I’ve started to look at my schedule realistically and eliminate extras.

  • Community booths that seem more work than benefit.
  • I’ve put off that Mother’s Day community baby shower I’ve been thinking about for years and had started to plan for this year.
  • I’m toying with closing the store in winter for a few weeks to a month while I have a newborn in my arms.  Or only being open on Friday/Saturday for a month.
  • I’ve announced retirement after more than five years of volunteering for La Leche League of Eau Claire assisting breastfeeding families.

Don’t worry, That’s Adorable is still here with all amazing consignors, gently-used second-hand children’s gear and local-made gifts.  We just may not have as much of a public appearance in the coming months while I struggle through those various pregnancy challenges that plague expecting moms.

Just think, as my third child enters school with her big siblings we will have another little one to greet you when you stop by the store.

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Respect and Kids.

One day I stepped away from the store and left my husband in charge for a short time.  It was a cold snowy day and I was needed for assisting at the kids school for an hour.

Customers did come in, but while I was gone, isn’t that the way it always goes!

The first thing I noticed when I arrived back were all the consignment toys across the floor.  Then WHAM, I see it.  I receive so many nice pictures and notes, left behind by kids that make me smile, but this time a new shopper to the store and my hubby didn’t notice that this child drew across my entire backroom door with a crayon.  Yep, it happened.  I sat reflecting on whether the mother didn’t notice or chose to ignore the mess and crayon and will never know.

I’m laid back about these things at the store and want you and your child to feel welcome, but I appreciate when you assist and remind your kids at age appropriate levels that this isn’t home and we need to pick up.  It is a RESPECT thing.

Being such a small store we spend LOTS of time picking up and trying to keep up with the new arrivals, marketing editing, event planning, rearranging displays, running sales and things like this take a chunk out of our day.

No worries though, I have Young Living Lemon Essential Oil which takes off things like this in a snap.  So my misfortune, will be your gain.  I have a selection of oils available down at the store and would love to answer your questions.  Plus, ask a question here on our blog or share our blog online and I will be giving away one bottle of Young Living Lemon Oil for the little mishaps in your home.  Enter by the last day of July!  Winner announced August 1, just in time for school.

Attached see some of the sweet messages kids (I do not know which ones) have left me and the one I would have rather not received, can you guess which is which?

We have these magnets and a whammer on the back door.  In mid-February I found this message from a kid, not sure which one.  Recently it changed to Happy St. Patricks Day.   Promise, I don't do these!

We have these magnets and a whammer on the back door. In mid-February I found this message from a kid, not sure which one. Recently it changed to Happy St. Patricks Day. Promise, I don’t do these!

Yes, we have a chalkboard fireplace.  I keep the chalk up in case little ones like to eat it, but I found this beauty and it is still there.

Yes, we have a chalkboard fireplace. I keep the chalk up in case little ones like to eat it, but I found this beauty.

After one of our Saturday classes, I found this on the back of our easel.  :)

After one of our Saturday classes, I found this on the back of our easel. 🙂

Yep, hard to see in the picture but this little gift was left for me at the store. :(

Yep, hard to see in the picture but this little gift was left for me at the store. 😦

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Stains and Kids!

I’ve long wanted to have a blog on stains, yet I rarely have time to test all those interesting strategies I see on Pinterest and other websites.  Due to my third child, who stains EVERYTHING, I’ve asked a local friend to be a guest blogger soon!

But while I wait for her to post, share with me!

(1)  What works on common kid stains?

(2)  What doesn’t work?

(3) Is there something you’ve heard works but never have had the chance to try?

(4) What is the WORST stain you’ve ever had to deal with?

Share your ideas while I finish this summer story time schedule, so I can post it for you. 😉

Ms. L stains every clothing item she wears, will she outgrow this after age 4?

Ms. L stains every clothing item she wears, will she outgrow this after age 4?

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Thrift Sale Season

Are you a "sale" sign follower?

Are you a “sale” sign follower?

I sit here and contemplate my Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the spring/summer.  My husband is a thrifter, in fact, he nearly gives us whiplash if he sees a sign all for the elusive item he didn’t know he thinks he needs for a good deal!

It seems that SO many forget that our little store exists this time of year.

