Bag Ladies Resurrected: Nikki’s Nearly New Now Open

A local boutique changing Central Oregon’s view on consignment

Madelyn Walsh, Staff Writer

Fashion lovers and vintage divas: there’s a hot, new place to unleash all that Pinterest board inspiration. Over the summer, Bag Ladies, a west-side hot spot since the late 80s, has permanently closed. The little shop was adored by those who have a passion for thrifting and secondhand consignment across all generations. 

“I loved Bag Ladies, the workers [there] were always so friendly and the clothing was cute and unique!” said Summit senior Poppy Fridae. “It was clean, organized, and affordable. They also were in a great location, making it easy to access, especially for Summit teens, like myself, who live in the area.”

The beloved Bag Ladies consignment got a glamorous modern revamp—Nikki’s Nearly New—which is now taking over. Nikki’s Nearly New’s grand opening was held on Oct. 22, 2022 from 6:30-8:30 pm on Union Street. 

Annie Levitch, the owner at the time, planned to sell the building after retiring in July 2022. When riding bikes along the river, an antique sidewalk winds along the road, leading curious shoppers to the porch of the charming building. Surprisingly, the real estate market wasn’t hungry for this kind of property. A knowing glance from Nicole Mitlo-Adams and her aspiring partner and former Bag Ladies coworker Summer Ross later, the “for sale” sign was torn down. 

“Consignment is needed here,” said Ross. Passionate for keeping consignment alive in Bend, she believed continuing the business was a great idea.

Adams hopes making secondhand a habit will help solve the fast fashion crisis. Ross, a previous Summit student, was hired at Bag Ladies at 17 years old. With Ross’s representation of the younger generations and both women’s love for thrifting, antiquing and unique items, they found inspiration with a cause. Taking advantage of past experience, Adams wants the business to be as accessible as businesses on eBay. Adams also mentioned previously working in the modeling industry and residing in Los Angeles, one of the United States’ largest fashion hubs. Between the two owners, there’s plenty of experience and skill to keep the consignment alive and flourishing. 

The outer building in which Nikki’s is nestled harbors the same furnishing and similar vibe that Bag Ladies exhibited—but with an innovative twist. Upon entrance to the store, a contrast of neat paint to abundance of stocked racks and shelves catches not only your eye, but your wallet too. Keeping the traditional layout of the store, with additional sparkle, shoppers can find any style after only a single lap. Merchandise ranging from chunky, patterned sweaters to retro gear for the upcoming winter season provide quite the variety. Whether it be satchels and handbags, tops and slacks, loungewear and activewear, jackets and button ups, shoes and accessories or vintage and secondhand, Nikki’s has it all. 

With some ambition, fresh paint and a little rearranging, the shop was reinvented with a more modern appeal. The renovation brought more room for men’s style, expanding the space for more garments overall as well as an unique collection of hand-curated boots and vintage jewelry.  

In hopes of combatting fast fashion, Nikki’s plans to focus on accessibility, reasonable prices, and to promote sustainability with their clothing. When deciding pricing, Adams and Ross, again, take a modern approach. Once an item is retrieved, the original retail price of the brand and multiple resale websites are used to cross reference the pricing; absence of shipping is kept in mind. The past few years have been a time of change—for better or for worse—and the wide variety of styles has taken a bittersweet toll. When walking into a consignment store, never expect the pricing or quality of a typical thrift store. Nikki’s Nearly New has exemplary material and prices to match, so a $5.00 stained t-shirt won’t be there. 

Nikki’s partners with non-profit charity organizations like Saving Grace to be able to give back to the community. Making item donations and cash donations to several places like other consignment stores and more local organizations. Nikki’s also shows support for fellow secondhand shops in Bend and Sisters, with a card display at the front desk. Local stores like these that prioritize giving back are the perfect opportunity to support small businesses. Whether people buy, sell or work at Nikki’s, there will be quality, care and plenty of love to go around—a place for everyone and every style.