The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

In the Spotlight

March 30, 2012

Mothers' helper: Johnstown mom’s store specializes in children’s goods

— Carrie Wagner knows it isn’t always easy being a single parent, so she decided to do something that helps not only her but also others.

The 36-year-old Johnstown resident opened Wiggles and Giggles at 217 Market St. downtown earlier this month.

She sells gently used children’s clothing and furniture.

“There was no place in Johns­­town that sold recycled baby stuff, but everything is still good, so I decided to open this store and help out other moms,” Wagner said. “Plus I’m able to bring my two youngest to work with me instead of putting them in day care, and I’m financially supporting myself.”

Wagner, who has seven children – Robert, 19; Kyrie, 17; Kayla, 16; Wyatt, 12; Kyrissa, 11; Rocklynde, 23 months; and Josue, 11 months – said she purchased the store space after saving some money and with assistance from her mother.

There was never any doubt where Wagner wanted the store to be located because she knew the downtown area would be the perfect fit.

“I wanted someplace convenient, and people are always walking around here, so this was the best place,” Wagner said.

The store isn’t big, but it is chock-full of items.

A look around reveals racks of boys’ and girls’ clothing in varying sizes, blankets, cribs, high chairs, playpens, strollers, swings, diapers, diaper bags, bottles, baby food and formula, and a menagerie of toys.

“I keep hearing people telling me that we needed this and they appreciate it because they are on a limited income or have multiple kids and need the extra help,” Wagner said.

Nearly everything in the store has been donated, although Wagner said she will buy items from customers. She also has some private sellers with whom she works for certain merchandise.

“I encourage everyone to donate. That way I don’t have to mark up my prices,” she said.

Wagner said she strives to keep her prices low. She scours the Internet to see how much items are selling for and tries to be comparable, if not somewhat lower, with her prices.

“I really just come up with my pricing,” Wagner said.

“I see what I have the most of, go from there and offer the best price and try to be fair.”

Each week she holds a sale to promote certain items, such as sleepers or infant bodysuits such as Onesies.

“I don’t want stock to just sit in here, so the more I sell the more I can get on the floor,” Wagner said.

She also started a delivery service, and for a $15 fee she will bring an item to a buyer’s home and set it up if necessary.

“I also have layaway,” she said.

“It’s all about helping people out and providing a good service to the community.”

As for what the future holds, Wagner said she’d like to see the store expand and eventually have a few employees who would be responsible for the day-to-day operations so she can be out looking for new products.

“I also want to inspire other moms to do something for themselves because if I can do this with kids, then they can, too,” she said.

Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information, call 270-0221.

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