Retiring owner donates store items
BY JENNY WHITE
Monday, September 9, 2019
Englewood Shopping Center is minus one store after Yours And Mine Consignment Boutique closed its doors at the end of July.
However, store owner Rennie Thompson, 73, made sure when she closed the doors to her entrepreneur endeavor, she left the community in better shape than when she opened her store.
“We were open for about 10 years and the community of Rocky Mount was just so supportive and so good to me,” Thompson said. “I’m glad when we closed, we were able to give back to the community.”
After getting approval from the store’s consignors, Thompson was able to donate about 99 percent of the store’s inventory to local charity organizations.
“I want to make sure this story tells it right — it was my consignors that helped make this happen. I could not have done it if they hadn’t agreed for items they had in my store to be sold, to be donated instead,” Thompson said.
Thompson credits the relationships and friendships she built over the years with customers and consignors with making her business successful.
Thompson said she got the keys to the store on Oct. 31, 2009. She and her husband Bubba Thompson had visited a small consignment boutique in Washington, N.C., several times, and Thompson said she was intrigued by the idea of running a similar store.
Thompson said she kept thinking about the store idea and eventually left her successful career as a hotel general manager to open up the Englewood boutique.
“We got it fixed up and had the software ready to run a consignment business and I looked around the empty store and thought ‘How am I going to fill this store?’” she remembered.
She credits former Telegram reporter John Henderson and his story about the store opening.
“I had a story on the front page of the Telegram on Nov. 17, 2009. Since that day, I have never been short of items to have in the store,” Thompson said.
Yours and Mine Consignment Boutique employed one other person, besides Thompson, over the years. The store sold women’s and children’s clothing, houseware, art, small furniture and children’s books and toys.
Thompson said the idea to donate the items in the store to local charities grew as an idea from some of her consignors and herself into a reality over the course of the past month.
“Once we had the consignors on board, it just all came together,” Thompson said.
Most of the artwork, household items, glass items and some small furniture was donated to Faith Christian Ministry store in Nashville. All of the women’s clothing was donated to My Sister’s House and its resell store.
Many of the books went to Salvation Army. Some art went to the Rocky Mount Kiwanis to be auctioned or raffled off. Much of the children’s items were donated to First Baptist Church.
“They are starting a program where they offer new foster parents clothing and toys and books to help them get started with what they’ll need with new children in the home,” Thompson said.
She also donated many of her racks and shelves to the church for their new program.
Thompson said it was a bittersweet decision to close the store.
“It was a hard decision to make. I’m going to miss all my customers, my employee, who was a good friend, and my consignors,” Thompson said. “But owning your own business is something you can never turn off. You’ve got to be 100 percent committed, have a passion for it and a determination to make it succeed.
“I was thinking I was ready to make some room in my life for enjoying retirement.”
Thompson said any misgivings about closing the shop vanished after she started to give the inventory away.
“Knowing that what we all did will touch so many people in the community and contribute to the organizations or the families that rely on these organizations makes me know, I did the right thing in closing up,” she said. “It definitely makes me feel less sad about it, knowing we did the most good that we could.”