A few years ago, when Cindy Knebel turned 50, she decided it was time to follow her dream of owning her own upscale furniture consignment shop.
First she tested the idea with a group of friends one night while out to dinner. Then she made a business plan. Finally she approached the bank for a loan.
“I kept waiting for someone to tell me no, but they never did so I went for it,” she recalled.
Now three years later, Knebel is operating Revisit Resale & Reclaimed Furnishing, on Highway 965 in North Liberty.
She knows the DIY craze and the trend of reusing secondhand furniture has worked to her business advantage.
“That used to have a stigma,” Knebel said. “Now recycling and ‘upstyling’ are the cool things to do.”
Knebel has expanded her lease seven times in the past three years and may have to expand again within the year.
Since earning her degree in marketing from the University of Iowa, she has worked for her entire career in management and retail. She said she decided to set up shop in North Liberty specifically because it was a fast growing city with plenty of new construction.
Knebel said Revisit commonly sees two types of customers — 20- to 35-year-olds seeking to furnish first apartments and homes, and destination shoppers in their 40s to 60s who are out spending a day shopping.
The store is set up in small vignettes to help shoppers visualize what the pieces may look like in their own homes. Designing such vignettes is Knebel’s favorite part of her job.
“Being in retail for 30 years, I became a great merchandiser,” she said.
“So many people come in and say they can’t believe these items are used. The merchandising and displays really make a piece feel new again.”
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