Amy Wilczynski, a recent transplant from New Hampshire, is following a pipe dream of hers and opening an upscale children’s consignment boutique, bien-aimé, next door to Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel at 1000 W. Main St. – a pretty fitting location. A critical care nurse by trade, Amy was looking to make a change in her career, and for an opportunity to escape the harsh New England winters. Her husband had completed a fellowship at Duke, and in the few times that Amy visited, she fell in love with the renaissance atmosphere of downtown Durham.
“We started enjoying DPAC, we went to some Bulls games, we’ve eaten out down here and we just loved the whole vitality of this area,” Amy says. “We felt that maybe this was the right time to see if I could contribute to the growth and development of downtown, so we decided to pull the trigger and go for it.”
What sets bien-aimé apart from other consignment shops, Amy says, is that the boutique will specialize in upscale children’s merchandise; offer unique, locally crafted gifts to promote the local economy; and donate any unsold items to local charity.
“I love kids' clothing, and I buy my kids clothing more than I buy myself clothing,” Amy says. “But the retail prices on some of these [items] are crazy. I just think that, given the economy and circumstances, that consignment is no longer seen as this disdainful, second-hand thrift store image. It’s really becoming a popular business model, especially with the push for recycling.”
Amy is looking to open near the end of June, and is currently accepting consignments – no appointment necessary. Just drop by the shop between 10am and 4pm Monday through Friday with apparel, outerwear, sleep wear, swimwear, shoes, hats, hair accessories, backpacks or diaper bags for boys and girls sizes 0-10.