Classic Consignments, a furniture and home décor store in the Village Shops at Kingsmill, has moved to Norge.
The small business is run by co-owners Renee Graves and Michelle Olesko.
History: Then and now
Graves was in real estate for 25 years, but when the market crashed in 2008 and she had bills to pay, she knew she had to do something different.
She was nearly 65 at the time and thought that “nobody” would hire her.
“There is age discrimination out there,” she said.
Someone had told her they were going to sublet a space — Graves woke up in the middle of the night with an idea: A consignment shop.
“It was like a bolt of lightening, it just hit me,” she said. “I know what I’m going to do, I’m going to open up a consignment shop.”
To Graves the decision made sense. She had always loved frequenting consignment shops ––her idea of a fun thing to do–– and loved to decorate.
Her friend, Olesko, was in the same position Graves was in and had worked in real estate, too. In fact, Olesko had gone to an employment agency and was told to “learn some computer skills.”
The pair pooled “all their money” and opened Classic Consignments in 2009.
“It was kind of like it was meant to be and everything fell into place,” Graves said.
Olesko is in charge of the accounting and the “computer stuff” part of the business while Graves takes care of the decorating.
“I do all the stuff she hates to do, and she does all the stuff I hate to do,” Graves said with a laugh.
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the business was “a little dicey” since the shop was located in a primarily vacant shopping center and most of their customers were older people hesitant to venture out.
The shop had been at the Village Shops at Kingsmill location for 11-and-a-half years, Graves said.
“We had to close over there for COVID for a couple months,” she said.
When they reopened, both her and Olesko wore masks and required their customers to do the same. Olesko’s husband is a pharmacist and made hand sanitizer for them and other businesses.
They opened shop at the new location, 7405 Richmond Road, Suite A on July 6.
So why make the move in the first place?
“Because they are tearing down the Village Shops at Kingsmill,” Graves said. “New owners are going to put in a new apartment complex.”
So far since they moved locations, Graves said they have been doing well despite the pandemic with most of their customers from Colonial Heritage, Stonehouse and Ford’s Colony. They still wear masks and have customers wear masks indoors too.
On Wednesday morning, Graves said the shop had been busy and that morning, she had already sold $900 worth of “stuff.”
“It’s a lot smaller than the other place but we really like the location better,” Graves said. “And every month has gotten better and better.”
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