Tina Cole’s secondhand fashion business has served local families in many forms over the past decade. Now, The Xchange Boutique owner is shifting her focus to her own growing family.
“It’s been 10 years since I started the store; and as much as I love it, my passion has changed,” she said.
Cole recently announced the store at 830 E. High St. in Jefferson City would stop exchanging customers’ used clothing, accessories and household items April 1, the same day all store credit will expire. No official “closing” date is planned, as Cole hopes to sell the business to someone who will keep it running.
Cole first opened The Bag Lady Exchange in a small, one-room shop on East High Street in 2009. The secondhand women’s clothing and accessory store quickly grew to a bigger space on Missouri Boulevard.
“I know I’ve moved around this town a couple of times, but it’s all because of growth,” she said.
She and business partner Erin Gieck opened children’s clothing exchange store Switchin’ Britches in 2012, merging the two stores in 2013 to form a family store back on East High Street. Cole moved The Xchange Boutique to its current, larger location in 2016, which later allowed her to add household items to the store’s offerings.
“I actually added that to find an additional passion to keep me hanging on, but it just proved to me that it’s time to be done. I’m a little old to be carrying couches,” Cole laughed.
In all seriousness, though, the decision to let go was heart-wrenching.
“I love it, and I’m going to miss it. But, you know, it’s best to go out when you’re up,” she said.
Cole’s fondest memories of The Xchange will be the customers who frequented the boutique, watching families grow over the years.
“For 10 years, I’ve watched kids grow up, and I’ve watched mamas come in excited that they found out they’re having a girl or a boy, and I get to see them roll in their strollers, and I get to help them get ready for their first day of school,” she said.
She added: “It’s been a wild, awesome 10 years of lots of lessons and blessings and lots of great memories.”
The Xchange Boutique will operate on expanded hours through the end of March — 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays.
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