Kathy Simpson once turned down a loan from her mother to open up her own resale shop.
When her mother passed away two years ago, she got a second chance to realize that dream.
It became a store in Iron Station called Second Chance.
Originally from Long Island, N.Y., Simpson moved to Virginia at the age of 17. There she met her husband Mark, and the pair moved to Charlotte in 1981.
It was while living in Charlotte that Simpson says she got into going to auctions. Soon, she found she wanted to move from buyer to seller.
â€œI said I wanted to start buying product and sell at the auction,â€ Simpson said.
Simpson found she could turn $20 into $120 in just 20 minutes. She was hooked.
Seven years ago, Simpson and her husband moved to Iron Station.
Not working and with no kids to occupy her time, Simpson found herself mired down in boredom.
â€œI mean, how much cleaning can you do?â€ she said.
By then, her idea of a resale store had taken root. It would give her something to do, something she knew she would enjoy.
â€œIt was something I wanted to do for a number of years,â€ she said. â€œI just didnâ€™t have the money.â€
She eventually found a building on N.C. 27 East. It was originally the Iron Station post office, then a beauty shop.
Simpson says her mother, who was living with her at the time, offered to loan her the money. But Simpson wouldnâ€™t take it.
Sadly, Simpsonâ€™s mother died on Feb. 8, 2006. She left Simpson and her siblings a little money, and Simpson finally decided to take the plunge, knowing her mother would be proud.
She opened Second Chance on Aug. 28, 2007.
â€œI called it Second Chance because it was my second opportunity to do something like this,â€ said Simpson.
When she was fixing the place up, says Simpson, plenty of people stopped by out of curiosity. Now, she says business hasnâ€™t been as booming as sheâ€™d like it to be, although there has been some traffic.
â€œI see a lot of new faces coming in,â€ Simpson said.
Simpson says she likes to keep her prices low; she isnâ€™t looking to get rich, just to make a few bucks.
Her merchandise includes everything from books â€“ a big seller â€“ to wall pictures and knickknacks. Simpson has some toys, but says she steers away from carrying clothing.
As far as where the items come from, Simpson says she uses a variety of sources, including auctions and friends who sell her things they want to get rid of rather than having a yard sale.
After she gets her products, Simpson cleans them thoroughly, something she says is a big selling point for her merchandise.
â€œThatâ€™s two-thirds of the battle,â€ Simpson said.
Another big selling point at Second Chance is the fact that Simpson will go out of her way to track down items for customers, using a â€œwish bookâ€ to keep track of requests.
â€œIf you donâ€™t find what youâ€™re looking for, I will make the effort to find it,â€ she said.
Simpson will also buy things from people to resell, depending on what kind of week sheâ€™s having and on whether or not she thinks she can sell the items.
Not only has Second Chance given Simpson the opportunity to run the business she dreamed of, it has also given her the chance to make plenty of new friends.
She says some people just come by to hang out and have a cup of coffee with her.
Simpson is glad she opened Second Chance, and she says she hopes her mother is, too.
â€œI just hope that my mom has got a smile on her face,â€ she said.
n Product: resale items, everything from books to wall pictures to knickknacks
n Location: 4922 N.C. 27 E., Iron Station
n Date Opened: Aug. 28, 2007
n Owner: Kathy Simpson of Iron Station
by Allyson Levine