Baby Bean Consignment Boutique
Terri McManemy saw an opportunity several months ago to do something she’d aspired to for years.
She seized it.
“It was always my dream to have a store,” McManemy said.
These days, the mother of two grown daughters, Erin, 27, and Brita, 25, is again surrounded by baby clothes, booties and blankets at Baby Bean Consignment Boutique, which she opened recently at 57 W. Fourth St.
The store sells gently used clothing and equipment, as well as a handful of locally made items for tots and toddlers, such as knitted sweaters and hats and christening gowns.
“This is exactly how I envisioned it,” McManemy said.
The idea for Baby Bean was born after McManemy’s position at HBC was eliminated last fall. Out of work, she started helping at a friend’s downtown consignment store, Inside the Vault. She was keenly aware of baby items since learning her daughter, Erin, was expecting the family’s first grandchild and noticed the store didn’t sell any.
Her friend suggested that McManemy tackle the venture.
She didn’t need much convincing.
With the help of her husband, Doug, McManemy found a location, refurbished dressers and cabinets from the Habitat ReStore to use for displaying her merchandise, and within several months opened for business.
She named the store Baby Bean in honor of her grandchild, who was due to arrive last week but is running a bit late, McManemy said. The family has referred to the baby as Bean since a doctor appointment months ago when a nurse said the baby was about the size of a lentil.
“It’s exciting and fun,” she said. “The best part is everyone who comes in says this is exactly what Winona needed. I am excited.”
Marilyn DuCett found much more than the sewing machine she had been searching for about a year ago when she went into Quality Vac and Sew.
She left with a business partner.
DuCett, an avid scrapbooker and quilter, started a conversation with employee Mary Grafton-Krogh, and the two soon discovered they had a shared interest in sewing — specifically quilting.
DuCett pitched her new friend an idea she had been mulling over.
What did she think about starting a quilting store? After all, finding quality quilting fabric in Winona had been difficult since Cinderella Shoppe on Mankato Avenue closed in 2011, DuCett said.
Not long after, the women, along with friends Randi Reinarts and Sherry Brickner, opened Clubhouse Quilters at 1401 W. Fifth St. in a building owned by DuCett that for years she had used to host scrapbooking parties.
“I’m pretty impulsive,” DuCett said. “If it’s anything interesting with arts and crafts I’m rather spontaneous, so it didn’t take long for me to convince anybody that this was a great idea.”
The store is open three days a week and stocks a variety of fabrics and quilting kits. It also offers classes and has an AccuQuilt machine — a fabric cutter that allows quilters to cut out different shapes quickly — that community members can rent.
The store is small, DuCett said, but it fills a void for the quilting community in Winona.
“We came together and the rest is history,” DuCett said.
Mirrors and pictures decorate the walls at Home Gallery at 227 E. Third St.
Vases, lamps and other knick-knacks sit on tables, bookshelves and other furniture.
A majority of the items, no two alike, arrived at the home decor store from auctions and estate sales, found and refurbished by owners Joan and Wayne Schmidt and Marlene Habeck, Joan’s sister. They paint, sand and spruce up the merchandise in a garage connected to the store.
“We are always looking for cute, fun things that make somebody’s home more personalized,” Joan Schmidt said.
The owners aren’t newbies to the resale business. They used to run a consignment store just down the street until they closed several years ago.
An itch to stay busy — and reconnect with their customers — recently drew them back.
“We just basically missed the people and the social aspect of seeing friends,” Joan Schmidt said. “We missed having something to do.”
Though this time, Home Gallery isn’t a thrift store, she said.
All of the items are ready to decorate someone’s home. No further work is needed.
“We’ve got some unique pieces,” Habeck said.
Comings and goings
- Sun Tan City, a tanning salon, has opened at 1035 Frontenac Drive.
- Hibbett Sports, a chain sporting-goods store, has opened at 1035 Frontenac Drive next to Sun Tan City.
- United Driving School has relocated to a new classroom at 1201 Gilmore Ave., next to Dominos Pizza and in the same building it was previously housed in.
- Rochester Wholesale Fruit, 350 W. Second St., is planning an outdoor garden expansion for May, where it will sell hanging baskets, vegetables, herbs and other plants.
- Subway at 1488 Gilmore Ave. was razed this week. A new one with a drive-thru, tentatively scheduled to open in August, will be constructed in its place.
- The Winona branch of the Linda Horihan Agency has moved from 909 W. Fifth St. to 125 County Road 32 in Minnesota City, Minn., sharing space with Lyle’s Flooring America. Speaking of which: Rushford Flooring in Rushford is transitioning into a Lyle’s Flooring America, which will be the company’s second location.
- Zehren Dental is moving from 76 E. Third St. to a new building on Mankato Avenue next to Mugby Junction.