If you bought shoes at Glenn’s Village Bootery, there’s a good chance you might have been helped by a teenaged Carrie Czar. And if you visit the same location today, you’ll find her there, now as the owner of Activity Base.
The consignment sporting goods store is the first business Czar has owned, and since she opened it in August, the 1126 Canyon St. store has become well stocked with skis, inline skates, helmets, jerseys, clothing — the list could go on and on.
“The people who came in right away come in now and go, ‘Wow!’ ” said Czar, who was born and raised in Creston.
She and her husband have three sons, and the whole family is “pretty outdoorsy and active,” said Czar, who curls and plays slo-pitch.
“We’ve got a lot of sports gear all the time,” she said. “You pay a lot for equipment. We were lucky we could hand down things.”
As many can attest, getting into a sport is rarely a cheap process, but at the consignment store, many items are about half their original retail price.
“When you’re looking for a sport, it makes it more affordable to get into it,” Czar said. “The parents are happy, the kids are happy. You can get in with an entry-level cost that isn’t horrible.”
Often, Czar will search the Internet to find the appropriate selling prices for a particular item. But more often than not, consignors will have some idea about pricing.
“If they know what they want to get out of it, they price it,” she said.
Sporting goods brought in by consignors can be well out of the ordinary, Czar said, a fact proven by two Canadian Olympic hockey jerseys hanging on the wall. And a beautifully tailored coat and fox fur hood from the now-defunct Inuvik Sewing Centre is also one of a kind.
“Some of the things that are brought in are pretty vintage,” Czar said. “It’s neat for collectors.”
Although Activity Base carries a wide range of products — and also sharpens skates — there a few things missing. Czar has had requests related to darts, billiards and snowshoes, but nothing in those areas has been consigned. With the latter, at least, she is able to direct customers down the street to Nadan Nessie, which rents snowshoes.
And she appreciates the support offered by other similar businesses, with Activity Base, Gleaners, Kidtastic Children’s Clothing Company, Mawson’s Sports and Nadan Nessie Gear all happily sending customers to each other’s stores. That sort of co-operation makes it easier for shoppers to stay in the Creston Valley.
“It’s nice that everyone works so well together,” said Czar. “At the end of the day, it’s knowing you saved a trip — someone didn’t have to go out of town to get it.”
At the same time, she’s happy to give older products a new lease on life.
“It’s kind of rewarding — someone is going to get a product at a low price and get some use out of it,” Czar said. “We’re a recycling town. It’s nice to see it be used and not throw it away.”