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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Best Bib and Tucker CONSIGNMENT BOUTIQUE Hartville, OH

We've all seen this sign, but did you ever read the fine print??

311 S Prospect Ave (SR 43)
Hartville, OH  44632

**11-19-2011:  Closed until a new location is established in Spring 2012.  Check their website for updated information.  Looking forward to the Grand Re-opening!**

I was delighted to find out about this Consignment Shop (can't believe I'd missed it) about a year ago and have been a regular customer ever since.

It is housed in a home that is over 75 years old and once belonged to the Schumacher Lumber family.  It has many hardwood floors and fireplaces, is structurally sound and adds to the quaint charm of Hartville.  It's one of those houses we all drive by and want to see what's inside.  Guess what?  YOU CAN!

Barb Wise, the owner, has been at this location since December 1, 1999 and offers a host of wonderful items.
Women's clothing and accessories, size extra small to 3x
Maternity clothing and accessories
children's clothing and accessories, size newborn to juniors
children's games and toys
adult and children's books
locally handmade accessories such as purses made from repurposed clothing
trims and fabric remnants, crocheted necklaces and hair accessories from Curly Q's Boutique

Be sure to check out her new line of accessories from Chicago to include jewelry, hats, ear mufflers and scarves, too.

Don't let it's size fool you!  This place is packed full of goodies.  Look up, look down, look all around, whatever you're looking for can certainly be found.

Casual, Formal, Career...they've got you covered.

Kids stuff too!

Hours of operation are:

Consignments can be brought in during any hours of operation, no appointment necessary.  Consignors receive 45-50% of the selling price of regular items and 60% on long formals and designer purses.

Spring and Summer items are taken February - May
Fall and Winter items are taken August - November
All year long - seasonal clothing and accessories, swimwear and formals.

A little about Barb:

Barb Wise is an Ohio native and grew up in Springfield Township and Atwater.  She is married and has spent the past 30 years in Suffield with her family.

She gives credit to her family for making her business a success.  Her husband is an excellent cook and prepares meals for her even when she works late.  She says that her daughter, Megan, often serves as the other half of her brain.  She brings another generation's perspective to the shop and is super creative, a great writer, and is a lifeline when it comes to keeping up with technology.

She and her husband are guardians to her cousin Charles who resides in a community in Chicago for those with Downs Syndrome and other special needs.  They make many trips to Chicago and volunteer at Charles' home.  Charles returns the favor when he's in Ohio by dusting at Best Bib and Tucker.

Barb started her business because she felt she had an entrepreneurial spirit, not to mention the fact that her daughter assured her of pending success as she has the gift of gab!

She started out carrying women's clothing and accessories in two rooms with one fitting room.  She has now expanded and added larger formal and maternity sections, two rooms for children's and junior's items, three additional fitting rooms and a children's playroom.

Her biggest obstacle has been the fact that her business is located in a house just outside of Historic Downtown Hartville.  People drive by without realizing there is a business there.  Steps have been taken to make her shop more accessible.  Originally, the driveway entrance to the parking lot was only accessible from an alley behind the building.  She has added a driveway entrance on SR 43 and also hope to add better signage to bring more attention to her shop.


Barb serves on the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce as a small business/retail advocate.  She enjoys serving on many committees and participating in their events.

She is particularly grateful to have the resources of the Canton Stark County Convention and Visitor's Bureau and the Lake Township Chamber of Commerce available to her.

Changes have also been made on how she communicates with her customers. 

She now has a facebook page for the business:

a twitter following:

a website:

a blog:

and most recently started writing an "Ask the Expert" question and answer series for the SUBURBANITE that runs the fourth Sunday of each month.

WHEW!  All that and she runs her business.  With the help of her dedicated employees, the shop is decorated continuously as items are sold.  She has also been assisted by customers who have an eye for style and take a crack at it as well.  Cudos to all involved, it looks fabulous!

If you have never been to Best Bib and Tucker, please put it on your list of "things to do", you won't regret it.  If you are a card carrying member of a recognized charitable organization, be sure to mention it.  They offer a percentage of your total sale to that organization.  If they are not familiar with it, they will give you paperwork to set up the account for future purchases.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Music to your ears! An alternative look at entertainment

Looking for the ultimate gift for yourself?  Had your eye on that overpriced 6 cd changer system or Ipod to use in your car?

Why pay $129 or more for these items that make your car an easy target for thieves?  The solution, you ask?

The Wireless MP3 in car player with remote

This little beauty packs more of a punch than most 6 cd changers and IPODs and can be found for a fraction of the cost.  I recently purchased all I have pictured here for less than $15 on Amazon.


It is merely an FM transmitter and works by plugging it into the cigarette lighter / outlet in your car.  Tune both the transmitter and the radio to the same station and VIOLA!  You've almost got music.

