October 30, 2012

A year in the making, consignment retailer Fondren Muse opened to the public on Wednesday, October 31. Specializing in high end cocktail and casual dress labels, Fondren Muse says they will make the process easy to consign and give to charity. “We wanted to make it really simple, “ proprietor Mary Amelia McRee insists. “Come by during business hours – no appointment necessary. We’ll flip through and take what we can sell and send you check when it moves.” McRee says a 50/50 split gives consignees an option to donate to Community Animal Rescue Association, a charity she often volunteers for.

In addition to consignment, look for the store’s FM Dry Goods boutique in the bright sun room beyond the check out desk. There you’ll see Found My Animal fashionable, wearable leashes; Pendleton Wool Mills goods likes wallets, purses and pillows; the Starkville, Miss. made Reserve candle line from Aspen Bay Candle Company and Memphis based World’s Away light fixtures hanging throughout the store. And Fondren Muse goes local with Kristen Ley’s one-of-a-kind scarves, William Goodman and Nell Knox’s canvases and McRee’s own custom made jewelry.

Renovations have been ongoing since January. The property, at 3413 North State Street in the overlay district, was once listed by a realtor McRee knows well, her husband, Damon Wofford. “We thought having his office here would be a great idea,” she says. “But we knew we’d have to rent out the rest of the space to generate an income. That lead to Fondren Muse.” An animal lover, McRee knew a shelter wouldn’t work in this location. “Retail, I thought, would be good. Consignment was a fit for the area.”

The look of Fondren Muse is vintage with white paneled floors, original exposed wooden slats and re purposed touches throughout. Walls were removed to help the space flow. “We were flying by the seat of our pants,” McRee tell us. As for a color palette, simple was best. “We decided on white because it was such a mess when we bought it. We wanted a clean slate.”

In the span of one year, it’s all finally come together, but McRee says she hasn’t had time to bask in the completion of the project. “I’m so busy, I can’t slow down to think about it,” she says. “I mean, it’s really opening. So much still has to be done.” McRee says over the next couple of weeks, she hopes for a time to reflect. “I’ll sit back and appreciate it more. It’s come a long way. Hopefully people like it.”

Fondren Muse/FM Dry Goods hours are to be determined but for now will follow a “typical Fondren schedule.” Open Monday Noon – 6pm, Tuesday through Friday 11am – 6pm  and Saturday 10am — 4pm. McRee says they’ll hold a grand opening “in about a month.”

Related: Everyone Creating Something: Mary Amelia McRee