Flip, Little Bugs Offer Big Ideas in Bellingham
If you had told Elyse Brown three years ago that she would own two businesses by the time she was 23, she would have probably laughed. Now, she owns Flip and Little Bugs, two children and maternity consignment stores in Bellingham.
Owning two of the three maternity consignment shops in Bellingham keeps Brown busy. Hundreds of items cross her counters each day, but those numbers will grow when school season comes around. Unlike larger thrift establishments, Brown has limited space to store items before they’re put on sale, which means she must sell items nearly as fast as she gets them.
This is no easy task, especially in a building like the one where Flip is located. Sitting near the York district in Bellingham, Flip was converted from a large house, and the layout feels very homey (literally). Small rooms and an upstairs are separated by style, clothes type, age, and gender. Customers feel like they are walking through a cozy, organized rummage sale that offers anything a young family or kiddo may need.
Little Bugs is more traditionally laid out, with large circular racks full of colorful jackets, jeans, and pajamas dotting the wood floor. Blouses, t-shirts, tiny dresses, and shorts hang neatly on long rods that run the length of the lime-green wall. One of the more adorable features of both shops are the hundreds of tiny shoes (Baby Converse go for $3.99), lined on shelves nearly to the ceiling. Check out the Dog Jammies ($8.99) and Flower Blouse ($4.99).
Brown does all the pricing, organization, and management herself, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. Being in the store allows her to enjoy her favorite part of the business: her intimate relationship with her customers.
“My favorite part of this job is seeing families grow. I get to hear about babies one and two and see how excited mom is when she tells me number three is on the way,” she says.