I wish these blustery days would really stop, but I suppose that’s the Midwest in the fall for you.
How quickly we forget what winter is like while suffering through 90 degree summer days. Well, I'm back from my trip to the Breeders Cup in nice warm, not to mention sunny, Kentucky where I failed miserably with my shop local challenge.
I desperately tried to apply the challenge while on the road but quickly discovered it was next to impossible. We found ourselves eating at chain restaurants and being so dissatisfied with the service and quality of food. You wouldn’t think it would be so difficult to have a decent meal on the road since we all have GPS and a smart phones these days, but it definitely proved a challenge for us!
We did find one decent place in downtown Louisville, an Irish pub, called Ri Ra and it was an oasis amongst the sea of chain restaurants and bars. It was the only decent place we could find so we ended up eating there a few times (and I got a chance to enjoy some cider!). This just reinforces the notion that that it pays off in so many different ways to support the locally owned businesses.
Speaking of shopping locally, I have heard many great things about the resale shops located in Downtown Oswego so I put on my coat and scarf and headed toward Main Street.
Why resale you ask? Well, not only do you save some green, but shopping at resale and consignment stores can also play a role in the green movement. By purchasing used items and reusing them creates less waste and pollution for the environment. According to CarbonRally.com, donating or selling one item can cut your carbon emissions by 27.1 pounds.
Think of the impact you can make in your overall energy use or resources impact if you gave up shopping for new clothes and switched to gently used or vintage. By shopping at these stores, you avoid the considerable resources needed to produce any new item such as shipping, packaging, manufacturing processes including pesticides for cotton, dyes and more, not to mention you get knowledgeable owners and employees who will help you find exactly what you are looking for.
My first stop was Second Born Consignment. I don’t have any children, but I am an auntie to several cute and intelligent nieces and nephews. Yes, I am biased, however they are some of my best friends and so much fun to play with and so intelligent I worry that one day they will be smarter than me if they aren’t already!
One of my favorite things to do for my nieces and nephews is to buy clothing for them. It’s fun to shop for kids clothing. They have so many cute things to choose from and they always seem more affordable in comparison to the clothes I buy for myself. Of course if you ask a parent who continually buys clothes as their children quickly grow out of them, it can really add up! That’s why April Brossett opened Second Born Consignment located at 25 W. Jefferson Street in downtown Oswego (www.secondbornconsign.com 815-342-8838).
Walking through the door, I was greeted by April who is expecting her second born, due in April. April showed me around the store and familiarized me with the way consignment works. The store offers up to size 12 and maternity clothes as well.
Second Born has everything from seasonal-appropriate clothing and dance wear to formal-wear, including tuxedos and bridesmaids dresses for the kids! Right now they have great winter coats and boots, not to mention prices that can’t be beat. From Nike shoes to Columbia jackets, many of the items have never been worn and still have the original tags on them.
All items come from smoke free homes and if someone is looking for something specific they will keep their eye out for it and contact them when it becomes available. They also offer new items such as bows and of course perfect for the holiday season or any occasion they offer gift certificates in any dollar amount. Second Born is a darling store and offers a great play area for the kids to hang out in while mom or dad shops for them.
Second Born is always taking on new consigners. You don’t need an appointment to consign clothing, but April asks that you please call in advance to ensure the right person is available to review your items.
My next stop was Rekindle, located at 58 Main Street (630-554-2808), where I was met by Mary Ellen who runs a contemporary chic boutique-style consignment shop. Walking through the doors I immediately spotted gorgeous boots and stylish purses.
Then my eyes caught the rack of jeans and all the jewelry! Watches, gloves, wallets, a whole rack of shoes! Who needs the boring crowded impersonal mall? And the prices were just as inviting as well. Whether you need a complete outfit or just a pair of shoes, they offer something for everyone. From casual clothes and dress pants to holiday cocktail dresses, Rekindle has something for everyone and if you don't see it, Mary Ellen will help you find it. R
ekindle also offers new, handmade jewelry at the store. The line is called Mudblooms and is designed by a nearby Naperville jewelry designer, Stacey Jeske. The designs of the necklaces were elegant and the prices were affordable. A big seller in the store are texting gloves, which are gloves that give you access to your touch screen phones and other items. Rekindle also accept consignments so be sure to check with Mary Ellen for details.
Last stop before I was completely blown away by the wind and rain was ReJoyce, an antique store with a twist. Located on the corner of Washington and Main Street (630-554-2995), ReJoyce shares a storefront with Gary's Picks.
Open less than seven weeks, ReJoyce and Gary's Picks carry everything from jewelry and fine art to rare books and fine china. Staying with the green movement, they offer reclaimed, repurposed and antique resale and consignment items. They specialize in vintage bikes and offer interior design work and estate sales assistance. Joyce Peltze, Oswego resident and owner of ReJoyce, frequents antique shows and estate auctions and hand picks unique pieces to sell at her store.
She also has a flare for refinishing furniture as well! The one thing you may not expect to find at Rejoyce is candy! Make sure you check out their great selection of candy while you're browsing their great selection of items. Another thing you don't want to miss while in ReJoyce and Gary's Picks is checking out the ceiling. Yes, you read that correctly, make sure to look up so you don't miss all the great vintage planes and bikes hanging from the ceiling. This store is definitely one of a kind, not to be missed.
ReJoyce and Gary's Picks offer consignment as well and they also will pick up or deliver for a nominal fee. They offer vintage seasonal items as well so make sure you remember them for the upcoming holiday season.
By shopping locally at resale and consignment stores you are staying green. Plus, you can save a lot of money and who doesn't like a good deal in today's world? An added benefit is that you get to know the store owners and employees who can help you if you have a specific need and they can keep an eye out for you and it's that personal relationship you build and keeping that money local that creates a happier experience for all. Until next time stay green and shop local!