Lynn Lewis and her mother, Judy Helphinstine, have been working together for more than 30 years. Daughter started working for mother as a co-op student in the early 1980s — and now mother works for daughter in their latest venture, Home Again Consignments in the Frankfort Plaza shopping center on Louisville Road.
They opened the store, which offers folks the opportunity to sell no-longer-needed furnishings from sofas, tables and chairs to serving platters — and lots of things in between — in February.
Since they are “on consignment,” items are displayed for three months. If they haven’t sold in that time the owner can take them back or choose to have them donated.
When an item is sold, the owner gets 50% and the store the other half.
Lewis and Helphinstine have had consignment stores and a wallpaper shop previously.
“I’ve hung wallpaper for 30 years,” said Helphinstine, “and Lynn has always been in decorating.”
“We make a good team,” Lewis said. Also, on the “team” are Grayson Strasburger and McKenzie Lewis, Lewis’s niece and daughter, respectively, and friend Cheryl Wainscott.
“We thought about opening a consignment store in Lexington,” Lewis said, “and knew it would go there. But we decided to stay in Frankfort and encourage people to shop at home.”
“Lynn missed the work in a store and seeing the people,” her mother said. Her decorating work provides that to a degree, but nothing like a retail store.
How it works
“People can bring in small items anytime,” Lewis said, “and we’ll discuss how much they want to get from them. As for large items like couches and other furniture, they can send us a picture or bring one in.”
Items in the store are attractively displayed, which is in keeping with Lewis’ decorating and staging work. In the first few months, the response has been good.
Each item is clearly priced, and Lewis says there’s not much room for negotiation. After 30 days on the floor or shelves, items priced at more than $25 are marked down.
Lewis says she understands that sometimes in downsizing or cleaning out a loved one’s house it’s difficult to part with items that have sentimental value.
“But I like to think if the current owner of the item could get something for whatever the piece is and someone else can get some enjoyment from it, then why not consign it with us? I imagine the original owner would approve.
“My former mother-in-law convinced me that consignment is the way to go for items one can no longer use, and that becomes a benefit to the entire family.
“There’s value to the pieces you treasure and no longer need.”
Currently, advertising is through word of mouth and their Facebook page, Judy-Lynn Home Again Consignments. Considering the number of items on display, it’s been going well as they started with an empty building.
“We need to develop a website,” Lewis said, “where we can picture the items we have for sale. I hope one of my children will help me with that.”
The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. It’s closed on Sunday and Monday. The phone number is 502-699-2711.