by Luke Small
Apr 05, 2012
Blessings Children's Consignment Boutique
14908 South Western Avenue Oklahoma City, OK 73170
It may be a small store, but there is so much you could say about Blessings. Located on SW 149th and Western in south Oklahoma City, this nearly year-old family business already tells an incredible story of perseverance, dedication, and blessing.
“Since we’ve opened the store, it’s really been about survival,” says Rhonda Vest, mother of the owner, Michele McJunkin. The survival Rhonda references is not about the store; it is about her daughter. Last year, as the store was being opened and Michele was pregnant, she started having blackouts. Michele underwent heart tests and will probably have to have heart surgery. This made opening the store an obvious challenge.
“I think the big lesson I learned this year is God is bigger than any problem you could ever have,” said Michele, who says her Christian faith has helped her through the difficult times. “Every step I took, if it set me back, God was there to say, ‘It’s okay. Keep going.’”
Michele has also had her mom right by her side, helping run the store when Michele is unavailable—without taking a paycheck.
“I’m the cheapest labor she’ll get because it’s free!” Rhonda joked.
Despite all the setbacks and hardships, the two ladies opened the store in May 2011—a blessing in and of itself. Blessing’s mission is to provide high quality baby and children’s items at very reasonable prices. So when a customer walks in the store, they may experience “sticker shock,” but in the reverse direction. Almost all the items in the consignment area of the store are under eight bucks.
“[Customers are] happy to fork over the money because they know how much they saved,” said Rhonda.
The boutique items, made especially for Blessing’s through individual vendors, features everything from hair bows to burp rags. Blessing’s vendors make just about everything by hand including hand-sewn hats and scarfs. The store is small, but offers an impressive variety. And the prices—well, let us just say they beat just about any big box retailor.
After Michele had her daughter, she realized just how expensive it was to have a baby. As her child has grown, rarely worn clothes get too small too quickly. That’s why the consignment service is available, allowing parents to get some money back from their purchases.
As impressive as Blessing’s prices are, the real key to the store’s success is customer service. Rhonda and Michele go out of their way to help customers with handicaps and those with lots of kids. Toys help keep young children occupied while moms shop, pushing a stroller through purposefully designed wide aisles.
“We try to have that personal relationship with our customers,” Rhonda said.
That personal touch is what should keep the Blessing’s story going through any adversity.
“It warms my heart to see that [my daughter’s] achieved this goal of helping people,” Rhonda said.