Caroline's Children's Consignment Boutique

1917 North Grant, Little Rock, AR 72207
501.614.9294 | Directions & Map

Welcome to Caroline's !

MaryMary Adkins shopped consignment stores for 14 years before she opened her own. “I would always shop at them for my children locally and when we traveled,” said Adkins, owner of Caroline’s Consignment in the Heights. “I would always ask questions to store owners on how it all worked. In September of 2005 I just woke up in the middle of the night and got on the computer and typed in how to open a consignment store. I bought a 25-page manual for $29.95. It came in the mail, and I still go back and look at it sometimes after 10 years in the business.”

She sent about 400 letters to everyone she knew, letting them know of her plans, and for several months she picked up clothing, took it home and washed it and had her mother help her iron it.

“I bought a couple of racks and put them in my guest bedroom,” she said. “A month later, I bought my software, it cost $600. I started to input my inventory into the computer. On January 17, 2006, I opened Caroline’s at 5915 H Street with about 800 square feet. I opened it on my daughter’s 12th birthday for whom the store is named after, Caroline.”

She’s made many new friends in her business, dealing mostly with mothers and their babies. “I have literally watched the children grow up,” she said.

“Several have even outgrown me, but that’s what’s so great about having a children’s store. There are always going to be new customers.”

Adkins’ own daughter has outgrown the items sold in her namesake store. She works in the store, though, often bringing her son, 8-month-old Easton.

Adkins has had about 3,000 consignors through her business, with whom she splits commissions 50/50. She holds items for 60 days, after which they are replaced with fresh inventory; consignors can pick up their unsold items or request that they be donated.

She’s closed on Sunday and Monday and open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Tuesday and Wednesday are very big drop-off days — I average six to eight drop-offs daily,” she said. Consignors may drop off up to 40 cleaned and folded items at a time. “Sales remain steady throughout the week,” she added. “My busiest months are when we transition to a new season. My business has grown steadily every year.”

She tells others who want to open stores to start small and go against the stereotypes.

“Start with low rent and build up. Consignment stores have a stigma of being dirty and smelling bad. My biggest goal when I started this business was to have very clean, high-end clothing,” she said. “I don’t like to dig at stores, and I don’t want my customers to, either. My daughter and I put out over 150 items daily. I also tell people I have wonderful software and keep plenty of post-it notes. Organization is also the key to a successful business. And, last but not least, I never forget a face and name. I always try to call each of my customers/consignors by name when they walk through the door.”