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Goods get new life at Carolina Girls

Owners Amber and Dena Sawyer, pictured at Carolina Girls Resale Shop in Washington, say baby equipment is the hottest item at the store. (WDN Photo/Vail Stewart Rumley)

According to a well-known beach music tune, Carolina Girls are the best in the world and Beaufort County natives Dena and Amber Sawyer are the real deal — Carolina Girls by birth and by profession.
The mother-daughter team opened Carolina Girls Resale Shop in Washington last May. Since then, the two have made it their business to take the gently used and make it new again.
“It’s been my life dream,” said Dena Sawyer. “I started doing it with my aunt down in Hyde County. I just got the bug for it.”
The bug she caught from her Aunt Florence Williams (owner of Florence’s in Sladesville) includes scouring yard sales and flea markets, hand-picking items that, with little effort, can be sold as good as new, but at a much-reduced price.
“We make sure toys are clean — that they work and have batteries,” said Sawyer. “Same goes with appliances.”
According to the two Sawyers, their best business is baby business. Even though they sell “a little bit of everything” at Carolina Girls, it’s the children’s furniture, baby equipment and toys that seem to fly out the door.
“The baby equipment is what carries us: car seats, Pack ‘n Plays, walkers — we can’t keep them in the store,” Dena Sawyer said.
Clothing and shoes, books and handbags, and the chance to get quality goods, affordably priced, is enough of a draw to bring people to the store from Williamston and New Bern, said Sawyer.
Carolina Girls even had a customer drive down from Raleigh to buy linens when Dena Sawyer bought what she calls “an endless supply of sheet sets” and towels from a hotel chain that recently switched the colors of the hotel’s linens.
So far, the Sawyers said the most unusual item they’ve found, and then sold, was a handmade, wooden highchair that, when turned on its side, became a rocking chair.
“It stayed (in the store) about ten minutes,” laughed Amber Sawyer. “The first person who saw it, bought it.”
The Sawyers say they truly have a family-run business — even Dena Sawyer’s husband, Randy, can sometimes be found on the sales floor or out picking through yard sales, looking for baby stuff, according to Dena Sawyer.
Whether it’s buy, trade or sell, the Sawyers have found their own way to conserve and recycle through Carolina Girls Resale Shop, giving goods a new life with a second set of owners.
For more information about Carolina Girls Resale Shop, call 252-702-1593 or visit the store at 2005 W. 15th Street, Washington.