You purchase a memory card or use one that you already have and download music on it.  Put your favorite music on it (really easy, a simple copy and paste from your computer) and stick it in the slot on the transmitter. 

The best part, you ask?

How about SEVERAL genres of music available at your fingertips?  How about being able to control it with your remote control?  Yeah, thought so.  WAY COOL!

As the owner of a 4 gb sd card, I've managed to download over 650 of my favorite songs to this card with PLENTY of room to spare.  When I get sick of those songs, I'll just download some more.

Can you imagine having your entire music collection on one card and available at your fingertips?  WAY, WAY Cool!

Great for everyday use.  When you turn off your car, simply unplug it and throw it in your glove box.  Are thieves really going to be after your factory installed radio?  Nope!

It's excellent for road trips. Why pay expensive monthly fees for commercial free radio when you can have what you want, when you want?

The only downfall??

It only works in your car.  It is a transmitter only and has no speakers.  You'll still have to buy that expensive IPOD if you want to listen to it elsewhere, but if you're frugal like me, you don't need the extra expense and will rough it too!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


The Studios & Gallery at

One of Tuscarawas County's Best-kept Secrets!

Off the beaten path in Dover, Ohio is a recently rehabbed one room schoolhouse that is truly a vault of hidden treasure.  Here you can see local talent at its finest.

Its owners, Joseph & JoAnn Bower are artists that offer handmade pottery and stained glass as well as other items made by local artists.

After hearing of an upcoming special event here, the Empty Bowl Extravaganza III, I must admit I was intrigued.  For a mere $22 bucks I could expand my cultural arts experience, enjoy the work of local artists, purchase items of my liking, and..of course..enjoy a very fine lunch consisting of four different soups, breads, beverage and sweets AND KEEP THE POTTERY IT WAS SERVED IN!  Of course it was a no-brainer, I'M IN!

On Saturday, February 12, 2011, with a two car caravan arriving at seperate times and trusting the cell towers of southern ohio to allow me to get through to my navigation specialist, it was on!  I had made it to Strasburg without my navigator and thought it would be easy to find a one room schoolhouse.  Umm...NOT!  After two dropped calls and some choppy conversation, I HAD IT!  All I needed to do was follow 250 and go under the I-77 overpass.  Follow that to the PEPSI SIGN FOR THE ROLLER RINK and turn right.  Follow the road (it forks, but I made the right choice..I can smell a bargain!) about a mile until you pass a NOTARY PUBLIC sign and some trailers and it is a one room schoolhouse on the left.  Whew!  I made it.

What a pleasant surprise and well worth the trip!

What I saw was an awesome dated building that had once been an institution of learning to local school children.  Imagining "Little House on the Prairie", I wondered what type of people attended here, where they are now, how this school had impacted their lives, and how long ago it had been used for this?  I was also thankful to those who cherished the memories of this building and chose to restore it to its natural state.

After my historical daydream was over I began to take in my surroundings.  Outside the building were several pieces of pottery displayed in various ways.  There were stone seating arrangements and recycled sculptures made by local artists.  I could see various stained glass pieces displayed in the windows.  Oh, yeah, I'm gonna love it!

All this pleasure from outside could not possibly prepare me for what was going on inside.  Greeted by the hostess I was immediately mezmerized by the contents of this ONE room!  The artwork displays were tastefully arranged to showcase the most beautiful pieces of pottery, stained glass, jewelry, sculptures, etc.  The atmosphere was very quaint, offering tables and seating arrangements for patrons to enjoy the special event.  While panorama would have been better suited to show you just how cool it really is, you'll have to settle for T-Mobile and take my word for it:

Too totally cool!

My regrets, you ask?
That I didn't tell all my friends and make this is special outing for them all.  My apologies, but I'm now on the mailing list and PROMISE you will ALL be invited to the next one!

The soup was delicious and I will cherish the memories of this visit every time I use my bowl!  Here's what I chose:

And here's what I filled it with:

as an added bonus, we also received an accoustical serenade!

Thanks for the suggestion, Britt.  It was a great experience!

4040 Mt. Pleasant Rd NW
Dover, OH 44622

I-77 South to the Strasburg / 250 exit and turn right.  Go approximately one mile to Mt Pleasant Rd (this will be right past the PEPSI SIGN for the roller rink) and turn right.  Go approximately 1 mile (this is right past the NOTARY PUBLIC sign) and the schoolhouse will be on your left.


Wednesday - Saturday 10-5


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day old? Why not?

In our quest to stretch our dollar, let's not forget the most essential part of our survival...FOOD.  Most of us are not much for coupon clipping, we just don't have the time.  Here's an alternative: 


From bread to sweets to snacks to drinks, they've got you covered.  Need dry gravy or muffin mix?  They've got it.


In lieu of wasting products that would otherwise be considered "out of code", many stores have opened bakery thrift stores and sell these items at a much lower cost than retail.  These items are still fresh and are excellent consumables for a fraction of the cost.

