Brashinger: Frankfort woman opens second consignment shop
By Ginger Brashinger Citizen Journalistfirstname.lastname@example.org April 4, 2014 3:02PM
Updated: May 7, 2014 6:12AM
Less than five years after opening Evilena’s Red Dresser, a home goods consignment shop, Frankfort resident Jan Sabey has opened a second store in Frankfort, Evilena’s Red Dresser II.
“Initially, I thought this was going to be exactly like the other store, more furniture and home décor,” Sabey said. “We were packed. I had to turn furniture away.”
But the concept for the second store changed when customers asked her if she was “doing clothing” in the new store.
“I never thought I’d want to do clothing,” she said.
But Sabey was offered a unique opportunity when a Frankfort man agreed to put his deceased wife’s clothing on consignment.
“What inspired us was that the family felt honored to share her things with us,” Sabey said.
In turn, she honored the family by calling the woman’s clothing, many pieces from Paris and Italy, the “Jane Collection.”
“She loved to clothe herself. She was an artist in the way she dressed,” Sabey said. “She was a master gardener. She was an artist and painter.”
Sabey said the collection, which also included many of Jane’s paintings, “opened the doors” at Evelina’s Red Dresser II. The response has been significant.
“And, now, we have appointments every day with beautiful clothing, jewelry, purses, shoes,” she said, adding that the store, at more than 2,000 square feet, is packed with used goods.
Sabey’s success has not been by chance. After leaving a 30-year nursing career, she took a variety of classes and “spent a long time in prayer for a good year ahead of opening the store” to figure out how to “reinvent” herself, she said. Becoming an entrepreneur won out.
“What really got me motivated … was I liked the idea of repurposing and reusing, recycling,” Sabey said. “I was raised that way.”
She said her mother Evilena, 97, after whom her business is named, “saved everything.”
“It was always in the basement. We could always go down there if we had a school project to do and find what we needed,” Sabey said.
Despite the poor economy in 2008, Sabey said, she was “encouraged” to open a consignment business that would benefit both someone wanting to make money selling used items and customers looking for a good deal during a time when money was tight.
Sabey had one part-time employee the first year and worked full-time herself. She added a second employee the following year.
Sabey now employs eight people, all of whom fulfill a “vision” that Sabey had before opening the first store — to hire local people who also had businesses that could be promoted through her store.
Another vision to hold workshops and events at the first store is being continued at Evilena’s II.
“I also wanted more space for daytime and evening workshops, and this space lends itself beautifully to that,” Sabey said.
She’s accepting unused or gently-used items for her store and offers a 50-50 split with the owner of the goods. She asks that consignors bring in no more than 15 of their “best items, ready to go and put out on the floor.”
Clothing should be current, classic or vintage and jewelry should be costume, not fine.
Sabey said the items on display are there to “inspire people. When they come in, we want it to be an experience.”
Her experience since opening the first shop nearly five years ago has been to make many new friendships within the Lincoln-Way community, Sabey said.
“It’s just a great community business,” she said. “The store is really the community because I don’t really own any of (the contents). It’s such a wonderful eclectic mix of things, and that’s what makes it fun.”
Evilena’s Red Dresser I, 59 W. Bankview Drive, , and Evilena’s Red Dresser II, 20887 LaGrange Road, are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, visit www.evilenasreddresser.com or www.facebook/EvilenasRedDresser.com