Resale shops are riding a trend in Pacific, expanding in existing locations and moving into new quaters.
After a two-year learning period in another resale shop, Nancy Schlechter has opened Fancy Nancy’s at 323 S. First St., a store that specializes in finding good-condition used appliances for customers.
“People who are out of work can’t think about paying for a new refrigerator or new dishwasher,” Schlechter said. “When the refrigerator goes out they look for an affordable replacement.”
Schlechter started searching for specific used appliances for customers of Deanna Christine’s resale shop two years ago.
The shop, operated by Deanna Christine and Jim Iden, Schlechter’s brother, sells a variety of items, including furniture, sporting goods, basic household items, jewelry and licensed collectibles.
People kept coming into the shop looking for used dishwashers or stoves and Schlechter was assigned the task of calling other resale shops looking for just the right appliance. She became something of an expert in the need for used appliances and in the location and specialties of other resale businesses.
In one of her searches she found several new microwave ovens, still in the box, and bought them.
More and more Schlechter’s activities looked like a business within a business. Because appliances take up quite a bit of space and customers want to walk up to them and open doors, Schlechter decided to open a shop that specializes in used appliance. She saw the small store for rent on South First Street that once held the UAW office, across the street from her brother’s business.
With her husband Dean, a Rockwood School District bus driver who was off for the summer, and her brother Jim, they moved Schlechter’s used appliances and other items she had collected through the year into the building.
On opening day, as they were carrying things in and transforming the small space into a store, she sold appliances as she unloaded them.
“Opening day was unexpectedly good,” Schlechter said. “Several people came and bought appliances.”
By Saturday other families had heard about the store and began trickling in.
Appliances Schlechter has found for customers include new and used microwave ovens, televisions, dishwashers, ranges, refrigerators, washers and dryers.
“If someone comes in looking for a dishwasher or a refrigerator and I don’t have one in the store I begin to make phone calls to find one,” she said.
Although she specializes in used appliances, Schlechter has created a resale shop that is fun to walk through.
The store aisles hold an eclectic collection of framed pictures, furniture, books and toys. Hutches and dining tables are lined with dishes. A tall picture frame holds photos of the three 19th-century lawmen brothers, Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp. Two American Girl dolls recline on a doll bed in the center of the store.
A mahogany music stand, holding a child’s violin, is tucked into a corner at the entrance. A fire-engine-red faux leather tufted-back chair occupies a spot off the aisle that creates a walking path among the items.
“It’s from the 1960s,” Schlechter said, fingering the stitches on the arm. “You can tell this is the original cover by the little folds of leather at the seams.”
Nancy and her husband Dean moved to Robertsville from the Ballwin area. She feels Pacific is a good place to do business. Because there are several other resale shops in the area, Schlechter says, people come here to look for bargains.
“I’m not new to the business,” she said. “For the past several years I’ve been working at Deanna Christine’s. You get a feel for what people might like.”
Schlechter chose the South First Street building after driving past several times and saw the “For Rent” sign.
“It’s a good location,” she said. “It has good visibility.”
Schlechter said she will also accept items on consignment in the store, but no clothing.