Shopping + Services
They say it takes a village to raise kids. But we (and you) know that it also takes gear — a lot of gear! Not to mention a supporting staff. From baby strollers and teeny tiny onesies to affordable hair salons and soccer cleats that won’t break the bank (even as those feet keep growing exponentially), we’ve gathered your votes for best stores and services that support your families. Read on for the places that offer the quality, customer service and selection that parents want.
2015 Shopping + Services — Winners + Finalists
Kids’ Clothing + Consignment Shops
WINNER: Perfectly Outgrown Consignment Sale
The votes were resoundingly in favor of the Perfectly Outgrown Consignment Sale, a semiannual community sale held at central locations, such as the Seattle Center Pavilion, and designed to turn your clutter into cash (and new clothes!). The event features a selection of maternity wear, baby items, kids’ clothes and furniture, and toys, and parents can both shop and become consignors. “The staff was incredibly helpful and the organization superb,” one mom raves.
With the tagline “Shop. Sell. Save. Smart!” this event has a direct line to parents’ priorities when it comes to outfitting kids affordably. The Just Between Friends sales around the region offer deals, shopping without having to sign up and great community connections for green-minded parents.“
Great deals and awesome stuff” are the draw at the seasonal Jack & Jill Consignment Sale held at the Lynnwood Convention Center. Featuring an extensive selection of stylish designer kids’ clothing, toys, furnishings and more, this popular sale is noted by a reader as “the largest and best; always great stuff and lots of new things, too.”
Not just the stuff of Macklemore songs, Goodwill is a regional institution for savvy families in the know. One local mom reports snagging nearly new Ugg boots for her happy 7-year-old for $10 just before the first day of school. It’s hard to believe the deals, or that you’d ever really pay full price somewhere else!
Love great deals on children’s gear and maternity wear? That’s exactly what you’ll find at Hopscotch Consignment Boutique. Carrying a wide range of brand-name kids’ apparel, toys and equipment (strollers, high chairs, baby seats and more), this Bellevue shop also stocks fashionable maternity wear for trendsetting mamas-to-be. Readers rave about this “awesome store” for its “great selection and service,” “well-organized” selection and “reasonable prices.”
One parent calls Small Threads for Kids "a hidden treasure," and many of you agree. This Issaquah shop helps you find affordable clothes with lots of life left, and offers maternity clothing, toys, furniture and baby gear and equipment, too!
WINNER: Top Ten Toys
A regular Seattle-area favorite, Top Ten Toys (multiple locations) features a large selection of classic, hands-on playthings that promote creativity and imagination. Hailed by one voter as “the best toy store in the world,” this locally owned, battery-free institution also offers a “play area,” great party favors and “cool, helpful staff members who are very patient with kiddos messing up the store.”
Snapdoodle Toys is considered a magical place by devotees (it’s known to locals as Snappy’s, and the Kenmore location offers free lattes to shoppers — we swear it’s true). With “quality products” that inspire creativity in a “kid-friendly environment,” this funky shop (there’s a Redmond location, too) also features space for birthday parties and regular kids’ art classes.
Hopscotch Consignment Boutique in Bellevue again racks up the votes this year for its robust toy selection. Providing a well-organized variety of secondhand playthings for babies and kids, this shop is a hit with local families for its low prices and range of toys and gifts.
On the hunt for unique, educational playthings? Look no farther than White Horse Toys! Located in Issaquah, this celebrated shop provides “an amazing selection” of creative, classic and quirky toys for all ages in a laid-back atmosphere. Parents love the homegrown vibe and note that the staff is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful.
WINNER: Bella and Max
There’s nothing a parent wouldn’t do for a smooth haircut experience! It’s not hard here: Kids and parents alike give Bella and Max two big thumbs up when it comes to providing great cuts at affordable prices, with a little entertainment thrown into the mix, too. After your child chooses the perfect toy car to sit in, he gets to pop in a feature flick to peruse while getting a stylish new ’do. Voters love the “easy scheduling online” and that the salon staff makes every child comfortable.
The Salon at Kid’s Club in Seattle’s University Village is “kid-friendly, quick, with a train table and playground to get the wiggles out first,” says one voter. Staff is friendly and always tops off your kid’s haircut with a fancy style (gel, braids, sparkles), if your child wants it.
Situated in a popular Bellevue kids’ toy store, Crossroads Kids Salon is truly a one-stop shop for local families. Featuring whimsical car and plane chairs for kids, this contemporary outpost garners raves from parents for its convenience and friendliness, and for online appointment booking.
With multiple salons, Great Clips makes it easy for busy parents to fit in some fast grooming at an affordable price. “As great a job as a more expensive salon,” raves one happy dad.
L'il CLippers (and its teen clip shop, the Edge) have been serving families in Wallingford since, it seems, forever. Parent report on the "friendly, talented stylists" and the calm environment that puts kids at ease and earns mom and dad's trust.
