POULSBO — After 25 years on Bainbridge Island, Closet Transfer owner Carol Ingles decided the time was right to begin filling another closet in the heart of Little Norway.
“I have a lot of clients in Jefferson and Kitsap County who make the trip all the way to Bainbridge Island,” Ingles said.
Those loyal customers have endured the increasing hardships of traversing State Route 305, so Ingles said opening another store became paramount in efforts to serve them.
“I knew I wanted to be downtown, but I didn’t want to be on the main street because of parking,” she said.
After years of looking for the ideal location, Ingles said she found the Jensen Way space almost by accident.
“I was driving home from school one night and decided to go downtown and noticed it was for lease,” she said. “All in all it was a nice fit.”
Once she signed the lease and made a few modifications to the space’s interior, Ingles said she opened her doors in April 2006 and has been busy ever since.
“We’ve had close to 200 new consigners from South Kitsap to Port Angeles and we get a lot of things from Port Ludlow,” she said.
Unlike many other clothing consignment stores, Ingles said her focus is on upper-end designers and vintage clothing and accessories.
“We have things such as 7 (For All Mankind) jeans, which sell for $150, but you can get them here for $38,” Ingles said.
The store has clothes for special occasions, including prom dresses and gowns, but it also carries a wide selection for men and children, she said.
“We focus on quality and style, and we try to be in style with a couple of years with the exception of vintage clothing,” Ingles said.
An example of vintage style is a pair of alligator skin women’s shoes with a matching purse and coin pouch, she said.
Customer service is at a premium at the store as Ingles said one of her goals is to help each client find their own treasure among the hundreds of items on the store’s racks.
“We want people who come in to feel comfortable enough that it’s their closet,” she said.
For those who are fashion-challenged or unsure if an outfit works for them, Ingles said advice is free and she is more than willing to work with customers to find just the right fit.
The store also does special orders and will do its best to fill them from its large number of nationwide suppliers, she said.
The store attains clothes from New York, California, Maine, Oregon and Florida, she said.
Even though Closet Transfer has been part of the downtown Poulsbo landscape for less than a year, Ingles said business has been great.
“A lot of our customers tell their friends, and business keeps growing,” Ingles said.