The sign in the window of Revamped, a new clothing boutique with a colorful inventory that opened along Pioneer Avenue just over a month ago, declares that the store carries “nearly new clothing” for “divas of any age and size.”
Inside, racks of brightly patterned women’s clothing line the walls and fill the floor space. On a shelf beneath the window, a pair of mint green strappy stilettos are displayed alongside a pair of fur-muffed boots. Purses and scarves dangle from a wire rack in the corner.
Michelle Jones, the store’s owner, said that the idea to open her new store came after decades of working full-time for other people.
“I have always loved to shop and buy things for other people, so I figured why not try and make some money from it,” she said.
She has found the reality of being a first-time business owner to be both fun and scary.
Jones moved to Homer 22 years ago, and spent most of that time working at Eagle Eye Photo and Moore and Moore Services. She noticed that there were few places in town where she could buy an outfit for a fancier occasion, and she became skilled at ordering the majority of her clothes, cheaply, online.
“I wanted to have things that you couldn’t find easily in town: the dressier stuff,” she said.
She liked the idea of carrying secondhand clothes because she’s found them to be more unique, but she was concerned that with Homer’s limited number of formal events, there was a chance the new owner of a dress might bump into the previous wearer.
“I didn’t want people to feel like they were running around in something that someone else wore out,” she said.
Instead, she carries new and gently used clothes from exclusively online sources such as eBay and liquidation sales.
When accruing her inventory, Jones said she tried to get something for everyone. She carries sizes for girls and women from baby clothes to 3XL.
Additionally, her clothes have a very broad price range, from $4 girls pants to $70 designer tops. If she finds a deal online for a designer brand, she doesn’t mark up the price any more than other items, in an effort to keep all her clothing affordable.
“It’s kind of like a treasure hunt,” she said. “There’s no method to the madness. Some things I wouldn’t wear but someone else might like. I had to retrain myself to think like that. Really, it’s whatever jumps out at me.”
From behind the counter, Jones’ friend and frequent customer Katrina Chase chimed in. “Her style is really unique,” she said.
Another shopper nodded in agreement, “There’s something in here for everyone,” she said.
In the future, Jones hopes to expand into a larger space where she is able to carry clothing for boys and men as well.
Revamped will host a grand opening celebration this Friday from 6-9 p.m. All women’s clothing will be 25 percent off, and champagne and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Jones also plans to give away several gift certificates over the course of the night.
Lindsay Olsen is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.
Discount Designer Boutique
Owner: Michelle Jones
Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m., seven days a week
Address: 126 W. Pioneer Ave., Suite 2
Grand opening: 6-9 p.m. Dec. 19