Monkeys’ Uncle Pass It On
article and photo by Heather Schoell
EDUCE the amount of outgrown children’s clothing and gear taking up where you can recoup some of your baby-goods losses and buy some aﬀordable
your precious square footage. REUSE what has been barely used by your kids’ clothes while you’re at it.)
fellow families and do your wallet a good turn. RECYCLE your goods Jay Keegan (former manager of Chateau-Animaux on Barracks Row) and
by consigning them at Monkeys’ Uncle! Monkeys’ Uncle is at 321 and 323 Sev- Michael McFadyen have hit upon a need so big – a children’s clothing and ac-
enth St. SE, right next to Woven History, just down from Marvelous Market. cessories consignment store on Capitol Hill. No longer will Hill parents have to
schlep to the ‘burbs, Google map in hand, trying to ﬁnd that place that will oﬀer
Give It Up you $5 for your son’s twice-worn $200 Janie and Jack suit. You can head down
You had to buy maternity clothes, and now you’re done procreating, but to Eastern Market, where you were likely going anyway. You can take your stuﬀ
you’ve never spent that much per outﬁt, so they are still hanging in dry cleaning and buy back your storage space, piece by piece.
bags. And at the time, buying that $600 crib bedding set seemed like a com-
pletely sane thing to do, but now the babies are kids in bunk beds, and that crib A Lovely Shade of Green
set is taking up an entire closet shelf (and is an irritating reminder how you spent The whole idea behind Monkeys’ Uncle is sustainability – reusing what is
$600 on a crib bedding set). Oh, and you know the baby carrier-sling-wrap- still good so that resources will not be used to make new. Keegan and McFadyen
thing that you had an internal ﬁt about having to be ordered because the fabric set up their store using reclaimed shelving and eco-friendly paint, and are mov-
you wanted wasn’t in stock, and then it was kind of too tight on your new “ﬁgure” ing from halogen to LED lights as they burn out. Everything they print, includ-
so you pretty much never used it? Rejoice, people, for there is redemption in the ing business cards and checks, is on recycled paper with soy ink. “We opened as
form of a monkey. (Well, the logo is a monkey – the actual redemption is a store green as possible,” said Keegan. “We want to be a destination for families on the
Hill. Buy a gift at Dawn Price Baby, recycle here, then buy a toy at
The uncles, Michael McFadyen (l) and Jay Keegan (r). Fairy Godmother,” he said. “Sales are doing great – we’ve really been
embraced by families.”
To encourage walking to their store, and to accommodate parents’
needs, there is stroller parking in front of the store. “I’m thinking of
painting white lines for parking spaces,” Keegan joked.
“We’ve conﬁned all our services to the Hill, our accountant, law-
yer, architect,” explained Keegan, illustrating their commitment to
staying local. “I sketched the logo, and Ellen Cornett – she teaches at
CHAW – cleaned it up and colorized it for me. Emerald Strategies
did our website. Everything is on the Hill.”
Keegan and McFadyen are awaiting building permits to expand
their store from 400 to 1,500 square feet. The space next door is already
ﬁnished and ready – all that’s left is to open the adjoining wall. Once
there is a little more room to move, the product lines will expand, and
the amount of merchandise (including larger gear) will swell.
“We carry maternity clothes,” said McFadyen. “We’re the only
maternity consignment store in DC.” There are racks of children’s
clothes, diaper bags, bedding and the myriad accessories that we need
for babies and children. Featured products include Nature’s Baby Or-
ganics. “It’s a mom-owned company – her child had such sensitive
skin that it actually developed into eczema,” Keegan explained. “Mar-
tha Stewart had it on her show.” They also sell the Lovely Bums dia-
pering system and will be carrying Bum Genius in the near future.
They use a color-coded system to tell you the price of an item
– prices decrease by 25 percent each month, with a three-month op-
portunity to sell (after which items go back home or go to charity).
You’ll see the tags when you take in your consignments (Tues. to Fri.)
or stop in for some aﬀordable shopping (closed Mon.).
Keegan and McFadyen will host informational seminars now and
then, the ﬁrst on ﬂushable gDiapers, June 6 at 6 p.m. All are welcome.
Monkeys’ Uncle is at 321 and 323 Seventh St. SE. www.monkey-
suncleonthehill.com or 202-543-6471. Also on Twitter!
Heather Schoell is a regular contributor to the Hill Rag and can be reached
at firstname.lastname@example.org. ★
126 ★ HillRag | July 2009
Dorothy I. Height
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capitalcommunitynews.com ★ 127