It started as a joke. With three small children, the house of 23-year-old Amanda Dobbs looked like Toys R' Us. According to her relatives, Dobbs owned enough childrens accessories to open up a store. Then Dobbs and her mother, Carrie Wooley, decided to do just that. Mommie & Me in Gardnerville is opening its doors at the end of the month.
"It's a retail store for gently used children's and maternity clothes," Dobbs said. "We also sell children's furniture, toys, strollers and cribs. It is a family store that welcomes everyone and their children. It will help those who can't always afford department store prices."
Two of Dobbs' three children were at the store on Monday, located in the Stratton Center. One and a half-year-old Thomas and 4-month-old Elizabeth switched back and forth between the arms of their mother and grandmother as the two women added finishing touches to the interior of the store. Two long racks of colorful children's clothing were already set up.
"Amanda has three kids, and she wanted to work, but she wanted to be able to bring the kids to her work and not leave them at daycare," said Wooley. "We're going to make this whole place kid-friendly and baby-proof the electrical outlets and everything."
Wooley said they'd be setting up a play area in one corner of the store with toys and children's movies. She said parents could shop while children enjoyed a fun, safe environment.
"This is a good idea," said Dobbs. "It's pointless to buy brand new stuff when your kids grow out of it in a month."
Wooley, who had raised Amanda and her brother Kenneth, said it's hard for mothers to load up children in a car and drive 30 minutes to buy clothes.
"People can get here very quickly," she said. "The best thing is that we'll have all these kids with us."
Mommie & Me is located at 1532 Highway 395, Suite 5, in the Stratton Center. The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Its grand opening will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Feb. 1. The event will feature a raffle and refreshments. For more information call 782-6700.