Having a party?  Stock up.
Do you have a freezer?  Stock up.
Tired of paying high prices for tasty snacks?  Stock up.

Many of these stores offer punch cards (I don't do the coupon thing) that will give you a discount after a certain amount has been spent in their store.  (Keep the punch card in your wallet with your grocery store cards).  This makes shopping all the better!


We are very fortunate to have the "BIG THREE" right here in Stark County.  You've got:

Schwebel's Bakery Outlet
3730 13th Street S.W.
Canton, OH 44710
(330) 477-7090

MON.-FRI: 9:00-7:00
SATURDAY: 9:00-6:00
SUNDAY: 10:45-4:00

Wonder / Hostess Bakery Outlet
Canton, OH  44705
(330) 456-4955

Nickles Bakery Thrift Store
3939 Erie Ave. SW
Massillon, OH 44646


Friday, February 11, 2011

Business Spotlight: Gerri's Closet / Green, OH

Gerri's Closet is located at 4195 Massillon Rd in Uniontown, Ohio and is an excellent source of shopping for trendy gently worn name brand designer clothing and accessories.

It's owner is an Ohio Native, Gerri Talevich, who opened this business 14 years ago and attributes its success to her strong retail background and her love of people.  Her first location consisted of 800 square feet of space which has more than quadrupled into 3500 square feet of devaliciousness at her newest location.  Gerri is married to Chris and describes him as an "awesome" husband.  They live in Green. 

In addition to the owner, Gerri's employs three part time associates to help you in your quest for looking fabulous.  They offer gently worn name brand designer clothing, shoes, new jewelry, handbags, scarves and small home decor.

If you have not yet been to Gerri's you should make it a point to get there.  You won't be disappointed.  Casual to career clothing sizes range from teen to plus size clothing.  A very helpful staff will greet you and assist you in every way. 

Hours of operation are:
Sunday:  Closed
Monday:  Closed
Tuesday:  10-7
Wednesday:  10-6
Thursday:  10-6
Friday:  10-6
Saturday:  10-4

Business Activities:

Gerri is involved in the Chamber of Commerce, Resale Associations, Women's Groups as well as National Groups for Resale.  She has met store owners from all over the United States and has also hosted workshops for consignment shop owners.  She buys unique decor and does her own decorating in her shop.  Her goal is to create a fun boutique atmosphere.


Obtacles and Successes:

In the beginning, getting quality clothing consigments was a problem for Gerri, but that is no longer a problem.  

Technology plays an important role in the life of a resaler.  What used to be word of mouth (still as successful and a useful tool, but not nearly as much as the power of technology) has evolved into many fast-track networking tools such as facebook (they're on there), websites (they have one),  blogs (they're on here), etc.   Accessibility is a must and why not use every free or low cost item you can, right?


Gerri's offers a 50/50 split on your gently used designer items.

Contact information:


My experience as a Thrift and Consignment Tour Navigation Specialist:

In May 2010 a tour bus of 38 people with at least 20 more following in cars set out for a day of thrift and consignment shopping in the Stark and Summit Counties of Ohio.  This trip consisted of stopping at shops in Canton, Canal Fulton, Akron, Uniontown and Hartville and a very successful shopping day for all.

In addition to our already large entourage of thrifters and pickers, strangers (who are now friends) participated as well. 

Gerri's closet was one of the favorites from that tour.  So many people on the tour did not know that many of these stores on the itinerary existed. 

In small or large groups, Gerri's Closet is a must to put on your next itinerary.  Whether it is just "girls" day or a full-blown thrift trip, put it on your agenda.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Celebrating St Valentine's Day with style!

Photo courtesy of

Having four girls in the family that are all within a four year age range makes celebrating fun and gives us just one more reason to have a party.

Two years ago we threw a party that these girls will talk about for years to come.  It started out innocently enough as a spa party for them that exceeded even my expectations and ranks high on my list of successful parties.

They each had a box filled with goodies to enjoy on their special day along with handmade wraps, matching relaxation attire and fuzzy slippers.  Each of them enjoyed a bubble bath and wore their spa outfits for their day of pampering.

A hair and nail station were set up to tend to their every need.  Many of these items were purchased at local thrift stores and consignment shops for a reduced rate and contributed a great deal to the success of this party.  Retail items that were purchased were bought at a clearance price and also reduced the costs.

Each child received a relaxing massage

Manicures and Pedicures

Got their hair done

Relaxed with a quiet book while waiting for their nails to dry and sipping on sparkling grape juice.

They added their own final touches

and then got dressed up for dinner on the town!  They were delighted to draw attention to themselves on that very special day.  Everyone was especially curious about the crowns.  They still talk about this party and that makes the effort well worth having had it!
So let's not forget the little ones this year.  They are a reason to celebrate and love you unconditionally!