Precious Pieces sells clothes, toys and other products for babies and young children, with a portion of the profits benefiting local children with autism. Photo courtesy of Ashlie Grills Walker.
When Ashlie Grill Walker was a fashion merchandising major at Auburn University, one of her work experiences not only changed her major, it changed her life.
After being assigned to work at the Little Tree Learning Center, Walker was reluctant about working with children with autism. She left the experience feeling she had greater purpose.
“I did it and I fell in love,” Walker said. “It was the most amazing thing I ever did in my life. I found what I was looking for.”
After graduating from Auburn in 2004 with a degree in psychology, Walker went on to obtain her master’s degree in psychology, with a specialty in applied behavior analysis, from Florida State University in 2008.
Walker is now using her fashion merchandising experience, along with her passion for children with autism, at her new store: Precious Pieces. The consignment store, located in Bluff Park Village, opened the beginning of May.
The mission of the store is twofold. First, Walker sells gently used, quality children’s items at a reasonable price that will benefit the buyer and seller. Second, she donates a portion of the monthly profits to Milestones Behavior Group’s therapy scholarships for Birmingham children with autism.
Milestones is a non-profit company that Walker founded to provide low or no-cost services to families in need. Walker has two daughters and has been part of the consignment scene since before they were born. A Bluff Park resident, she said it was a logical choice to have the store close to home. Her volunteers include some of her old clients from Milestones, who tag and fold clothes to get job skill practice. Walker will also provide them work references for the future.
The store accepts baby and children’s clothing from newborn to size 10. Walker says they are currently in need of boy’s clothes sizes 3-10, girl’s shoes and baby gear. Customers can receive a cash offer on their items or will receive 40 percent of the selling price if they choose to consign it. Items not picked up after 90 days will be donated to charity.
Walker said inventory at the store has exploded the past few weeks and is looking forward to what the future holds.
“I pray every night the consignment store does well, and we can help give a kids a chance who would never had one,” Walker said.
Precious Pieces is located at 2142 Tyler Road, Suite 106. It’s open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Learn more at preciouspiecesbluffpark.com.