Consignors make money, fill needs and share smiles
By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (February 22, 2016) – Prom dresses, pearl snap shirts, blue jeans, jewelry and home décor – there’s something for just about everyone at Second Time Around Consignment.
“I tell people we’ve sold everything from the insides of a toilet to cut crystal,” Paula Bohannon quipped, pointing to a few new arrivals – a cut crystal vase, decanter and dish.
The business first opened its doors in April 2013 at its former location on College Street in downtown Stephenville. Bohannon said the shop was the brainchild of her daughter, Mona Little.
“It’s something she wanted to do for the community, but she has a real job,” she said, adding that Mona is nutrition director for Stephenville ISD.
“We started with not one thing,” Paula said, recalling the early days.
That nothing has grown into all sorts of things and a larger store at 898 N. Graham Street, at the intersection of Graham and Frey streets. Second Time Around has been at that location, which once housed Jack’s Chemical, since late 2014.
“We now consign for 380 people and add three or four new cosigners every week,” Bohannon added.
To keep the inventory ever changing and varied, Bohannon tries to keep an open mind when accepting new merchandise.
“When we first started, we had nothing and couldn’t limit ourselves,” Bohannon said. “And that’s how we still do business. Jewelry, purses, western wear and boots always do well. Some ladies prefer really high heels. Everybody is different, so we need to be able to offer different things.”
If the things shoppers seek include clothing, Second Time Around has a wide array for women, men and children ranging from toddler size 2 up to XXL in adults. Bohannon accepts certain clothing items throughout the year, including denim, business apparel, prom and cocktail dresses, purses, shoes and accessories.
Clothing is otherwise accepted on a seasonal basis. The current list of accepted items includes spring apparel such as short sleeve tops, lightweight pants, capris and shorts. Beginning April 1, spaghetti strap tops and sundresses will also be accepted.
Consignors are required to laundry all items before taking them into the shop. All clothing must be on hangers and free of damage, including holes, stains and missing embellishments, buttons or zippers.
Home décor, bedding and select household items are also accepted.
While the shop operates on an open-minded philosophy, Bohannon has learned that not everything will sell.
“When people call asking what we will take, I advise them to come and look around the shop,” she said, adding that the consigner signs a contract, giving possession of their items to Second Time Around. “We do pretty well selling the things we do accept.”
When new items are taken to the store, Bohannon sorts through them. If she comes across items she thinks won’t sell, they are immediately donated to Basic Needs Ministry at Graham Street Church of Christ. The ministry, which allows individuals in need to “shop” for cost-free necessities twice a week, also receives any merchandise that doesn’t sell during the consignment period.
“The things I accept for consignment are on the floor for 90 days,” Bohannon said. “After that, they’re marked down. If they still don’t sell, they’re taken to Basic Needs. It’s a win-win. If an item sells, the consigner makes a little money. If it doesn’t, the item will go to one of your neighbors in need.”
She also said most people have something they no longer need.
“Just about everyone has things they don’t want anymore, taking up space on their closet floor or in a storage building,” Bohannon said. “They no longer need or want them, but somebody else really needs them. We want to help put those things to good use and keep them out of the landfill whenever possible.”
Running a business built on filling needs comes with bonuses.
“People are able to walk out these doors looking good and feeling good about themselves,” Bohannon said. “When you feel and look good, you have better day and good things start happening. I like being a part of the community and giving people that place where they can come and get something good for themselves.”
The shop’s ever-changing merchandise also includes a growing selection of items crafted of repurposed wood.
“My husband, Robert, does wood working,” Bohannon said. “He can make just about anything using old fence posts and things people have torn down. There’s a bench outside he made from an old headboard. We also have some Adirondack chairs, beautiful crosses and candle holders. All kinds of home decor.”
Second Time Around Consignment is open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and accepts merchandise at any time during operating hours. Sales are posted once a week, and consignors can stop by to see what has sold and pick up a check at their convenience. Cash consignors receive 40 percent on every item sold, but those who prefer to shop receive 50 percent in store credit.
Bohannon said there are a number of regulars who bring in items and don’t accept cash or credit.
“We accept donations and keep track of those things that sell,” she said, adding the funds are used to support community members who are having problems paying their bills or stocking their pantries. “We like to help out any way we can.”
The consignment store may only open four days per week, but it’s a full-time labor of love. With a store full of merchandise, the work is at times more than the retired credit manager from Grapevine expected. But Bohannon has a small and reliable staff – her grandson Cade Little, a full-time college student who is not afraid of heavy lifting and moving items in, out and across the sales floor.
You can find what’s in store at Second Time Around Consignment on the shop’s Facebook page.