Most of the thrift sales I have stopped at the last 1-2 years, the children’s items are priced at or above where I would price it at That’s Adorable.

That’s Adorable closes the Saturday of the East Hill 90+ thrift sales (May 16, 2015) because I never have any shoppers, yet I see these posts….

  • “ISO:  Boys 18 month+”
  • “Looking for little boys newborn through toddler, I never find any at thrift sales”
  • “Iso 9 month boy summer clothes”
  • “ISO cloth diapers ….. also 9/12 month girl stuff at 3/6, 6/12 month shoes”
  • “I’m looking for girl clothes, sizes 5 – 7. Anyone??”
  • “ISO: Girls clothes sizes 0-12months, 4-5T, and 14-16. Also any baby girl or gender neutral gear!:-)”
  • “Looking for board games. Anyone?”
  • “Iso: infant toys”

I have LOTS of these items in amazing condition from 150 local families!

Obviously, I cannot help you find that coffee table, mission style piece of antique furniture or Wii games but I can help you find great kids clothing, toys, books and locally-handcrafted gifts at reasonable prices.  Especially in those smaller sizes.

So good luck in your pursuit of the best deal, but don’t overspend because you feel it is your only used option!

Remember, to support your small local businesses, we rely on YOU!

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April Fool’s no….Egg Hunt!

The 6th Annual Grand Avenue Egg Hunt is happening on Saturday, April 4 promptly at 2:00!

No foolin…..

This downtown Egg Hunt began with a few business owners, That’s Adorable included, to thank and give back to their customers and consignors.  It has now grown to include 175 kids last year and a long list of downtown Eau Claire businesses!  The Easter bunny visits and you can snap photos.

All this fun takes place despite the Wisconsin weather at Freedom Park on the corner of 1st and Grand Avenue.

At 5 minutes until 2:00, the organizers, count the number of kids age 12 and under and then, guess what, divide that number by the amount of eggs we were able to stuff from the amazing downtown business donations and BAM – the # of eggs you can retrieve is announced.  Yes, I use the math I learned in school!

For this event to happen, we really rely on parents being fair and making sure their kids only take the amount of designated eggs, so that all kids get to participate.

Don’t grab your designated # of eggs too fast, we always have an elusive golden egg and one child will win an amazing Easter basket full of goodies.  We collect the eggs to recycle and provide you with a packet of flyers and coupons from the places that help make this happen!

Remember to shop small, shop local and support those little stores downtown if you want these types of things to still happen next year.

We had 175 kids in 2014, not counting all the grown-up types joining them!

We had 175 kids in 2014, not counting all the grown-up types joining them!

This family stopped by the 2014 egg hunt!

This family stopped by the 2014 egg hunt!

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3 Years and Counting!!

Let’s Celebrate!

On March 1, 2012 – – I became the new owner of That’s Adorable in downtown Eau Claire.

We have seen some tough challenges.

  • Why does no-one shop in January/February?
  • Furnace Issue for two entire winters!  Hey it even went out on Christmas Eve and 5 times in one day!
  • Birds in the furnace room, I’m sure the maintenance team thought I was nuts!

We have had some amazing experiences.

  • Store Remodel in February 2014!  Amazing and I will never be able to thank the crew that made that possible enough.
  • Downtown Booths, Parades & Egg Hunts – so much fun!
  • Story Time and the many guests we have had as readers over the last few years, I’ve met some amazing locals. Plus I shed a little tear as some of my kids move on to full-day school and only attend in the summer time. 😉

All I have to say is THANK YOU all!

Please continue to share, encourage and let me know your ideas for the store and we will see what the next 3 years will reveal.

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Blog…..And Creating Events!

I promised myself I would blog at least once per month in 2015…..Opps!  I guess I missed January already.

Well, although the store is usually very slow in January and February, I’ve been keeping busy offering Saturday morning classes or demos,  “Make the Rent” sales, plus looking forward to the Downtown Easter Egg Hunt and Summer Story Time guests!  It is also a busy time for filling up the performance schedule for Kevin’s Juggling & Balloons.  We’ve also had a TON of new toys, clothing and books arriving in the store each week.

