Back-to-school shopping keeps students, parents busy

ELKINS – The start of a new school year brings an array of preparations, and area students are out this weekend selecting items they need to begin classes.

Most local schools re-open for instruction next week, and on Friday, Elkins businesses were bustling with parents and teens searching for perfect items to make the new year smooth.

At the Elkins Walgreens Friday, students were searching for school supplies.

“We have sold a ton of folders,” Walgreens Assistant Manager Shirley Blue said. “Folks have also purchased lots of pens, pencils, markers and backpacks. We have a large selection of back-to-school supplies to get students ready to go.”

Blue said parents shopping in the store have told her they are stocking up on juice drinks and snacks for lunches and after-school.

Erin Cain and sister Keely Cain, from Hawley, Minn., spent Friday afternoon combing the racks at The Fashion Closet, looking for back-to-school clothes. The shop, located at 111 Davis Ave. in Elkins, is owned by Ishah Franks.

“I am searching for items to wear to school,” Erin said. “Specifically, I want to find maroon clothes and patterned leggings.”

Keely said she is looking for lace items.

“If I find items I like, I buy them and remake them into what I need,” Keely said. “I enjoy sewing, so I can make them into what I want.”

She said she doesn’t necessarily follow any trends.

“I just pick out the items I really like.”

Franks said students are mostly looking for regular clothes – jeans, tops and shirts.

“Parents seem to be looking for transitional items that kids can grow into,” Franks said. “One thing they are asking for is adjustable pants. Parents are also purchasing clothes in the next size up for their kids to grow into. This helps because they can shop at thrift stores, consignment shops and yard sales and get more for their money.”

Other busy businesses around town this week are barber shops and beauty parlors. Terri Ketterman Dumire, owner of Terri’s Shear Magic, said her shop – located at 105 2nd St. – has been packed with those looking for the perfect back-to-school ‘doo.

“Our phone has been hopping with folks calling to get appointments,” Dumire said. “Everyone wants to get ready to go back to school.”

Dumire said most kids are requesting hair cuts and styles, chunky highlights and crazy colors.

“Most people look online and bring in two or three different pictures of the haircuts they like,” Dumire said. “When they get here, we usually do a combination of the photos – they will like the bangs from one photo and the style or length from another.”

Facebook status updates on Friday also showed folks shopping for back-to-school bargains.

Nancy Anne Loudin, of Belington, said she was thankful she didn’t have to do back-to-school shopping anymore.

“But I did send my granddaughter, Hannah, who lives in S.C., some things for her first locker as she is entering middle school,” Loudin wrote.

Elkins resident Stephanie White said she is shopping for items to furnish her daughter’s college dorm, while Denise A. Davis, of Parkersburg, said she is shopping for things for her daughter’s new apartment in Morgantown.

Christina Hyre Nestor, a former resident of Elkins, said her kindergarten-age daughter has experienced a growth spurt in the last month.

“We are shopping for summery clothes to get her through the rest of this summer and into fall and winter,” Nestor said. “She starts kindergarten, so we get to get everything including a backpack, lunchbox, crayons and markers – the whole nine yards.”