Brat Pack Salon in Redmond is a clip shop and so much more. Offering haircuts, spa parties and piercing, the family salon earns rave reviews — "we were so impressed with the way they engaged with our daughter and helped her feel comfortable," one mom enthuses.
⇐ Toy Stores | ⇑ Shopping + Services | Baby Boutiques ⇒
WINNER: Simple Cloth
It makes perfect sense that in such an environmentally conscious region, a shop featuring a huge selection of reusable diapers would come in with top votes! Olympia-based Simple Cloth ships around the country and also guides local families through the process of selecting economical, user-friendly baby gear. The shop also features baby carriers, toys, soothers and more.
Mothers feel pampered and supported, and fathers feel plenty prepared at Village Maternity in Seattle’s University Village, where the practical, whimsical and sometimes splurge-o-rific are available. “You have made me one happy mommy-to-be!” enthuses one reviewer.
Babies 'R' Us, with its many locations, easy-to-use registry (even for Internet-resistant or far-flung gift givers) and wide selection, also earned high marks.
And voters raved again this year about Jack & Jill Consignment Sale for its wide selection of affordable (and often pristine) baby items.
Just Between Friends sales (locations around the region) allow parents to score amazing deals while providing for kids' many needs and also earn money for items you are ready to pass on. No wonder their motto is "shop, sell, save, smart!"
Goodwill — the beloved place to discover big family savings rakes in the rave reviews. From $10 Ugg boots to entire seasonal wardrobes for the family, the Pacific Northwest institution always delivers.
Outdoor Travel Gear
Of course REI is near and dear to your hearts: The outdoor retailer reflects the ethos of our region, and it supplies everything your family needs, from rain boots for the hardiest, puddle-loving preschooler to the snowboard gear your teen craves. From family camping to weekend trekking, from water play to warm-and-cozy outerwear, REI helps you make your memories. "We've been going there for generations," writes one happy voter, "and REI never disappoints."
What does a busy parent need? Speed, that's what. And local Amazon-sized retailer, Amazon, provides just that. You love Amazon's customer service, faster-than-the-speed-of-light delivery, and the way it can save your behind. "I realized one day before a field trip that my daughter's boots were too small," one mom writes. "Amazon saved the day!"
Second Gear Sports is a fixture in West Seattle, where everyone knows everyone, and everyone wants a deal on gear. This consignment shop offers athletic wear, outdoor and cold-weather gear, and adventure supplies, all on a showstrong compared to full-price. So nice for families with big dreams and modest budgets!
Jack and Jill Consignment Sale takes place twice a year (next one, Lynnwood Convention Center this September) and brings great stuff to you at great prices. Parents find deals and an easy-to-navigate sale, meaning more time and money in your pocket!
No matter what age your little one is, apparently you can’t go wrong with Target. A staple for many families locally and nationally, this popular, big-box retailer offers an endless supply of gear and equipment, plus, regular sales with deep discounts to boot.
Babies 'R' Us, with its many locations, easy-to-use registry (even for Internet-resistant or far-flung gift givers) and wide selection of gear for all eventualities, also earned high marks.
WINNER: Sarah Sweetman
Specializing in birth, maternity, newborn and familiy photography, Sarah Sweetman believes photographs are the visual records of our stories, and she presents those stories in visually striking ways. "She gave us a gift almost as unique as our baby," one mom says. She also believes in real pictures — the perfectly imperfect. Hooray for that, because who is perfectly perfect, anyway?
Mom and photographer Kellie of Kellie Pecoraro Photography will make your familiy feel at ease as she captures life's most precious memories. She is committed to both reflecting your best look and the joy in life's candid moments.
Yuen Lui Photography Studio is a longtime regional favorite for both school and family photography, and it's easy to see why. "The most gorgeous photos we've ever had taken," raves one voter.
JCPenney Portraits took your pictures when you were young, and they are now capturing your children's smiles. With reasonable fees and great results, this reliable option still impresses you!
With hundreds of studios nationwide, Picture People makes it easy to get the shots you want with the convenience you seek. And you can book online — wahoo! Easy family photos, done!
The super social, super hip Miss Freddy (she's actually named Casey) specializes in kid photos. And she's a mom. So she understands what it takes to get the job done. And boy will the job look good!
Barefeet Photography: Based out of Woodinville, Mary Ann McColl specializes in maternity, infant, childhood and family photography. With Barefeet, your most important experiences are captured respectfully, in stunning images you will enjoy forever
Peggy Washburn has been photographing children for more than 20 years, and her experience and aesthetic shows in her award-winning portraiture. Her work has been published and shown in galleries. "We were elated," says one customer simply.
Those who voted for Libby Lewis Photography value the joy, smiles and unique, often candid family moments reflected in her photographs. Her blog gives a taste (and is a joy to peruse). And good news for those of us who are overscheduled and under-creative: Libby does holiday cards!