Shop opening in April for used children’s goods

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A pair of sisters are opening a shop next month that will have some similarities to a store run by their mom in downtown Wilson years ago.

“We’ve talked about opening a business together for a while, but we’ve been looking seriously for about the last five months,” said Susan Elaine Raper, co-owner of E&C Children’s Shop. “...We actually have never owned a business, but our mother had Sue’s Variety when we were young. It was like this but with more than just clothing and children’s items.”

The store is one of the most recent tenants to lease space near the Hobby Lobby in Gateway Plaza and is slated to start offering gently used children’s items the first weekend in April.

“It is a great feeling to save money when shopping for your children,” Raper said. “If you go shopping and buy 10 items from a retail shop, you’ll spend three times what you’d spend in a gently used store.”

And rather than stocking the store on consignment, Raper and her younger sister Christy Duke will pay up front. The duo has started stockpiling clothing and children’s items from newborns to size 14-16, but are looking for more. Customers interested in making some money by selling clean items with no missing parts can go to tinyurl.com/y5sf6ywq or call Raper at 252-373-5020 for more information.

“Buying gently used items means you get more for your money,” said Raper, who has three kids and three grandkids. “You could spend $20 on a new shirt or spend $5.50 for one at our shop.”

The shop is set to be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. Raper said the business will likely add Saturday hours, but the owners settled on the specific times yet.

Down the center from the children’s shop will soon be the second location of Partners Tae Kwon-Do.

“I’ve been in Clayton about six years and I’ve been looking in Wilson a long time, but I wanted to find a space that worked for me,” said owner Tommy Gresham.

The Knightdale resident said he’s been coming to Wilson for years with his family, so it seemed like the right opportunity to expand. When he heard about new ownership at Gateway Plaza, everything just clicked and now he’s looking to open in mid-April with classes for students 3 and up.

Partners has 150 students at the Clayton studio, including a myriad of adults.

“At 7 p.m. is our family class where anyone can come and a lot come with their kids to make learning taekwondo a family experience,” he said. “That is really how this started for me and my sons. When they were 3 or 4, I carried them to class and jumped in as we decided to do it as a family.”

His sons, Lorne and T.J., have competed nationally and become masters, working alongside other instructors at the school to teach martial arts to students.

“It is not just about kicking, punching and fighting, but there is an aspect of that,” Gresham said. “It is really about having the mindset and ability to see it through. It is about doing the hard work to instill discipline to accomplish the goals you’ve set yourself.”

Partners Tae Kwon-Do also offers an after-school program that has become very popular in Clayton and will be replicated at the Wilson location.

“The main thing we do that makes us different is we focus on the child and their education, not just taekwondo,” Gresham said. “In the after-school program, we’ll focus on getting their homework done and when they finish that, we’ll do taekwondo. When the parents pick up their kids, they can just have family time because if we know about the homework, we’ll make sure it gets done.”

Call Gresham at 919-623-6952, email partnerstaekwondo@gmail.com or visit www.partnerstkd.com/ for more information.

Extra! Extra!

Subway lovers are invited to chow down and give back through April 25.

During the promotion, 10 cents from every signature wrap sold at Subway restaurants throughout the Raleigh-Durham area will be donated to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina. Subway officials said they hope to donate $10,000 for 10,000 meals with the help of customers.

Got an idea for news to include in next week’s Main Street Minute? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 252-265-7821 or bhandgraaf@wilsontimes.com.