Consignment shops plan moves to larger sites

Finders Keepers Furnishings exterior

Finders Keepers, a cluster of consignment shops that recently celebrated 32 years in business, announced that one of its four stores, Finders Keepers Furnishings, is moving soon—but not far. The new location, a recently vacated space at Twin Oaks Shopping Plaza, is less than a mile from the present location on East College Avenue in Decatur.

Consignment stores act as agents for individuals selling clothing and other goods, which typically are used. The store owners, who receive a portion of the sale price, decide whether to accept items offered for resale.

Jack and Jill Children’s Resale Boutique, a consignment shop that specializes in children’s clothing, will move into the space Finders Keepers Furnishings is vacating.

Bonnie Kallenberg, who has owned Finders Keepers since 1990, said that both she and Lisa Doesburg, owner of Jack and Jill, were considering options for more space when the Twin Oaks opportunity opened up. “Lisa and I have been good friends for years. Finders Keepers no longer handles children’s clothing so we refer those looking to sell children’s clothing to Jack and Jill,” Kallenberg said.

She said both hoped to keep their businesses in Avondale Estates. They called it “divine intervention” when everything fell into place. “Lisa and I are excited that we can expand our businesses and continue to support the Avondale Estates community,” Kallenberg said.

Jack and Jill
“We were approached with this opportunity at the perfect time as we are bursting at the seams with merchandise and business is booming,” Doesburg said in a statement announcing the move. “We believe this move will enable us to better serve our customers and consignors while making space for another longtime Avondale business to grow, too.”

Avondale Estates has in the past three decades become a center for consignment and thrift stores, with more than a dozen such shops in the area. “I don’t really know why that is,” Kallenberg said. “We were the first of the consignment stores and there’s a big Salvation Army store that’s been here for a while. Both have done well and I guess success attracts success.”

Finders Keepers first opened in 1984 as a small store that sold children’s clothing and home décor items. It soon expanded to a larger store that also sold women’s clothing and accessories.

“That turned out to be a good move,” recalled Kallenberg, who had worked for the previous owner before purchasing the business. “Career women, especially, like to freshen their wardrobes without breaking their budgets. When the economy was in a slump, many women who previously bought only department store retail discovered the bargains to be had in a consignment shop. They continue to shop consignment stores even though their financial situations have improved.”

Kallenberg said much of the business’ success has been because owners have been discerning about which merchandise they accept. “We have a reputation for quality merchandise—well made and in excellent shape. Our customers want items they can wear or use immediately.” Merchandise not sold in a specified time period is donated to charity.

There are certain types of furniture and clothing that will not be accepted because they currently are not selling well. “There’s just no market for television armoires or Queen Anne furniture right now. Furniture like fashion goes in cycles with respect to its popularity. We want items that are likely to sell quickly,” Kallenberg said.

To showcase fashion-forward, designer and couture clothing and accessories Kallenberg opened Finders Keepers Boutique in 2007. There also is a Finders Keepers Menswear. “We discovered that men like having a separate place to shop,” Kallenberg explained.

She said the moving dates for the stores haven’t been established yet. The Twin Oaks space will require some renovation to bring it up to code, Kallenberg explained. “We’re hoping to move in May and Jack and Jill wants to be in its new space in June, but the actual dates will be determined by the leasing company,” she said.

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