Pullman hidden gem features designer gowns, unique items

Shop owner paid back one million dollars to community, offers private appointments

When+the+shop+first+opened+there+were+not+many+stores+downtown.

MASON MARON

When the shop first opened there were not many stores downtown.

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Evergreen reporter

Everyone has clothes they haven’t worn for months just sitting around in their house, collecting dust. Lily Bee’s is a consignment store that buys any item of clothing so the clutter at home can be cleared. 

Lily Bee’s owner Melanie Hodges said the store currently has over 500 consignors who bring in items to be sold on their behalf. 

Hodges said she started Lily Bee’s because she was widowed and did not have life insurance when her children were young. She would take them to a consignment shop and have enough money to cover her and her children for the month. 

“I always made a promise to my God that if he would see me through those hard times, that I would do the same thing for others,” she said. “I’ve paid back a million dollars to the community since I’ve been in business. I’ve had people cry when I’ve written out a check for them and it’s been amazing.”

When she moved to Pullman, Hodges said there was not a lot of shopping available around town, and the main thing she saw was Goodwill. Hodges said she enjoys seeing downtown Pullman grow with new businesses. 

“I love being downtown,” she said. “My thing is if you’re going to be a part of a community, be downtown. That’s where we’re at, even though I was the only one for a long time.” 

The store takes any type of clothing item, Hodges said. She said she particularly enjoys bridal and prom dresses. 

“We have Coug wear, we have men’s suits, we have just a variety of everything you can imagine,” she said. “We sell purses, we have shoes, we have jewelry. We just take in really beautiful things and that’s what the store has been about.”

Store employee Viktoria Veliz said the store mainly takes brand new items. Everything has to be dry cleaned or washed prior to being brought into the store, so the item can go straight onto the rack. 

Like Hodges, Veliz enjoys working with bridal and prom dresses. 

“We have a lot of brand new designer gowns that come in every once in a while and I get to show them off, and also some of our antiques and vintage pieces,” she said. “Some of our furniture have hidden drawers … and  it blows people’s minds.” 

Along with the stress of the pandemic, Hodges said she had to get hip surgery this year. This created difficulties for her, so she backed away from working full time. Now she only goes into the store for a couple of hours every morning to make sure the store is operating smoothly.

She said Veliz is a full-time employee at the store now. 

Veliz said she works from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and holds private appointments on Sundays and Mondays. She is the only employee at the store. 

She said some days are slow and working alone can be stressful. 

“For the most part, I get to do anything that I want to and the owner is pretty flexible with me, especially when brides come in,” she said. “It’s absolutely exciting.”