Business

Second Chance gets a second chance

Sequim resident and past volunteer at Second Chance Rebecca Wallace purchases a blue athletic jacket she found during her first visit back to store’s location since the consignment store reopened under different ownership.  - Sequim Gazette photo by Alana Linderoth
Sequim resident and past volunteer at Second Chance Rebecca Wallace purchases a blue athletic jacket she found during her first visit back to store’s location since the consignment store reopened under different ownership.
— image credit: Sequim Gazette photo by Alana Linderoth

During the first week of May the consignment store Second Chance located downtown along West Cedar Street reopened for business, but under different ownership after the Museum & Arts Center (MAC) closed the store earlier this year.

The consignment store is now owned and operated by Glory Ingalls and Jaima Martin. Although the two women have no previous retail experience, they had hoped to fill a community void seemingly left behind after Second Chance closed in February.

Same name, different    business

However, Ingalls and Martin’s plan took a turn after MAC board members removed the storefront’s lettering last week in the midst of store business hours.

Ingalls was working at the shop when she received a notification from MAC board members that the board voted unanimously that the name “Second Chance” needed to be removed from her store. Shortly after the notification MAC board members personally removed the lettering despite Ingalls’ wishes to leave, Ingalls said.

“Our intent is not to hurt their business,” MAC board member Judy Stipe said.

The MAC operated Second Chance for 16 years before it closed and the board members want to protect the business’s reputation and the opportunity to someday reopen, Stipe further explained.

However, both the MAC and the current Second Chance owners can and do legally hold business licenses with the same name with one difference: one license is a nonprofit and the other is a for-profit.

Originally Ingalls and Martin planned to make monthly donations from store profits solely to the MAC. But, after the discouraging interaction with museum board members Ingalls and Martin and have decided to donate to different community organizations each month instead.

“This month we’ll still donate to the MAC because we want to keep our word and I believe the MAC is a wonderful community resource, but after that every month will be different,” Ingalls said. “Next month we’ve already decided to donate to the senior center.”

Soon Ingalls and Martin will have a sign that changes monthly so customers know which organization the shop is contributing to.

Bringing it back

Neither Ingalls nor Martin were necessarily seeking to open Second Chance, but after listening to customers’ ongoing remarks given their work in the beauty industry they realized the community impact the store’s closure had.

“We definitely wouldn’t have opened it if I didn’t hear from all the ladies I work with and how much they missed it,” Ingalls said.

According to Ingalls, aside from the lettering still on the vacant store windows the “space was an empty shell.”

Thus, when Ingalls and Martin began renting the space where Second Chance once was they decided to keep the old name simply because of convenience, its familiarity within the community and their envision for the store to once again benefit the MAC by donating a percentage of their profits.

Intent to donate or not, the MAC had yet to receive any donation from the consignment store and felt the MAC’s reputation was at stake if the public still associated Second Chance with the museum when it no longer was, Stipe said.

All licensing confusion and perhaps miscommunications aside, Ingalls and Martin plan to keep the name as is and already have new signage on the way to replace the lettering the MAC made sure to remove.

What’s different?

However, Ingalls and Martin have made some slight modifications to the store. In addition to women’s clothing, some men’s clothing can be found. The store also offers a limited amount of small furniture and household items.

“We also have use of the courtyard just outside and hope to serve lemonade and iced tea out there during the summer,” Ingalls said.

For the new consignment store owners the most challenging part is learning to operate a retail store and learning to be as “picky” as the past volunteers were before Second Chance closed because that is one reason why people loved the store so much, Ingalls said.

“We’re going to have to pull from all the different experiences and skills gathered from working with the public in the beauty business to help make this store a success,” Ingalls said. “But my favorite part is helping and interacting with people and that is why I’m doing this.”

So far Ingalls is pleased with the items people are consigning and the store already is stocked with a diverse inventory. Ingalls and Martin would like to get as many designer brands in as possible and aspire to maintain a high quality of standards.

To accompany the quality merchandise, Ingalls and Martin have made some interior improvements to the store. Updating the store’s look came naturally to Ingalls because of a background and education in interior design. New light fixtures, a spacious fitting room, decorative curtains and new paint are just some of the interior updates Second Chance has undergone.

“It’s my first time in since it reopened,” Sequim resident and customer at Second Chance Rebecca Wallace said while taking a look around the store. “It looks really nice in here and I think it’s wonderful Second Chance is open again.”

Wallace volunteered at the previous Second Chance eight years ago.

Ingalls and Martin are actively looking for volunteers like Wallace to help run the store again similar to before because both owners still maintain their other career endeavors.

“We’re optimistic,” Ingalls said. “Although some things haven’t worked out as we had hoped, we still want to move forward and contribute to the community.”

The owners plan to have a grand opening in conjunction with Lavender Festival Weekend in mid-July. For information on Second Chance or to schedule a consignment appointment, call 683-8733 during store hours 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Saturday.

 

Reach Alana Linderoth at alinderoth@sequimgazette.com.

 

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