Archive for the ‘charity’ Category

Fur at a Garage Sale?

September 14, 2010

Annual Merchant Garage Sale

This past Saturday was Hinsdale’s Annual Merchants Garage Sale. We have participated every year since it began over 40 years ago. Once a year the village cleans out the municipal garage, where they store all the big trucks and allow the merchants to set up shop for the day. This year, we set up for both our Formal Wear and fur salon and were joined by the bicycle shop, women’s clothing shop, a hardware store, housewares, a jeweler, books and a few more merchants that I can not recall. All the 1st time shoppers are shocked to see a furrier set up in a garage but when they check out the prices they are glad that we are there. Since the beginning we have participated more as a promotional tool and made a few sales of furs from the prior year at our cost. Since we opened our consignment section , This Old Fur, we use the sale as the kick off the season.

A very happy customer


I hope you can see from the photos that a furrier in a garage sale is different but fun. I am writing this blog to remind other Entrepreneurs that some times a little change and a lot a fun = sales and happy customers. As soon as we returned to the store we set the date for 2 Fur Fantasy Events! These are dress up parties to benefit charities.  Please let me know about any creative marketing ideas you have tried during this tough economy.

If the sales on Saturday were any indication – fur is the choice for this winter season!


Change is in the Air

August 8, 2010

I have been back from vacation for a week and I can tell that everyone is starting to think about the change of season. In the last week I have made lots of changes back to work after a month off…….change from sleeping late and sitting by the pool to getting up early and sitting at my desk. My house was transformed last week with new siding and roof after a storm damaged it. I am luck my house is at the end of a dead-end or I would have driven right by. Truth of the matter is the biggest change in my life was my hair I have been growing it to donate it for the past 3 years. Let me tell you I hated every minute of it. (I donated a kidney to a friend and that was easier) I love wash and wear hair! The long hair look is not for me. But I had promised my niece when she was 10 that I would do it with her. She donated 3 times in the time mine grew for my one and only donation. Thanks to a talented hair stylist, I no longer see my grandmother when I look in the mirror.

What do you think? My next planned change is to get back to regular excercise and regularly blogging. I seem to procrastinate when it comes to these 2 subjects.

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.