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Popular consignment shop returns to Fort Kent

Three-year-old Charlotte Lake found some good bargains on gently used name-brand clothing while shopping with her mother Lauren at the new Little Daniel's Den store in Fort Kent on Monday, March 13. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

Three-year-old Charlotte Lake found some good bargains on gently used name-brand clothing while shopping with her mother Lauren at the new Little Daniel’s Den store in Fort Kent on Monday, March 13. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

FORT KENT, Maine — The namesake of a newly reopened consignment shop on Main Street in Fort Kent has grown considerably since his mother first began the business nearly a decade ago.

Daniel Morgenthaler was a baby just learning to crawl when Melanie Daigle introduced Little Daniel’s Den to the public in 2008. After closing several years ago, Little Daniel’s Den has returned, and this time folks can expect to see 10-year-old Daniel, a fourth-grader, helping out at the shop at the end of his school day.

“He’s all ready today to do the checkout,” Daigle said on the morning of the store’s re-opening, Monday, March 13. “He’ll take the bus here after school.”

Carolyn Daigle helps her daughter Melanie Daigle prepare for the opening of Little Daniel's Den in Fort Kent on Monday, March 13. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

Carolyn Daigle helps her daughter Melanie Daigle prepare for the opening of Little Daniel’s Den in Fort Kent on Monday, March 13. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

Little Daniel’s Den is a consignment shop with a boutique feel. The store offers gently used name-brand children’s clothing for boys from newborn to size 10-12 and girls from newborn to size 14-16. Shoes, winter apparel, and items such as playpens, high-chairs, strollers, car seats and crib quilts are also available.

The shop’s displays are thoughtfully arranged and Daigle said she is willing to help customers with gift ideas and with combining articles of clothing into desirable outfits.

Daigle said that she sensed a need in the community for quality children’s clothing at reasonable prices.

“The only place to buy children’s clothes right now is Family Dollar, or, you can go to Madawaska but even then you are limited,” she said.

Daigle only accepts clothing which is clean, and lightly worn, standards which have not prevented her from filling her shop.

“A lot of people around here take care of their things,” she said.

Melanie Daigle, owner of Little Daniel's Den in Fort Kent, custom created a quilt which hangs behind the counter of the store on Monday, March 13. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

Melanie Daigle, owner of Little Daniel’s Den in Fort Kent, custom created a quilt which hangs behind the counter of the store on Monday, March 13. (Jessica Potila | SJVT/FhF)

Brand names include Gap, Old Navy, Carters and many more. She returns 40 percent of each sale to the owner.

Little Daniel’s Den also carries Under the Nile Organics brand natural stuffed toys. Daniel himself made a video in which he describes the stuffies. Under the Nile representatives were so impressed with the ringing endorsement, they shared it on their own Facebook page.

Other new items in the shop include hobo bags and burpee rags which Daigle’s friend Jodi Guy designs. Guy owns the home bakery known as The Funny Farm, and concocted fresh frosted cupcakes for the grand re-opening of Little Daniel’s Den. The cupcakes included locally-tapped maple syrup which Melanie, Daniel, and Melanie’s fiance Bill Hartt collected on Hartt’s property.

Hartt and his family, as well as Daigle’s mother, Carolyn Daigle, helped to prepare Little Daniel’s Den for the opening.

“Mom’s been ironing like a champ,” Melanie Daigle said. “She likes to go around and iron things.”

Carolyn Daigle said that as a grandmother she recognizes the need for a shop like Little Daniel’s Den in the town. Her other grandson recently visited from out of state and Carolyn purchased many brand new baby items in anticipation of the visit.

“My stuff was used for (only) two weeks and it was all brand new,” she said.

Gently used and affordable items such as those available at Little Daniel’s Den will allow for Memes and Pepes to stock their homes with clothing, playpens, and other useful items, without breaking the bank. It is also an ideal place to shop for gifts, according to Carolyn.

“When you’re invited to a baby shower there’s no place to go in town to get anything, or a birthday present,” she said.

Melanie Daigle also designs and creates custom quilts, including memory quilts. She even designed a playful quilt which depicts a friendly looking lion for Little Daniel’s Den which hangs behind the cash register at the store.

Little Daniel’s Den is located at the corner of East Main and Market streets in the red building next to Rite Aid. The store is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. A Little Daniel’s Den webpage is in the works and in the near future online shopping will be available. For more information about Little Daniel’s Den or to order a custom quilt, call Melanie Daigle at (207) 557-9354 or check out the Little Daniel’s Den Facebook page.

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