The first time that I came to Bella Stella I realized that it was different than a lot of resale kid's shops--friendly, clean, well-run and totally lacking that air of frazzled clutter that tends to take over many other places. And it seemed to have everything I needed—from a new, Ergo carrier and organic cloth diapers for my newborn to totally cool butterfly tutus and Melissa and Doug art supplies for my older child. Not to mention all the super cute clothing for both of them.
Also, when I called to see about selling clothing, the owner said I could come right in and I didn't need an appointment. I love that since with two kids it is really hard to know exactly when I am getting out of the house. Then, when I came, she looked at the stuff right away and priced it quickly. When you are accompanied in the store by a grumpy four year old, this sort of quick customer service is worth its weight in gold.
Bella Stella's clothing is a mix of locally made new clothing and toys, and various hip brands at prices that seem even lower than wholesale. The owner has clearly mastered the art of finding deals and passing them on. And the used clothing is full of treasures. Um, an Oilily dress for $10? Elefanten mary janes for $8? A brand new Cakewalk jacket for $12. Having deep roots in the neighborhood clearly means that the good stuff comes to her shop first. And now I do the same, since I now that she always gives me the best possible price on my stuff (and I can always find another place to bring the complete line of Carter’s truck-themed onesies that I got at the baby shower). And she never gets mad when I start to paw through the as-of-yet un-priced stuff she just bought from another mom.
I should also mention that the owner and employees actually know something about kid’s stuff and have the goodwill and patience to pass on this information to their customers. They will happily spend fifteen minutes with you helping you learn how to wear a baby carrier—even if it is one that you bought at another store. (I was once in Fred Meyer and the owner kindly stopped me to let me know that I had my sling on backwards--and she did it in a 100 percent totally non-annoying way. She clearly just seems to care.)
I have shopped at Bella Stella for over three years now and could write a novel about how great it is and what an asset it is to the community. Now if we could get a crosswalk at Broadway and 28th, it would be perfect!
Pros: Friendly, knowledgable, great bargains 4 new & used clothes