Keeping business all in the family

Debra Post and Keri Lago of Cherry T’s children’s consignment shop.

Debra Post and Keri Lago of Cherry T’s children’s consignment shop.

Not many people get to work with their best friend every day.

Debra Post and Keri Lago are a mother-daughter duo who own Cherry T’s kids’ consignment store. The women say they feel lucky to run a business together.

“We pick up where the other one leaves off,” Post said. “We support each other. It works so well.”

Adds Lago: “And we finish each other’s sentences.”

The shop opened in June 2010 in Eastsound. In early 2011, the business moved to the corner spot in Templin’s Center and is now known for its colorful window displays.

“One mom said driving past the windows is like Chuck E. Cheese for her kids,” Lago said.

Prior to opening the shop, Post was a real estate agent with her husband Rusty for 16 years. She was also a bookkeeper and private secretary. Lago has five children with her husband Ed, who works at OPALCO.

The store has gently used clothing, shoes, sports gear and costumes. It also features kid-related clothing and hair accessories that are made on the island.

More than 350 families consign with Cherry T’s. The women say because they receive so much inventory, they are very picky about what goes on the floor.

“There are so many treasures – you never know what you will find,” Lago said. “We would love to see more teens come in. We invite them to tell us what they’d like to see.”

Their customers range from young families to grandparents to tourists who forgot that all-important swim suit. Orcas Family Connections, Camp Orkila and Readiness to Learn at Orcas Elementary also has an account with Cherry T’s to purchase clothing for those in need.

In addition, some kids have their own accounts to buy clothes, which Post says helps teach them an important life skill of shopping on a budget.

“There isn’t a day that goes by where someone doesn’t say ‘I am so glad you’re here,’” Post said. “And the community benefits from having a vibrant store on the corner.”