OSAGE | Osage has a new consignment shop, Maxine’s on Main, located in space once occupied by R&B and Flat Eye, Red Pie, on Main Street, in Osage. The business is owned and operated by the mother-daughter team of Stacy Valasek and Ashley Ballard.
A love of clothes and finding a good deal was, in part, is what inspired Ballard and Valasek to start their business.
“Well,” said Valasek. “I always wanted to own a business, but I didn’t know what or when. I love consignment shopping. I got the idea two years ago to do this. Once the building came open, it all sort of came together.”
Daughter, Ashley had a similar feeling after doing a great deal of consigning and consignment shopping, while in college.
“I’ve shopped a lot of consignment shops,” Ballard said. “The thrill of getting an awesome item, at a good deal is amazing.”
While lots of people are familiar with shopping consignment, the one question posed time and time again was how consignment of items actually works.
At Maxine’s on Main, the consigner gets 40 percent of the selling price. Individuals can call and make an appointment for drop-offs. They can also view accounts online and see all the items they have in the store, what has sold, along with the balance of their account.
“We weren’t going to do appointments,” Valasek said, “But then the backroom filled up and stuff kept coming in and we realized that appointments would be the best thing to do.”
Maxine’s on Main already has a nice variety of things from clothing to books, handmade soaps and other items, in addition to men’s items, including tools.
“They (items) have to be clean and in good working order, not damaged, but we are looking for more men’s clothing and tools at the moment,” Valasek said. “We’ve got a wish list started of things customers have asked for, so that’s fun, to be on the lookout for certain things for people.”
Both Valasek and Ballard went to collage for business. Valasek has a business administration degree, while Ballard has a degree in business communication and marketing.
“I had a few people I worked for open businesses, so I was there for the process,” said Ballard, who went to Hawkeye Community College, then on to the business program at Mount Mercy.
Saturday, Nov. 11 was the grand opening of Maxine’s on Main, with 200-300 people visiting throughout the day.
“It was a good mix of people shopping and asking questions,” Valasek said. “It went perfect, no hiccups. Nothing went wrong. In fact we had a line of about six women outside about five minutes before we opened, and from there it was busy all day aside from 10 minutes at noon. It slowed down finally around 4:30 and we closed at 5.”
“We weren’t expecting to be so busy,” Ballard said. “We did start a Facebook page. We will have photos and things on the page, along with specials we will be running. We’ll also be posting the dates for markdowns on our Facebook page.”
Keeping things fresh is an important part of their business and both were pleased by the fact people who have already come in a couple of times, said they were able to see new stuff on each trip.
“People have asked who Maxine is,” Valasek said. “It is my daughter Ashely’s middle name which comes from her great-grandmother. I have hearts dotting the I's in Maxine and Main.
“The heart in Maxine symbolizes my love for my daughter and her great-grandmother and heart in Main symbolizes my love of Osage and Main Street.”