GOREVILLE — It was a casual remark from a stranger that led Lisa Hudson on a new business venture.
Hudson, owner of The Country Peddler Antique Mall in Goreville, was helping her daughter sell some children’s clothes online using Facebook. Her daughter, Hannah Edmonds, often met buyers at Hudson’s business to pick up their merchandise. One purchaser made a very simple statement as she looked around: “You two should just open a kids’ consignment store here.”
Hudson says she did not have to think about the statement long.
“I said to my daughter, ‘That’s not a bad idea. We have extra space here.’ Then I told her we should do it.”
The pair began gathering inventory of new and like-new children’s clothing from others selling online and from friends as well as Edmond’s own children.
“She has two boys and they outgrow their clothes faster than you can bat an eye,” Hudson said.
With the idea, the gathered inventory and some posts on social media, their consignment store and boutique aptly named “Outgrown” was born in unused space of the antique mall.
Hudson says the plan was to launch in May, but after positive feedback and lots of “When are you opening?” questions, the pair began serving customers in April.
“It just sort of took off,” she said. “It’s been really great with people bringing in items for consignment and now they’re helping us spread the word.”
Outgrown features children’s clothing from newborn to size 18 for both boys and girls as well as some baby items such as highchairs and strollers. She says consigners bring in items they wish to sell and store staff inspect clothing and other items for stains, tears and other flaws before setting a price. Items Hudson feels as though will not sell are returned to the consigner. Those that are in-season go on sale.
Hudson says each consigner receives a check at the end of the month for 60 percent of the sales price for their items which have sold. She says many of the clients she sells for are also customers, using their proceeds for purchases.
Items in the store are never more than $25 and some are as little as $1, Hudson says, using the example of brand-new Levi jeans for about $20 and a new girls coat. The original tag on the coat says $70, but Hudson is selling it for $8. She says not only are shoppers pleased with the bargains, but sellers benefit, too.
“They’re probably getting more than they would at a yard sale and there’s not nearly as much hassle,” she said. “And they don’t have to worry about going somewhere to meet a buyer and having the person not show up. A lot of people have told us what a blessing the store is to them.”
Hudson says she sees outgrown a service to both people who have children’s clothing to sell and those looking to find bargains.
She says that the consignment business is considerable work, adding that it takes about a week to go through potential inventory and get those items on the sales floor. She says she also is having trouble keeping some certain items in stock.
“The biggest problem right now is getting little boys’ sizes,” she said. “I guess it’s because they are rough on their clothes, yet I have people looking for things for their boys, probably because they are rough on clothes, too.”
She says she hopes to grow the business to “the whole back part of the building” or expand to another location in Johnson County.
Outgrown is at 605 W. Main St. in Goreville and can be reached at 618-995-9222. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.