After decades of recycled fashion retail, Capitol Hill consignment shop Take 2 is closing

Lisa D. Small

(Image: CHS)

(Image: Take 2)

After 36 years on Capitol Hill, Take 2 New and Recycled Apparel is permanently shuttering at the end of October — adding to a growing list of businesses unable to withstand the long term effects of the pandemic.

Owner Sarah Star Simpson says the longtime 15th Ave E consignment shop has depleted its finances after months of adapting to COVID-19 restrictions and dealing with the compounded effects of protests deterring customers from the area and street construction halting foot traffic out front.

“All of my personal reserves have been exhausted to support the business even with my very kind landlord giving me a break on rent,” she said. “It just has not been enough business to be viable.”

Simpson applied for numerous city and state grants but says the business was ultimately not selected for anything beyond the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program loan, which was used up after eight weeks of the shop’s three-and-a-half-month temporary spring closure in line with state COVID-19 protocols.

During this time, Simpson tried to keep the business afloat by starting a website and advertising items on social media that customers could order for delivery. When the shop’s brick and mortar space could reopen again at limited capacity in June, Simpson recalls intense construction as 15th Ave E was repaved.

“There was nobody out because 15th was ripped to shreds and then it was CHOP and all the protests,” she said. “Nobody was out walking around on Capitol Hill that would have been shopping for clothes anyway.”

The consignment shop has a decades-long history on the Hill, founded by Judith Haden in 1984 at a 12th Ave location before finding a home on 15th. Simpson worked at the business for years as a teenager before taking it on as her own in 2001.

“It has always been a very thriving community-based business,” Simpson said. “People love the recycled clothes. I also have people that just love our new clothes.”

View this post on Instagram

Goodbye & Thank you 15th Ave. E. Take 2 has been my passion and livelihood for the last 19 years. It is with a broken heart that after 36 years in business, I must announce the closing of Take 2 New and Recycled Apparel. Saturday, October 31st will be our last day of business. We have done everything imaginable to stay positive and hopeful during these challenging times. We have exhausted all conceivable options in order to stay open for you; our valued customers, friends and family. Unfortunately, we can not hang on any longer. Firstly, I would like to say a special ‘thank you’ to all of our customers and consignors, our friends and families, and to the property owner for your continued support and business the last several months. It has meant the world to us. These generous actions have kept the hope alive and filled us with gratitude through these unfathomable times. We also want to thank each and every loyal customer and consignor that has made Take 2 such a special one-of-a-kind gem of a shop over the years. It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know so many of you over this time. One of the many gifts of being part of the community on 15th Ave. East, has been watching generations grow up and come back to shop in Take 2! I have continually felt blessed and so lucky to have been part of a larger picture, and to have had you be a part of the Take 2 family. None of this would have been possible without the amazing staff! It has been an honor to work with all of you. We’ve had so much fun over the years! Each of you I hold near and dear to my heart. It has been the greatest gift of all to have made these connections, some that will remain forever. Please come shop during our last month of business and help celebrate small business! We would love to see you and say farewell in person. The store is stocked up and we will have terrific sales on new merchandise! Thank you everyone for making Take 2 such a wonderful little shop and community. All my love, gratitude and appreciation, Sarah ‘Star’ Simpson and the Take 2 staff ❤️

A post shared by Take 2 (@take2seattle) on

Earlier on in the pandemic, CHS reported on the permanent closure of fellow longtime Capitol Hill consignment shop Le Frock, foreshadowing a challenging future in the world of retail and resale ahead.

Elsewhere on the Hill, there are some signs of hope but they are faint glimmers. Customers of longtime Pike/Pine shop Retail Therapy have rallied to raise more than $13,000 in a fundraiser to support the store and owner Wazhma Samizay. Samizay turned to a Go Fund Me campaign in March to try to keep her E Pike store open. This week, she reports she finally received her first $500 payment from the Go Fund Me service.

“We are 6 months in and there are more infections but also a few safe guards that I have been able to put in place so I can at least partially reopen my business,” Samizay writes. “I have watched friends close their businesses permanently. The face of our community shift. I received hundreds of calls and emails during the protests because CHOP/ CHAZ was less than two blocks away from my shop. Despite all those things I am still here.”

Retail has also not been a safe harbor for neighborhood businesses that turned to pop-ups and shop concepts as a way to say afloat during the pandemic. On 12th Ave, world famous cocktail bar Canon is struggling to stay in business after reshaping its offerings as a mercantile  CHS wrote about Canon’s retail effort here.

But it’s not working. Owner Jamie Boudreau tells the Stranger he’s facing a closure of the bar if business doesn’t improve sharply.

At Take 2, Simpson wonders about what could have been if the COVID-19 crisis had played out differently.

“I just wish that possibly there’d been a little bit more support from our state and city saying ‘hey everybody: go and do some shopping — just follow protocol,’ ” Simpson added.

To shop one last time and say goodbye to Take 2 before it closes on October 31, visit the store at 430 15th Ave E or go to take2seattle.com.

Capitol Hill and Central District COVID-19 Crisis Closures: CHS has tried to confirm all reported statuses. Please let us know if any information needs to be updated [email protected] — LAST UPDATED: 9/29/20

Food and drink

  • Suika, lease issues, announced 9/27/2020
  • Juicebox Cafe, announced 9/28/20
  • Heritage Distilling Capitol Hill, announced 9/25/20
  • Amandine, closing 9/30/20 announced 9/25/20
  • Bar Sue, announced 9/25/20
  • Marination Station, announced 9/14/20
  • Ha Na, announced 8/27/20
  • Intrigue Coffeehouse, announced 8/21/20
  • Nates Wings & Waffles, Happy Grillmore and the Central District Ice Cream Company, announced 8/6/20
  • Americana, Broadway, announced 7/23/20
  • The Lounge by AT&T and Ada’s Discovery Cafe, E Thomas, announced 7/7/20
  • Bill’s Off Broadway, E Pine, announced 6/24/20
  • Stumptown, 12th Ave, announced 5/26/20
  • Adana, 15th and Pine, announced 5/21/20
  • Tougo, 18th and Union, announced early April, Yesler location remains open
  • My Thai, 10th Ave E, closed but we’re not sure when it shuttered

Retail and more

  • Take 2, 15th Ave E, announced 9/30/20
  • No Parking, E Pike, announced 9/5/20
  • Ritual House, 19th Ave E, reported 7/15/20
  • Totokaelo, 10th Ave, reported 7/13/20
  • Mode of Fitness, E Pine
  • Urban Outfitters, Broadway, youth fashion chain’s exit began last summer as Broadway Market began search for new tenant
  • Le Frock, E Pike, consignment shop announced permanent closure in April

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