This week, My Sister’s House, a women’s consignment sale, filled 181 Pine Street with racks and shelves brimming with second-hand clothes, accessories and furniture.
Sisters Kate Stover and Summer Walters, both ACU alum, started My Sister’s House two years ago and are now in the middle of their fourth sale.
“This is something that we wanted to create to be a fun shopping experience,” Stover said. “We want the women in Abilene be able to get a good deal and enjoy shopping without having to spend a lot of money.”
Both Stover and Walters had always shared clothes with each other and frequented garage sales. They were accustomed to the idea of recycling their wardrobes and other items rather than buying things new, Stover said. The sisters decided they would like to do that on a bigger scale.
Inspired by an Abilene children’s consignment sale, Dittos for Kiddos, the sisters decided to take on the challenge of putting together their own consignment sale, but for women. Stover said they began by researching similar sales, to see how they operated, and then started looking for a venue to have the sale in. They created a website and were then ready to begin advertising for their first sale, using promotional materials and Facebook to spread the word.
Walters said they had 154 consigners at the first sale and have increased to 219 consigners since.
“After every sale we’ve had to adjust something to accommodate for our growing, because we’ve gained consigners every time,” Stover said. “For the next sale we’re going to have to think of how we can expand and have more space.”
Consigners can go onto the My Sister’s House website and register for a consigner’s number. They are then able to enter all of their items online and assign prices to their items.
Consigners can each bring up to 70 items of clothes, 10 pairs of shoes and 20 pieces of jewelry. They pay a $15 consigner’s fee and then receive 65% of their item’s profits.
“They choose how they want to price it, and they can choose if they want it to go half-price or not,” Stover said. “Once the sale is over, they can choose if they want to donate it or if they want to come pick it up if it didn’t sell.”
Donated items go to local outreaches such as FaithWorks, Hope Haven, Christian Service Center, International Rescue Committee, and Cinderella’s Closet. On the final day, donated items are sold for 75% off, and all of the proceeds from that day go to Eternal Threads, a local non-profit. Last year, they were able to contribute $1,400, Stover said.
Women of all ages, including college students, participate either as vendors, volunteers or shoppers. A few social clubs have even signed up and sold clothes as a fundraiser for the club, Stover said.
“We’re hoping it creates an opportunity for women to be able to get rid of things they don’t need or use anymore and update with things that they will use in their home or their closet and either come out even or make a little money in the process,” Stover said.
Carolyn Agnew, a consigner who graduated from ACC and lives in Abilene, has been participating in sales since the start and is also a volunteer in the furniture and décor section.
“I work receiving, and I love it,” Agnew said. “Just seeing the variety of things is interesting; we seem to get a lot of one-of-a-kind items.”
This sale features fall and winter clothing items ranging in size from Petite to Plus. They have a boutique area for more pricy name-brand items and offer dressing rooms for try-ons. The sale also includes furniture, home décor items, bedding, purses and jewelry as well as clothing.
Before each sale opens up to the public, My Sister’s House has a presale night where college students can enter with a college ID.
Stover and Walters have a sale each fall and spring. The sale going on now is open Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is a half-price sale on Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The half-price presale night for college students will be Thursday starting at 9 p.m. The “Discount Day Sale” will take place this Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The spring sale will take place March 23 through April 1.
For more information visit www.mysistershousesale.com.