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story.lead_photo.caption Julie Smith/News TribuneJusta Brendel poses inside her new shop, Bella Roos, located on East High Street in downtown Jefferson City. Brendel sells used children’s clothing.

For the first time since 2018, 202 E. High St. is home to a new Jefferson City business.

Bella Roos Boutique opened its doors for the first time Friday afternoon, offering area parents a new option for children's clothing that's kinder on a household budget.

The building's last tenant was La Chica Loca, which eventually found a new home a block away after having to evacuate 202 E. High St. because of a damaged common wall it shared with 200 E. High St., where the west wall partially collapsed in June 2018. The shared wall and a lengthy legal process meant the dangerous building wasn't demolished until spring 2020, and the neighboring building was unable to house a business in the meantime.

Now, renovated and ready for new customers, 202 E. High St. is home to a new boutique that resells children's clothing. Owner Justa Brendel said the idea came to her after she learned she was going to become a grandmother. Brendel said she and her husband went shopping and found out the high cost of clothes that babies and children quickly grow out of.

"I can't believe how expensive it is," Brendel said.

So she began to wonder why there wasn't a local children's resale shop in the area. (There has been a couple over the years, but they've closed.) And after weeks of wondering about the concept, Brendel said she began to realize it was a business she could pursue.

"It's a need for our community," Brendel said. "I think it would be beneficial for everybody. So I just kind of started looking into it."

She started forming a business plan. The Brendels went to garage sales and picked up whatever quality children's clothing they could find. But even then, Brendel said she figured it would be a couple of years before anything concrete happened.

That was in March.

Brendel said she told her husband they would get some type of sign if the business was meant to be, and just a few minutes later, they rounded the corner onto the 200 block of High Street and saw the building that was ready for something new.

"I looked inside and I thought, 'That's it, that's the place,'" Brendel said. "Everything so far along the way has just kind of fallen in place. I think it's just meant to be. It really is."

The shop houses neatly organized racks of children's clothes, from sizes for premature babies to children's age 6, along with tables of accessories. The upscale vibe is something Brendel worked hard to build, as she wants Bella Roos to feel like a boutique experience.

"I love boutiques. I love the small business, quaint little shops that are not overwhelming to the eyes," Brendel said.

Those interested in trying to sell their gently used children's clothing and accessories should know Brendel is asking customers to keep it limited to one tote bag at a time. That can be brought to the shop during business hours, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, where Brendel has a form they can fill out quickly, modeled after the forms used at the Snob Shop just across the street. If Brendel chooses to buy the items, customers will be offered cash, though she hopes to later begin offering larger amounts of store credit as an option.

Learn more about Bella Roos Boutique at Facebook.com/bellaroosboutique.

Know of any business happenings around Jefferson City? Let us know at [email protected] or 573-761-0250.

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