By Rebekah Martin
There is an old-timey shop bell on the door that gives the illusion of stepping back in time upon entering Ginger’s Consignment Shop on Second Avenue. The shop is filled with an eclectic variety of clothes, shoes, jewelry and home decor. Ginger Whatley and Emily Baas welcome their customers with warm smiles and, if you’re a “regular” even a hug or two.
Whatley, who is a long-time Opelika resident, said she has always loved fashion and retail. As a small child she wanted to own and operate her own place. “This is what I wanted to do my whole life. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to own my own shop,” Whatley said.
She worked in other fields after graduating from Auburn University but ultimately decided to return to her true love. Whatley and Baas met and bonded over a Kate Spade jacket and their love of fashion. Fast forward six months, and they are doing what they love most.
Whatley said her favorite aspect of retail is helping a woman find something that makes her feel truly special. Whether or not her customers spend a lot of money, she wants everyone to walk out the store feeling like a million bucks.
That goal is easily attainable at Ginger’s. Unlike retailer and big box stores, Whatley said consignment stores have the ability to offer a unique range of styles allowing shoppers greater fashion flexibility. But like any major clothing store, Ginger’s Consignment Shop is constantly evolving to keep up with current fashion trends.
Consignment shopping “isn’t just shopping; it’s a treasure hunt,” she said.
Whatley and Baas said they have high standards for the pieces they accept for consignment. They closely follow their “3 C’s” policy. To be accepted for consignment, items must be cute, clean and current. They said they want to be able to offer their customers quality pieces for the best prices.
Baas is Whatley’s right hand. “Part of what works with this place is me and Emily together. It wouldn’t work with anyone else,” Whatley said.
“(Ginger is) most in her element when she’s in this store. She knows this business inside and out, and I’ve learned so much from working with her,” Baas said.
Whatley and Baas said they have high hopes for Ginger’s. “I think part of the success of Ginger’s will be that people will continue to come back. It’s not just a stop-in-and-see-what-it’s-like kind of thing. They come in and see me and see Emily, and we’re honest with them about what looks good and what doesn’t. We are building a reputation for honesty, and I think a lot of people are looking for that,” Whatley said.
Baas added, “I think the thing that sets us apart is our relaxed environment. It’s fun to shop here – welcoming. We’ve handpicked these items, so everything is great. At the end of the day, we don’t really care about how many skirts we sell. We want our customer to walk out of the store feeling beautiful.”
Ginger’s Consignment Shop is on Second Avenue in Opelika in the Golden Crown Florist building. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Find it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gingersconsignment.