Durangoans watching out for each other and a bit of luck kept the doors open at one of the town’s longtime consignment shops, Second Time Around.
The shop has even gained a bit more prominence finding a new location at 1139 Main Ave., in a long-vacant space formerly home to Fast Signs.
“We hit the jackpot on a location,” said Wes Stein, who along with his wife, Melissa, purchased the business from Jerilyn Davis. “We found a place on Main and we have four dedicated parking spaces in the back. And we’re right down from 11th Street Station, which is the hottest thing in town right now.”
The Steins, who own The Mountain Cleaning Co., which specializes in cleaning Airbnbs and vacation rentals, were suffering after COVID-19 health restrictions brought cleaning opportunities to an screeching halt.
“We had been without income for two months, and we were looking for another business. We were trying to pool our resources and whatever money we had coming in, and Melissa found out this business was for sale by coming in to pick up $43 she was owed,” Wes said.
Picking up her consignments, Melissa discovered previous owner Davis had about given up on selling the shop and she was preparing to close the doors.
The Steins pulled their resources together, and, with the help of friends, family and a GoFundMe page that raised $1,406, they were able to purchase the business just days ahead of the date when Davis’ lease was up and she had to vacate the shop’s previous location at 1163 East Second Ave.
With one day to find a new location, the Steins stumbled on the space that had largely been vacant since Fast Signs had moved out. Owned by one of Durango’s longtime families, the Turners, the space was being used to store campaign signs and as campaign headquarters for Jack Turner, who is seeking a seat on the La Plata County Commission.
“We thought this space might be too expensive, but the Turner family really worked with us to make it happen. We’re so grateful for all the assistance we’ve gotten. I think people really want to see commerce and see things happening again and getting back to normal,” Wes said.
Jim Turner, brother of Jack, said the space had been vacant for a long time, and the family was eager to work with the Steins on a rent that worked.
“They’re great people, and we needed to fill that space with a tenant. Taxes had accrued and insurance, so, you know, it was a win-win situation for all of us,” he said.
The Steins managed to move the inventory and clear out the old store in one day. They spent about a week renovating the space on Main before opening their doors about a month ago.
“I’m knocked down by the community support we’ve received. It’s been amazing. Every day people come out who are thankful the shop is still here,” Melissa said.
Purchase of the business not only kept a second-hand shop, which opened in 1977, up and running, it gave the Steins’ access to regular consignees who were able to keep bringing in new items. The purchase also gave the Stein’s software to track the inventory.
The shop has about 2,500 consignees in its data base. Upon an item’s sale, the shop keeps 60% of the consignment price and 40% goes to the consignees.
Items are kept in the shop for six weeks, with prices reduced each week an item doesn’t sell, and after six weeks unsold items are donated to charity.
Women’s clothes, especially summer dresses and tops, are the big sellers, but the Steins are trying to build up the men’s inventory.
“I think men need an affordable option in Durango, and we’re going to try and build that out,” Wes said.
Melissa is looking to broaden the shop’s online sales for the high-end items it received, noting she had just received a Louis Vuitton wallet.
A recession caused by a viral pandemic may not seem like the most opportune time to open a new business, but Wes believes Second Time Around still has a vital place to play in Durango’s retail scene.
“Given the times, I think people are going to need an affordable option for clothes, and that’s us – we’re a consignment shop,” he said.