Lost Mitten in North Bend earns state business recognition

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NORTH BEND - Of the hundreds of businesses in Western Washington, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ranks North Bend's The Lost Mitten among the best.

The local consignment store was recently named one of the 24 finalists for the BBB's 2004 Business of the Year Award for Western Washington. More than 200 companies were nominated by the public based on customer service, innovative business practices and community involvement.

"It was really an honor and it was exciting and kind of overwhelming," said The Lost Mitten owner Bobbie Mosher on receiving the recognition.

Even though The Lost Mitten didn't receive the top award, customer Sheri Kellogg has many praises for the 3-year-old shop.

"I feel like I can call Bobbie and ask if she has something [in stock]," she said. "The prices are very worth it to come here first."

Kellogg, who has consigned more than 300 items with the shop, likes the opportunity to recycle her child's outgrown things - a concept Mosher also values.

"We're such a disposable society. We don't recycle or reuse like we should," Mosher said. "This is an avenue for people to do that."

"That's my personal crusade," she added.

In addition to being a place for customers to make a little money, The Lost Mitten was also recognized for supporting the House of Hope, a local women's shelter.

The store helps the organization in several ways: it gives customers the opportunity to donate unsold items or allocate monetary proceeds to the charity, and the store is a donation drop-off point for the shelter.

"For the things that we don't sell there are always people who can use them," Mosher said.

Another key point that customers liked about the store is that Mosher collects current recall information on children's products. That way, both the buyer and Mosher can be confident in the safety of the items being sold.

Mosher also participates in North Bend's Alpine Days. The store donates products for the auction and Mosher and her family march in the parade.

"It's fun because I see all my consigners up and down the street," she said.

That could potentially be a lot of waving for Mosher since she has more than 500 consigners on her books. With that many people supplying her stock, she doesn't even know how much inventory is packed in the 1,700-square-foot store. The racks are stuffed with everything a child needs to be dressed for the season, while the walls and shelves are lined with gadgets to keep them entertained. In fact, The Lost Mitten accepts everything child-related except for car seats and certain strollers.

"If you see something, it's like Costco. You better buy it or it might not be here later," she said.

Above all else, Mosher wants her store to be a gathering place for local families. A place where customers can get good deals, make friendships and look forward to returning to.

"I want this always to be a comfortable place. This is like the local playground or a second home," she said. "I don't want pressures on anyone. I want the kids to feel relaxed and play."

"I'd have a coffee pot if I had room to have it, but we always have candy."

The Lost Mitten is located at 209 Main Ave. S., Suite 111 in North Bend. They can be reached by calling (425) 831-4510.

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