Upcoming Classes/Events:

  • German fur Kinder – – Feb. 14 @ 10 a.m. – – Mrs. Patton, an amazing local German teacher will be teaching a lesson and making German Valentines with the kids.  This event is FREE!
  • Frosty Science for Kids – – Kevin, our resident mad-scientist, will be back with more exciting home science experiments on Feb. 21 at 10 a.m.  This event is FREE!
  • Folding Origami – – Feb. 28 @ 10 a.m. – – Kids Teaching Kids, join the Parkins siblings as they teach you the art of folding paper!  There will be 3 basic designs and 3 advanced designs – – a $1 fee to cover the cost of supplies.
  • DIY Juggling Balls — Kevin’s Juggling & Balloons will be leading this class for kids 7+ to make a set of your very own juggling balls!  Saturday, March 21 @ 10 a.m.  There is a $5 fee for supplies and advanced registration is preferred but not required.
  • 6th Annual Grand Avenue Easter Egg Hunt!  – – Saturday, April 4 promptly at 2:00 p.m. at Freedom Park, Children 12 and under with adult.  Visit the Easter Bunny, snap a picture and find the elusive golden egg to win a special downtown Easter Basket.

Story Time Special Guests:

  • Friday, February 20 @ 1:30 – Ms. Regina from Altoona Public Library
  • Friday, March 20 @ 1:30 – Ms. Jill from L.E.Phillips Public Library
  • Friday, April  10 @ 1:30 – Ms. Jane from Chippewa Valley Montessori


  • Friday, March 6 from 10:00-6:00 – First Friday Sale – 50% off Consignment Clothing (excludes new arrivals)
  • Tuesday, March 17 from 10:00-5:00 – St. Patricks Day – Wear Green and save 25% off consignment
  • Friday, April 3 from 10:00-6:00 – First Friday Sale – 50% off Consignment Clothing (excludes new arrivals)
  • Friday April 17 from 8:30-8:00 – $1 Sale, plus show your HWGA receipt and save 10% off regular priced consignment
  • Saturday April 18 from 9:00-5:00 – $1 Sale, plus show your HWGA receipt and save 10% off regular priced consignment
  • Sunday April 19 from 12:00-3:00 – $5 Bag Sale – see store for details

I’ve got a few surprises in store to launch on March 1 (can you believe it will be 3 years since I took over ownership?) so watch Facebook and hopefully here as well.

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Computer Challenges & Wish Lists!

So my goal was to post on the store blog, one or two times a month, just to get started.

I realized that I haven’t done anything on here since August, well, the reason is computer-related.  Needless to say a new laptop is at the top of the wish list for That’s Adorable this holiday season.

We often refer to this 15-year-old laptop, (which was a gift for free and allowed me to computerize things down here – for which I am grateful) as the Dinosaur.  It takes its own sweet time, constantly drops the internet connection, you must have it plugged in – replacement batteries aren’t worth the cost if this style is even still available.

I cannot even begin to describe my tears when I’m on putting together a collage for promotions or story time and it goes down and I have to recreate things many times a day.  (insert:  sobbing store owner)  -OR- that I can check someone out by hand before it actually opens my sales receipt page!

Well, all this got me to thinking about wish lists.   Kids have them for birthdays and holidays. As an adult, my wish list, has more turned into a bucket list with categories:  Things I would like to learn, Things I would like to do in my life, Things I would like to do with my family before the kids are grown.  Well this last year has me developing a NEW wish list – – one for the store!

That’s Adorable Wish List 2015

1.  New Laptop with reliable wireless internet!

2.  Security System with camera – hence the need for a laptop that can handle the feed as well!

3.  Folding Changing Table for the bathroom wall – – what Children’s Store doesn’t have a changing table?  This one, for now!

4.  Bathroom Remodel, well you have to make room for that new changing table!  I’m inspired to invite regular kid shoppers to paint their hand and leave their mark for the border in there.  Hmmm…..I’ll have to think about that some more.

5.  Positive word of mouth and online reviews posted by our customers

6.  A Happy and Healthy Holiday to all our past, present and future customers, consignors and friends.

Well, what is on your wish/bucket list?

Where shopping makes you declare, "That's Adorable!"

Where shopping makes you declare, “That’s Adorable!”

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