Jay Paul photo
The name of recently opened women's clothing boutique Ellie Nellie Consignments comes from co-owner Ellen Lankey Childress' childhood nickname. "When we teased her, we called her Ellie Nellie," says Childress' business partner and mother, Diane King Lankey. The mother-daughter duo opened their 1,800-square-foot Midlothian consignment shop on July 1— one month after Lankey, 60, retired from teaching in Chesterfield County public schools.
Childress and Lankey say they spent most Saturdays consignment-shopping together in Carytown, but they wanted a shop closer to home. "We decided if we were going to do it, we should do it right now," says Childress, who works full-time as an IT technician during the week and at the shop on weekends.
They outfitted most of the store with items found at yard sales and other consignment shops. "These were ugly brass chandeliers that were all different, and we spray-painted them," Childress says, pointing to rows of red chandeliers suspended from the ceiling. Lankey refurbished brass lamps and old mirror frames, painting them to match the store's lime-green and lavender color scheme. A floral fabric pulls the eclectic store together as drapery at the window displays and as upholstery for tables and chairs. "So we had fun before we opened, finding all the neat stuff to put in here," Lankey says.
Located next to a Weight Watchers location in the Southshore Shops, the store already has more than 200 consignors, Lankey says, adding that many come in every week after their Weight Watchers meetings to bring in clothes that don't fit anymore and treat themselves with smaller sizes. The shop posts photos of new items on their Facebook page every week.
To consign with Ellie Nellie, call ahead to schedule an appointment. Consignees receive 50 percent of the final sale price. They accept current styles, trendy labels or designer brands, and all clothes must be on hangers, pressed, clean and ready to sell. For more information, call 739-4285 or visit ellienellie.com .