It’s not just a store where parents can buy gently-used children’s products, but they can also sell goods there as well.
Fairfield’s new “Once Upon a Child” store on Route 46 West opened at 10 a.m. Tuesday to a 65-deep line of parents who said they had been waiting with anticipation.
One of the customers was Stephanie Lyons of West Orange, who showed up with her two boys. She said she wanted to shop and then return to sell some clothes and toys.
“I've been to a lot of baby stores and this is by far my favorite,” Lyons said. “They are very organized and a lot of other stores don't have this many toys.”
The store, located at 137 Rt. 46 West in Fairfield, is co-owned by Verona resident Erin Schmidt and her mother Kim Schmidt. The family also owns the Funtime Junction play center and Dynamite Falls, a mini-golf course.
Though the public opening was Tuesday, store employees have been buying gently-used items from parents to stock the store. The 5,000-square-foot building was filled with children’s clothes, strollers, books, playhouses and even potties.
“We have more inventory for our opening day than any other stores in the franchise,” said Kim Schmidt. “There are about 450 stores in total.”
Janell McGowan of Pequannock arrived at 9 a.m. and was first in line.
“I'm looking for a stroller, a bookcase and some books for my soon-to-be son,” she said. She had previously sold some of her four-year-old daughter's old clothes and had also been anticipating the grand opening for weeks. “I definitely will be coming back to the store about once a week.”
Marilyn Arocho and Jackie Cumba of Belleville shopped for clothes, toys and books. “The store is nice, clean and organized,” Cumba said.
“We will come back often because of the quality of the clothes and how it is organized, it's similar to a department store,” Arocho said.
Fairfield Council President Joseph Cifelli attended the grand opening to cut the ceremonial ribbon and officially open the store.
“They are revitalizing the community and that's what it's all about,” Cifelli said about the business. “It’s a nice viable business, a clean business and its environmentally sound. It's great to have them here.”
The store opened at 10 a.m. and a staff of 27 handled a big rush the first 20 minutes, including the first purchase, a pink playhouse.
“We have a lot of very special items. We have a ton of merchandise, a wide range of brands, baby equipment and clothing,” Erin Schmidt said. “We feel good about the turnout, we are ready.”
Within the first half hour, the parking lot was filled to capacity and eager customers began parking on the grass.
“We are so ready, after buying for eight weeks our store is filled with wonderful things, our customers can't wait to get in and buy them and we are so ready to sell them,” Kim Schmidt said.
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