Cuddle Bugs Consignment Boutiques Making Life More Affordable

When I was pregnant with my oldest son I remember standing in the middle of Target’s maternity section holding a dress I didn’t love at a price above what I wanted to spend. This is it? I wondered. No. Thanks to a fellow mom, Kimberly Wisher Henkel owner of Cuddle Bugs Consignment Boutiques, there is another option for all things maternity and beyond. 

Since 2010, Cuddle Bugs has been offering Capital District families an alternative to big box stores. Families can purchase brand name gently pre-owned children’s, women’s and maternity items, accessories, toys, baby gear, furniture and bedding. “Our main goal is to help people save money and make money,” Henkel said. “But we also love the relationships we make with our customers. I have current customers who have been shopping with me since I first opened in 2010. I know many consignors and customers on a first name basis. When you walk in you are likely greeted by a friendly hello and how are {insert your kid’s names}?” 

Henkel’s daughter was six-months old when she opened Cuddle Bugs in a 600-square-foot store in Saratoga Springs. Having shopped consignment stores while pregnant, Henkel said the selection had left a lot to be desired. “I decided to try it out for myself with a focus on maternity clothing,” she said. The lack of maternity clothes available in stores baffles Henkel. “For some reason companies do not like to carry maternity clothing in their stores. I have no clue why, because I’ve found there are tons of pregnant ladies in need of clothing locally,” she said. The lack of options in stores forces expectant moms to shop online. “If you’re pregnant you have to order all of your clothes online and guess what size will fit and then send it back when it doesn’t. Maternity clothes are also not cheap,” she said. “Selection is limited and price is high so women in search of a comfortable wardrobe have a horrible time. Consigning and buying used maternity clothing makes so much sense because you only wear them for such a short time. The maternity clothes we get in, look like new, yet cost significantly less.”

As her family grew so did Cuddle Bugs. “I brought my baby with me for many years until the business grew too large,” she said. “As business grew so did the store. We kept moving into bigger locations and expanding into bigger kid’s clothing sizes.” Henkel knows that her customers are parents and understands the frustrations of trying to shop with young children in tow. “I live in South Glens Falls and was always frustrated that there wasn’t a great place close by to bring smaller kids to play. At the same time I’m always trying to find new ways to convince people that they should be shopping consignment instead of buying brand new,” she said. “I combined both things by bringing the playland to the area while getting people to enter the consignment shop at the same time their kids are playing.” Wiggle Worms Playland, located inside of Cuddle Bugs Moreau, is a 2000-square-foot play place inside the newest Cuddle Bugs Boutique location.  The playland is designed for kids ages six-months through six years old. Kids will love playing, climbing, sliding, and pretending in the playland. Can’t make it to Moreau? No worries. The Saratoga Springs store has a scaled back play area for children while parents shop. 

As a mom to young children Henkel knows first-hand the expenses families are dealing with every day. Gear and clothes shouldn’t strain the budget. Cuddle Bugs is the answer. “You can get like-new items for 50 percent less than the retail price. Usually the only difference is that our items don’t have new tags on them,” she said. “You can have that expensive stroller and your kids can wear high-quality L.L. Bean snow gear even if you don’t have a ton of money to spend.” She also stresses that the variety of items of the store is a perk. “We sell things that are sometimes not available in stores anymore. If you loved a Gymboree dress but your daughter has outgrown it and they don’t sell that pattern anymore, you might be able to find the next size up at Cuddle Bugs,” she said. “We’ve had moms come in saying their first baby loved a certain swing but they don’t make that model anymore and we’ve found that swing for them.” Henkelloves finding great deals and she loves helping other moms get great deals. “I want my kids wearing the best brands and looking great but I certainly can’t afford to deck them out in North Face jackets and Hanna Andersson dresses,” she said. “I want to share how I find a way to save tons of money and my kid’s still get constant compliments when we’re out!” 

Henkel stresses that consigning is an easy way to help defray expenses. “It’s a great way for parents to make some money back on all that they have had to spend on their kids,” she said. She encourages interested parents to refer to the store’s website. Then make an appointment to bring in items to one of the Cuddle Bugs locations. Henkel says appointments typically last about 15 minutes and she will inspect all items. She will explain any items she doesn’t accept. “You can stop in anytime to collect your money or spend it in the store and get a little better return on your investment.  We do all of the work. Items do not need to be on hangers and we will price your items and advertise them for you. If your items don’t sell you can come pick them back up or we will donate them for you,” she said. 

Cuddle Bugs continues to grow. The Saratoga boutique is now open in the Wilton Mall. Henkel is eager for this new adventure. “We are so excited because our new location will be larger and allow us to start taking juniors sizes!” she said. “It will also be great to be inside the mall which will help us draw in shoppers who may not consider going to a consignment shop otherwise.”

Henkel knows being a working mom is hard but she is doing the best she can balancing life and family while setting an example for her children. “I’ve learned that sometimes I have to step back from my business and let others help me run it in order to be able to balance my family and all of the things I want to be involved in outside of work. I’ve been lucky to find great help that keeps things running smoothly when I’m not at work,” she said. “I would encourage moms to follow their dreams if they’re interested in owning a small business. Hard work and dedication pays off!”

For more information, including the status of the opening date of Cuddle Bugs in the Wilton Mall, visit: For more information on 

Cuddle Bugs Moreau and Playland visit:

Emily Marcason-Tolmie, a Saratoga native, is a writer, researcher, wife and mother. Emily and her husband, Ryan, are the parents to two wonderful little boys, ages 4 and 1.

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