Children's boutique opens in Richland

There's a new place in the Tri-Cities to shop for children's clothes, gear and toys -- Stars & Tykes Boutique.

The store, which sells new and gently used merchandise, recently opened at 2665 Queensgate Drive, Richland.

The owners -- Amanda O'Keeffe and her mom, Julie O'Keeffe, and Sheila Barichello, all of Richland -- are drawing on their collective retail backgrounds and experience as moms to make the store a success. Julie O'Keeffe and Barichello have five children and five grandchildren. Amanda O'Keeffe has one child.

All three women have worked in retail stores for years, most recently for Lowe's and Home Depot.

"Regardless of what you're selling, retail is retail," Julie O'Keeffe said.

When Julie O'Keeffe was raising her children, the only options for recycling their outgrown -- but still usable -- clothing was to find someone with a younger child or donate them to the Goodwill, she said.

"It's still a good option, but we're offering to buy their clothing, toys and other gear for cash or a 20 percent in-store credit," Julie O'Keeffe said. "The recycling aspect is really important to us."

The three women also feel strongly about giving back to their community, especially those who serve the public.

"Each day, regardless of any other sales we're running, we offer a 5 percent discount to military personnel (current or retired), police officers, firefighters and teachers," Amanda O'Keeffe said.

The store carries about 40 percent new merchandise, ranging from sippy cups to hair bows to books and toys. The rest of the stock is a mix of clothing, from newborn to size 10, and all the gear necessary to raise a child, including cribs, strollers and car seats.

"Often, a child outgrows their clothes long before they've had a chance to wear them very often," Amanda O'Keefe said. "And even in newborns there's a big size range between babies, so sometimes moms end up with brand-new clothing that just doesn't fit their child."

The store accepts gently used maternity clothing in all sizes. They also display and sell original wall art and clothing and accessories made by Tri-City artist Rita Austin of Artfully Yours.

"We carry a lot of boutique, one-of-a-kind, items," Amanda O'Keeffe said.

The stock is constantly changing, depending on what people bring in. For guidelines, go to www.starsandtykes.com or search for Stars & Tykes Boutique on Facebook. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Their hours for buying are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Phone: 371-1193.

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-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513