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Used Baby Togs Sans Strained Pears

July 27, 1999|JEANNINE STEIN

Children's clothes are practically irresistible to parents who want to get their kids into cute overalls or a pretty party dress. The only thing is, tots can outgrow them in a matter of months.

Danielle Shehee was well aware of this. As the mother of a 2-year-old, she shopped children's resale stores to save money. But she wasn't happy with what she found.

"Some weren't that clean," says Shehee, 28, adding that the clothes often weren't in top shape. She thought she could do better.

Last February she opened Noodles, a children's resale boutique in Culver City that also carries toys, cribs, walkers, swings and other accessories. Shehee insists that clothes up to 2 years old be brought in clean, with fasteners intact.

"I tell all the moms, 'Bring me something you wouldn't mind buying.' "

Toys and equipment are cleaned and repaired before they are sold.

Wanting to make the business kid-friendly, Shehee, a former nurse, put in a play area and scheduled a weekly sing-along story time.

"I wanted it to be a neighborhood place, where moms could get a good deal," she says. "They can also get isolated and need to get out and talk. Sometimes coming to the store is their trip of the day."

Noodles carries clothes for boys and girls, from newborn to age 8 or 9. Most of the merchandise is casual wear, but there are some blazers and party dresses. Some items are name brands such as Gap, Nordstrom and Gymboree. Prices range from about $4.99 for overalls to $5.29 for a day dress to $7.99 for a party dress. Some new clothing is available.

Clothes and accessories are bought outright rather than on consignment (customers are offered a check or store credit for 50% of Shehee's retail price).

What Shehee doesn't take she offers to donate to charity.

"I want to give back to the community," Shehee says.

Noodles is located at 4907 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, (310) 737-1766. Hours are Monday, noon to 5 p.m.; Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those wanting to sell their used clothes and other merchandise should call Shehee at the beginning of each month to set up an appointment.

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