For Lori McGraw, what started as a whim has become a way of life.
The Bainbridge native, 37, launched Snips & Snails Consignment from her 28 N. Main St. property nearly 10 years ago. Today, McGraw’s store has expanded to about 2,400 square feet of new and used children’s clothing and toys, artisanal gifts and clothing for adults.
“We purchased the building in 2010 and we were just going to use it for rentals,” McGraw, a mother of four, said. “But it had the storefront and I felt like there was a need to reduce and recycle children’s items in the area, plus people are always looking for these things. I was selling my own kids’ things at the time and it was hard, because back then we only really had eBay.”
“It was kind of a whim, just to test it out,” she said, “so I started off in the storage room to see how it would go and it took off. We remodeled the front and, after two years, quickly ran out of room. It just kept booming, so we added on a 1,500-square-foot, two-story expansion. We’ve had to expand three times in eight years … and it’s gone from running it myself with my small children, to having four employees and myself.”
Snips & Snails primarily carries children’s clothing, equipment and toys for infants through adolescents, McGraw said, but the business’ rapid evolution has meant changing inventory, too.
“We were hitting the niche of children’s stuff, but everyone was pushing us to do adults too, so two years ago we did a small section and now there’s a whole floor,” she said. “And this year I started selling online, so I ship out daily to all over the U.S.
“I’ve recently expanded into not just used, but also wholesale items,” McGraw said, “so I do a lot of brand-new items at low cost.” She said customers’ response to the mix of used and new has been “awesome.”
Snips & Snails also offers a selection of maternity clothing and pregnancy-related products.
The store’s clientele, McGraw said, reflects its varied stock.
“You see everyone — young and old, from babies on up to elderly,” she said. “I think it’s a pretty even mix of locals and people traveling afar. I have consignors from (New York City) that bring stuff in and I have people coming from Cazenovia, Syracuse and out of state, so the items are from all over the place.”
Prospective consignors, McGraw said, do not need an appointment to bring in items during store hours.
McGraw said she hopes to see the business continue growing in her hometown, while she considers development beyond Bainbridge.
“The community’s support has been amazing,” she said. “How to expand more here is my next goal, but I always did want to open up a second location and that’s still in my mind, as well as building my online (market).
“I love the hustle and bustle of business and events,” McGraw said. “I’m always looking at my next level, my next step, my next big thing, and I don’t feel like this is it for me. I want to go bigger.”
On May 27, Snips & Sails will host a “huge indoor/outdoor” Memorial Day sale with vendors, McGraw said, as part of the village’s General Clinton Canoe Regatta festivities.
Snips & Snails is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
For more information, find “Snips & Snails Consignment” on Facebook or call 607-967-4393.