Consignment shop is about more than just clothes

Lucas Vance Staff Writer

October 15, 2013

WINNSBORO — Bernice’s Consignment Shop is filling the needs of cosignors in Fairfield County and giving back to the community.

Named after owner Shamieka Bernice Johnson Sims, whose aunt was named Bernice, Bernice’s is an upscale consignment shop specializing in men’s and women’s casual wear and formal wear.

Sims worked in resale for four years while in college and has always had a passion for consignment.

“I just think it is amazing how people just throw things away when the items are really good,” she noted. “So why would someone spend full price on something when they can get it for a bargain.”

Sims considers herself a bargain shopper and enjoys shopping at consignment shops, thrift stores and yard sales. When given the opportunity to open a consignment shop and partner with non-profit organizations, she jumped at the idea.

“We are a family owned shop hoping to make a difference in the community,” Sims said. “This has been a dream of mine for many years.”

Bernice’s grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Oct. 5. During the grand opening, Bernice’s collected nonperishable food items for the Fairfield Community Food Bank.

Donations will continue through this weekend, with a focus on canned soups and juices.

The food drive will also run into this weekend’s breast cancer event. Each year S.B. Johnson Consulting holds a breast cancer fundraiser and this year Bernice’s will join in by donating 10 percent of proceeds to the Avon Foundation for Women.

A silent auction of donated gift cards and gift baskets will be held today and Saturday.

“We thought it would be a good idea to tie the two events together,” Sims stated. “And we’re hoping to use the momentum of the events to get our name out into the public.”

Breast cancer patients and survivors will be on hand with a kissing poster. Ladies will wear different shades of lipstick and kiss the poster to show that breast cancer comes in all different shapes, sizes, colors and people.

Bernice’s accepts gently used clothing that is clean, pressed and on hangers. Due to time restrictions, they will not be able to accept items not on hangers. Any items left for consignment that do not meet the criteria will be donated to charity.

The consignment period is for eight weeks and consignors will be paid the following week after the consignment period ends. A $5 one-time consignment fee will be applied to each account and will be deducted from the first check. Consignors will earn 50 percent for items priced less than $100 and 60 percent for items priced $100 or more.

Items that have been in the shop for more than eight weeks will have the price slashed in half and then fund the Grieving Needs Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that provides help to families who have lost a loved one and is in need of help with final expenses.

“A lot of people have loved ones that have passed away with no insurance or limited insurance and we want to be able to help them and provide a positive service,” Sims said. “I wanted to find some type of way to give back to the community and thought why not create a foundation that will help people across the board that will help supply families who need help.”

Bernice’s is located at 143 Columbia Road in Winnsboro. It is open Thursday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information visit www.bernicesconsignment.com.