A local mom is making a difference for families — and teachers — this weekend.
Courtney Evans is the franchise owner for Just Between Friends (JBF) consignment stores in Issaquah and Mount Vernon. In 2012 when Evans was pregnant with her daughter she came across a church consignment sale where she purchased gently used used baby clothes and supplies “at a fraction of full value.”
At the time, she only had boys-themed baby clothes and supplies from when she had her son. She said she returned to the church consignment sale to sell some of the baby things she no longer needed.
“I spent hours and hours making individual tags for each item — it was exhausting… I just hoped there would have been an easier way,” she said.
That’s when she heard of Just Between Friends. JBF was originally founded in 1997 by mother Shannon Wilburn in Tulsa, Okla. JBF allows consigners to register for any JBF franchise event near them, list their items using JBF’s online system, and drop them off at their registered event. While most storefront consignment shops can only give their consigners about 40 percent of the profits, JBF gives its consigners as much as 70 percent of the profits.
“It was so much easier,” Evans said. “All I had to do was drop off my items and watch my check grow.”
Not long after participating in her first JBF event, she saw one of the franchise locations was for sale. Upon the encouragement of her husband, Evans applied to be the franchise owner of the Mount Vernon location, yet was offered the Issaquah location instead. In 2016, she became the owner of the Issaquah location and then, in 2017, became the owner of the Mount Vernon location.
“It’s been an awesome whirlwind of amazingness,” she said. “I never thought this kind of thing would ever happen to me, but I’m glad it did.”
During these events, Evans said, she’s had so many parents and families tell her how much the JBF consignment events mean to them.
“Hearing their stories just touches my heart. For some people, this is how they can provide for their families, and for others it’s how they can afford to send their kid to their dream field trip,” she said.
The Issaquah JBF event is always held at Pickering Barn. Up until now, the event has only been a consigning event for locals to sell and purchase kids clothing and toys. However, Evans wanted to add a couple things to this year’s event.
First, there will be a resource day on Saturday. Evans invited several local community resources, services and nonprofits to be present during the event.
“I really wanted to bring the community aspect to the forefront,” she said. “I was asking myself, ‘How can we make a lasting impression on the community?’…With this resource day, I hope parents and families can learn about and get access to anything they might need. Nobody should go through parenting alone.”
On Saturday, there will be a cloth diapering class, hosted by Baby Diaper Service, breastfeeding support, Issaquah police and fire departments, homeless prevention services, among others.
The second addition to this year’s event is the partnership between JBF and the Issaquah Education Association (IEA). The IEA represents and assists Issaquah School District (ISD) teachers and staff during negotiations between the district and the staff.
“We all know that teachers don’t earn as much as they deserve, and that a lot of them supply their classrooms and students out of their pockets,” Evans said. “They’re such a vital part of the community, and I want them to feel seen for all they do for our kids.”
IEA president Gary Arthur said he was happy Evans approached him with the idea.
“I think the whole idea is very creative,” he said. “Many teachers and staff use this event to support their classes, and it’s great to have this partnership.”
During the four-day event, customers will be asked if they would like to donate $1 at the register to support the IEA. First day entry fees will also go toward IEA. The last day of the event (Sunday) will mark items as 75 percent off. Evans said that day will allow ISD teachers to shop the best deals for their classrooms.
“We invite them to come all four days, but the last day was created with them in mind,” Evans said. “It’ll be a great opportunity for them to purchase items at a great price.”
Evans said her goal for the event is to raise $2,000 in donations to the IEA.
“More than anything I’m looking forward to seeing teachers’ smiles,” she said. “I would be over the moon if we made over $2,000 for them.”
The JBF consignment event will be at Pickering Barn (1730 10th Ave. NW) from March 7-10.
Go online to www.jbfsale.com for more information.