When Dionne Sparks was watching her friend Kimberly Hillen’s daughter during the summer of 2010, she drove past a vacant building downtown Trenton that was up for lease. Hillen’s store, , located on West Jefferson Avenue near the then-vacant building, was an inspiration for Sparks to open her own consignment store for children and expectant mothers.
Opened in July 2011, is a family-owned and family-run consignment shop that offers like-new children’s and maternity items to Downriver residents. The children’s clothing sizes range from newborn to 14.
Mom’s Little Secret also buys and sells toys, bedding, shoes, accessories, costumes and more. The store, however, cannot buy or sell car seats or drop-side cribs due to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations.
The store does buy clothes according to seasons, so call ahead before you bring in your items.
Sparks, an Eastern Michigan University graduate with a degree in social work who owns the store with her husband, Eric, said people should sell consignment rather than online because it’s “easy and convenient.”
Customers just drop off their items, “and we do all the work for you,” Sparks said. “It’s easier than having a garage sale, (and) it’s easier than shipping items across the country.”
To bring in items for consignment, customers do not need to set up an appointment. Customers get 40 percent of what their items sell for, and after 90 days, the items are returned to the seller or donated.
Sparks said she is picky in what items she takes, but she said that’s what sets her store apart from other resale and consignment stores in the area.
“If you’re coming in and shopping, then you don’t have to weed through a lot of things that aren’t in good shape,” Sparks said. “I don’t take anything with stains, holes or not current styles. If it’s something from five years ago, for example, I’ll nicely decline.”
The store’s best-selling brands, according to Sparks, are Gymboree and Janie and Jack for children’s clothing and Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod for maternity clothing.
To prepare for the fast approaching Michigan winter weather, Mom’s Little Secret is stocking up on snowsuits, coats, boots, gloves, scarves and even holiday dresses.
Mom’s Little Secret advertises in Shopping Savvy and Dollars Inside, so look for coupons to get $5 off a $25 purchase.
“I just want customers to feel like they came in and got a really good product and paid a really fair price,” Sparks said.
Mom’s Little Secret is located at 2723 W. Jefferson Ave. in downtown Trenton.
Hours of operation:
Mondays: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tuesdays: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Wednesdays: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thursdays: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Fridays: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.