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

(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.”

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

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 -- LAST UPDATED: 10/14/20

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

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14 thoughts on “After decades of recycled fashion retail, Capitol Hill consignment shop Take 2 is closing” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. Always sad to hear of the closings. Best of luck to them in their next endeavors. On a separate note – the article is well-written and informative. Looks like CHS has a strong internship program.

  2. Wow, depressing. My heart goes out to the business owner. So frustrating that Inslee kept businesses closed for so long allowing the Amazons of the world to thrive while businesses like this suffer.

  3. This is a big loss for me. I have been shopping at Take2 for almost all of their 36 years. I love their combination of old and new, always at affordable prices. True, though – no clothes shopping for me during pandemic. Waah!

  4. Wow Star, I’m so sorry. Take 2 has been part of the neighborhood for so long and will be missed. Ive been shopping there for 25 years. All the best to you and your employees.

  5. This sucks. I’ve been shopping there since I moved into the area in 1992, so they’ve seen me through my grunge-era retail job 20’s, my “must look more professional for my office job” 30’s, and my “how on earth do I dress for my 40’s?” 40’s. They always came through! They are so nice and have great quality clothing, purses, tights, etc. I am truly sorry to hear about this.

  6. Sorry to see them go! Nice people, great prices. The window displays were always really well thought out. Big sigh and the best of luck to Sarah!!!! I know, too many exclamation points; ok virtual hugs ()()()

  7. This makes me so sad. Take 2 has been one of my favorite stores in CH since moving to the neighborhood in 2003. Star was always kind and friendly and treated everyone with great respect. She let nearby residents mail and receive packages at her store if they didn’t have a way to do so at the apartments. She also has an amazing sense of style and I always loved the window displays. I have many items I’ll always adore from her shop. Best of luck to you, Sarah Star!

  8. This is a tough time for retail, especially stores that don’t have a great online option. I haven’t been in a store to look at clothes since the shutdown. I have few places to wear new clothes and have a closet with clothes that I have not had a chance to wear or have worn very little. Also shopping for anything but necessities in a store or trying on clothes seems stressful, not fun. I admit most of my shopping except for groceries etc. has been online. There should be a fund set aside for rent assistance so that landlords don’t have to bear the brunt of whatever policies are in place. I would guess that business is really down due to COVID and the usual foot traffic there is gone and most aren’t inspired to get out and shop.

  9. COVID-911 is a public health scam to scare people into compliance, redistribute wealth and take out independent homes, families and economic endeavors. Our leaders have failed by violating all of our civil rights and our neighborhoods have been wrecked by POLICY, not germs. CDC models predicted 2.2 million deaths by now. It is a LIE. China will buy empty buildings on the hill just like Pioneer Square.

  10. I still wear some delightful clothes I bought there more than ten years ago, it is by far my favorite place to shop for clothes. Always something different but appropriate. I am sorry our city leaders do not have the vision to support our small businesses during this time. The council used the pandemic to pass the long-term ‘Amazon tax’ it had always wanted. But really, we needed a higher, short-term tax targeted specifically to the pandemic to help our city weather this – and assure the taxed, ie. Amazon, it was temporary. Our small businesses are the backbone of the city and shops like this keep everyone’s life more vibrant and interesting. Sorry to see it go and wish the owners the best.

  11. Sarah and Take 2 staff, Thank you for the years of service to the top-of-the-hill community. I have had many of your clothing items in my closet over the years. I am so sorry you have to close due to the cascade of circumstances our hilltop small businesses have had to face. Know that you and the store were appreciated and valued. Again, thank you.

    P.S. And Lena Friedman: Thanks for the excellent and empathetic coverage of Take 2’s closing.

  12. Just got this news from a friend, otherwise I wouldn’t have known. Very sad to hear about your closing – and I too have shopped there for over 20 years, and consigned too. Sarah & the staff have always been friendly and helpful. So sorry that there have been such a difficult culmination of events which were hard to overcome. Please know your loyal customers wish you the best. Take good care of yourselves.

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