Archive for June, 2010

In An Instant … Tragedy Strikes!

June 21, 2010

The store engulfed in flames

Last Friday night as I was driving home during a horrendous rain storm, I could see smoke up ahead … and then my cell phone rang and I received devastating news.

The WINGS Resale shop in Palatine was burning to the ground.
You may not know that WINGS is my favorite charity. I have been an active and passionate WINGS volunteer for 20 years. Here’s a description from its website, in case you’re not familiar with the organization:

WINGS (Women In Need Growing Stronger) is a not for profit agency that helps homeless and abused women and children by offering integrated services that meet their needs for shelter, education, guidance and support. We provide safe, secure living environments, through transitional housing and emergency shelter, in residential neighborhoods that allow women to go to school, work, and achieve financial and emotional independence.

WINGS provides an amazing and wonderful service to the community. It has the capacity to provide shelter for 45 women and children fleeing domestic violence in a safe house, and has beds in transitional housing for 120 people in need. This program has helped thousands of women and children – many of which I have met personally during my time as a volunteer.

The Resale shop that I saw go up in flames has been providing the major source of revenue for the WINGS program. Even so, I realize this tragic situation could have been so much worse. We are blessed the building had been evacuated because the storm had caused a power outage – and so no one was hurt. Nevertheless …

The need for help is huge and immediate.

State funding contributes only some 2% of WINGS operating revenues. The WINGS team relies heavily on resale shop sales and on individual and corporate donors. The Palatine Shop – the largest revenue producer of the three WINGS resale shops – had been netting over $500,000 annually – some 14% of the budget.

There has been a great outpouring of support from the community. We’re grateful that people are dropping items at the other resale shops in great numbers. But what WINGS needs immediately is money, so that it can continue serving its population of homeless women and children.

Please help! WINGS needs our money now. Follow this link to donate – and in the place on the form where you can honor someone, enter the words “Susie Says” or “Facebook Friend” so WINGS can see how wonderful the internet community is! And please – if you have items to donate for resale – hold them until WINGS can get another storefront up and running. In the meantime, if you have store fixtures, let me know.

Thanks very much for reading this. Your help means a lot to me.

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Furs Like Bananas Do Not Belong in Your Refrigerator

June 11, 2010

From my childhood my favorite commercial was for Chiquita Bananas. The banana would sing a little song that went…….
” I’m Chiquita banana and I’ve come to say
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way
When they are fleck’d with brown and have a golden hue Bananas taste the best and are best for you
You can put them in a salad
You can put them in a pie-aye
Any way you want to eat them
It’s impossible to beat them
But, bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator.”

I felt like singing this song today after a customer called to ask why she couldn’t just put her coat in the refrigerator for summer storage.

The storage vaults are kept at about 45 degrees and have very low humidity- refrigerators have much higher humidity.

The coats are hung with air circulating in the storage vault- I don’t know how this could be the case in a refrigerator.

I can give a 100% guarentee that watermelon juice (which actually happened to a customer’s coat when she tried to store it in her refrigerator) will not be spilled on your coat in a proper fur storage vault.

How to choose a consignment shop

June 1, 2010

Are you thinking about bringing clothes you no longer wear to a consignment shop? What should you do first?
First, you should go out shopping at the consignment shops you are considering bringing your items to. Do you like the atmosphere? Do they provide good customer service?
Does it look like a boutique or a rummage sale? Are the items they have for sale things that you would wear? If they are styles and brands that you would purchase, chances are shoppers would purchase your items.

Next, you should ask about the consignment policy and procedures. Do you need an appointment? What is the split? When are you paid? How long is the consignment period? What happens to the items that don’t sell? Are you able to pick them up? Do they get donated and if so, who gets the donation receipt?

Once you find a consignment shop that meets your needs, go home and clean your closets. Be sure that the items you bring in are cleaned and pressed. You wouldn’t want to buy dirty clothes and neither would other shoppers. I strongly suggest that you sort your clothing by season. Most consignment shops are seasonal; they do not take summer items in November nor winter items in June.

When you bring your items in, be sure that the items are going to be accepted for sale. Confirm the date that you would need to pick up any unsold items. Then tell all your friends that you found a great place to shop. Remember: the more people that go into the store, the more sales will be made – so spread the word! When you get the check for your sold items, you will be glad that you told your friends. Perhaps you can even find a new outfit at the same consignment shop.