Business Person of The Month: Kim Gordon

Abigail's Best

Kim Gordon Owner, Manager

Abigail’s Best Children’s & Maternity Consignment
17221 Jefferson Hwy, Suite E
(a block south of Highland Rd)
Baton Rouge, LA 70817
(225) 448-3387 (phone)
(225) 448-2936 (fax)
Monday – Friday 10-5
Saturday 10-4

Abigail’s Best Children’s & Maternity Consignment is a business that sells gently used children’s clothing (boys & girls sizes 0-8), Maternity Apparel, baby equipment, books, toys, shoes and accessories. Kim Gordon, the store’s owner since 2011, has extensive experience in the retail clothing business. Kim’s assistant, Sharon, has been a big part of reestablishing the store’s business in the last year. Sharon has worked in consignment for over 11 years and has a good grasp for selecting and pricing items that are accepted for resale. Abigail’s Best does not buy used clothes for resale; all clothing, maternity and baby items are available on consignment at half the price of new items. Abigail’s Best also carries new handmade merchandise for sale on consignment. Abigail’s Best is a growing business with plans to expand into adjacent building space and begin carrying women’s/plus size clothing along with maternity plus size apparel.

Abigail’s Best accepts clothing, toys and baby equipment with store inventory approximately 33% in each category. Clothing includes both name brands and boutique brands. Items are taken on consignment for 60-90 days with day one beginning when the item is entered into the shop’s computer system. If the item does not sell within 90 days, the client may reclaim it. Items not reclaimed are donated to 12 baskets Ministries, a local charity. In most cases, clients usually donate the item if it does not sell. Monies owed to clients are given as store credit and may be spent on items in the shop or they may request a check.

StoreThe store’s decisions about accepting items brought in for consignment are based on condition. Worn, faded, or stained items are not accepted. Kim’s team determines the price for each item accepted for consignment and resale through internet research and then lists them for sale at 50% off retail. Some clothing items brought in for resale still have the original price tag attached, yet they are priced 50% less.

Baby equipment includes items such as infant swings, high-chairs, exersaucers, strollers, bouncers, carriers, etc. and often sells quickly. Abigail’s Best does not usually carry furniture due to lack of display space. Car seats are also not sold in the store as it is against state law in Louisiana to resell these. New car seats must be purchased and fitted for each child.

Toys accepted for consignment must have all their parts and be in working order. Adult and children’s books must be clean and free of all markings (i.e., crayon, drawings, etc.). Adult books include topics such as pregnancy, birth and infant/toddler care, prenatal care and nutrition. Books are also priced at 50% off retail. New items in the store, also on consignment, include handmade bows and hair accessories along with custom-made children’s jewelry and pillowcase dresses. Bows may be custom ordered by style, school and special event colors.

Abigail’s Best operates like any retail store with special promotions and sale events held monthly. Some events are themed to include holidays (i.e., Easter, Halloween costumes, Christmas), back to School (uniforms), LSU/Saints items, and fall extravaganza. Clearance sales are held seasonally to make room for new “next season” items. Kim maintains an email list of all consignees & customers and sends notices of upcoming events so they can clean out their closets and plan their shopping trips.

Acquiring Abigail’s Best was a natural progression for Kim, having spent the past 25 years in retail management of both women’s and children’s apparel. She has managed stores for Strasburg Children, Babies R Us, and Catherine’s. Kim received an Associate Degree in Business from Bryant and Stratton in Rochester, NY.

Kim’s advice to others starting a small business, or purchasing an existing one as she did, is to be prepared to devote a lot of time and money to make it happen. One of the challenges Kim has had to overcome with Abigail’s Best was reestablishing a reputable operation by getting word out about the store and its new management. She regularly advertises in Parents Magazine and on Facebook. Sales and special events are posted on their Facebook page and announcements are sent via email to her regular customers.

Kim looks to author Dave Ramsey for business advice and likes having access to libraries for new books. She believes the role of a small business is in building partnerships with other businesses and working together to ensure more successful small businesses in Baton Rouge.

Abigail’s Best is a nice, friendly place to shop and includes a play area for children. Kim will help you shop, watch your children while you shop, and even recommend other places to go if she does not have what you need. Kim feels that in any business, “Success is learning from your mistakes without losing your enthusiasm”.

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