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Julia Claire Repeat Boutique to open in Preston

Mon, Mar 26th, 2012
Posted in Preston Features

Trish Keating is opening a new consignment shop in Preston on April 10. Photo by Jade Sexton

Trish Keating has always wanted to open up a shop of her own, especially in a small town in this area. When she lived in the Twin Cities area, she visited Fillmore County frequently with her family. Two years ago she moved to Preston, and is now about to make that dream a reality.

In an old building in Preston that is full of history, Keating is opening a consignment shop called Julia Claire Repeat Boutique. The name comes from the name of her twin granddaughters, who are the light of her life. They live in Lanesboro with their mother.

Keating did some research and found that consignment shops tend to do well even when the economy is bad, as people are trying to save money.

“This building has such a huge history,” said Keating. “It used to be the Victory Café years ago, and it was a grocery store. The upstairs used to be a dance hall.”

Before Keating came along, the building, owned by Doug Johnson, was a hardware store. It has been sitting empty now for about a year and a half.

“I just thought to leave it closed and not in use is really sad,” said Keating.

Keating believes strongly in supporting local businesses. “I feel it’s very important to keep that economy going,” she said.

Preston was a good choice for Keating, as she feels the town needs her kind of business. Although tourists and visitors are more than welcome, the business is geared to local residents. Keating feels people need a place to buy gifts, clothing, jewelry, or artwork without having to make a long drive.

“I have faith in this town,” she said with a smile. “I am hoping to revitalize things and get people excited about shopping here.”

Keating noted that businesses in small towns can offer a personalized service that larger businesses cannot, and people really enjoy that.

“I’m really excited about this!” she shared.

The consignment shop is all about reusing old things, and Keating has taken that even further. She has taken old furniture found in the attic or people’s basements and cleaned it up to be used in the shop. Her dressing rooms are sectioned off with old painted doors. Shelves and corkboard are being used from the hardware store. Even the paint on the walls was left over from the hardware store.

Julia Claire Repeat Boutique will have a wide variety of items for sale, including clothing for men, women, and children, jewelry, some furniture, books, home accessories, and art. One thing Keating is really excited about is selling work by local artisans. She currently has a jewelry maker, graphic designer, photographers, and a quilter that will be selling their work at her shop.

People that would like to sell used items, such as clothing, must bring them in cleaned and pressed, and they must be seasonal. When the item is sold, the owner gets 40 percent commission. Keating checked with other shops to find out the going rate.

Sometimes people just want to get rid of things, and donations can certainly be made as well. Each quarter, Keating will pick a charity or organization to help out, and all proceeds from donated items will go to this organization. The first quarter, money will be going to Relay for Life.

Julia Claire Repeat Boutique will be opening on April 10. The shop will be open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:30am to 5pm, Thursdays 11am to 8:30pm, and Saturdays from 9am-1pm. It will be closed on Sundays and Mondays.

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