Michele Austin is always looking for a good bargain. She even plans family vacations around yard sales and thrift stores.
So when Fondren consignment store Orange Peel came up for sale earlier this year, she called the decision to buy it “a no-brainer.”
The owner of Repeat Street in Ridgeland, celebrating ten years this fall, and Revolution in Starkville said the opportunity came after running into long-time friend and Orange Peel owner Kristen Tubb at lunch one day.
“We’ve always loved them,” Austin said of Tubb and her store at the corner of Mitchell and Oxford Avenues. “When we first opened (Repeat Street), I went to her for advice and she was always extremely helpful. With Kristen moving and selling the store, I started bouncing the idea off of my husband, Greg. We thought, ‘We love Fondren! And, we have the experience, so, why not!”
Much will remain the same about the business located in an old home just west of Fondren’s downtown historic district, especially the store name. “Kristen’s built a following and everyone I talk to is excited it will stay open and keep going as Orange Peel.”
A few dÃ©cor and organizational changes are underway. “We’ve painted the doors,” Austin said of some brightly colored hues chosen for some exterior splash. “We want it to stay exciting, fun and funky.”
Furniture and home decor will make the move from the shed back inside, clothing is no longer arranged by color but by size and pricing will remain about the same.
Consignment is popular these days, crossing generational lines for Austin’s customers and for her.
“People love a bargain, the thrill of the hunt. I grew up doing this with my mom and my grandmother, who had an antique store and an auction. We spent summers going to flea markets and yard sales. It was always changing and always fun.
Austin said she is passionate about the business that has been good for her. “If you are doing it right, it makes for a good living. People use the phrase ‘retail therapy,’ but for me, it’s ‘resale therapy.’”
Look for a new smartphone app that ties Orange Peel, Repeat Street and Revolution together so that you can combine your rewards for use at any of the three stores. Â Follow Orange Peel on Facebook.