By Drake the Dog
Reader Pet Columnist
Where am I taking my humans today?
I’m being a good boy, sitting on the floor of the bedroom watching the Missus and Mister clean out their closets. They throw things up in the air (for a reason, I’m sure), and I fetch.
Funny, they never say “bring it,” which always results in a treat. This game continues for about an hour until all the garments are hung and sorted neatly on a rolling rack. The two of them look at each other with wrinkled brows, as they try on some items. Some stuff gets washed, and we take other treasures to the cleaners.
A few days later, the car is carefully loaded with an assortment of outfits, covered in plastic bags. The Missus tells me that this process will keep my magical fibers from sticking to the garments. We’re off to visit a dog mom, who owns a dog-friendly business, that is STILL open in a new location—Once Again Consignment Shop, 105 Vermeer Drive, Ste. 3 in Ponderay.
The Missus and owner Jill Stuart (wonderful dog mom to Taffy and Murphy), greet each other like old school chums. They haven’t seen each other since her visit to the “old location” three years ago (I guess humans wait, wait, and wait to shed their winter coats too!). Jill helps the Missus unload the car, drooling at her new stock.
Once Again Consignment, founded 22 years ago, is the oldest consignment store in Sandpoint. Jill moved from Minnesota to North Idaho with her husband Ralph, and two young daughters who loved designer clothes, like $100 hoodies and $200 jeans. Sounds like filet mignon taste on a hamburger budget to me!
The fix … Jill would take them shopping for vintage and designer duds at the original Once Again. While on a road trip to Iowa, Jill got wind that the owner of the shop was looking for a buyer. She secured the financial arrangements on the trip and told her hubby she was bringing home a souvenir — the keys to the Once Again Consignment Shop!
Ralph has supported the journey from day one. Jill took over the 700 square foot Pioneer Square location of Once Again in August 2006. Folks cleaned out their closets and Once Again prospered. Three years ago a bigger dog-friendly closet was needed, hence the move to Ponderay.
The location brought a new look and new quality consignment departments: menswear, fine and Native American jewelry, shoes, handbags and a size range from juniors to 5x. Then there’s the brands: Kuhl, Christine Alexander, Tribal, BCBG, Miz Moos, Silver Jeans, Birkenstock, Dansko and Lulu Lemon!
As I’m sitting on the floor of the shop, paws crossed, tilting my head, listening to the Missus and Jill jibber-jabbering about dogs and fashion, a few stylish gals came in and squealed, “Oh my gosh… you’ve got to have that!” And then the party began.
I parked myself by the full-length mirror giving them four paws up as they modeled outfits. Then Jill got busy, showing “capsule dressing” techniques. She’s the master of knowing her customer’s budget and personalizing the shopping experience to create good quality fashion statements.
Once Again, winter is coming. When the termination dust appears, so do the sporting brands — Spyder, Mountain Hardware, North Face and Patagonia. Bring on the parkas, boots, snow pants, hats and scarves! And for those of you escaping winter to a tropical paradise (ruff life), Jill keeps a good quality selection of summer apparel year round. Barkin’ good idea!
Leash up your dog, grab your fellow shopper, make time for the hunt, sniff out treasures, and lap up the savings at Once Again. Fetch your clean, wrinkle free, gently used, name brand garments and put them on hangers (no discount store brands please). Customers get 40 percent of the selling price. And, there is a color-coded sale every week! Unlike her fashionista icon, Carrie Bradshaw, The Missus does not like to “see her money hanging in the closet.” Our trips to Once Again will happen again, again and again!
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