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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

What's in your closet?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Laurie Ryan has taken her love for sewing and turned it into a boutique clothing business.
SIKESTON - Laurie Ryan wants to know what's in your closets. If it is something that your child isn't wearing she thinks her new business, What's In Your Closet, might just be the place for it.

Ryan, who also owns Wallpaper for Less, recently turned her store at 2107 E. Malone Ave., into two businesses.

Explaining her second business venture started out in 2006 "really small," Ryan has steadily expanded over the last nine months.

What's in Your Closet offers name brand clothes, primarily on consignment.

"We only accept quality - no holes or stains. We don't want people to have to look through a bunch of junk to get to the good stuff," said Ryan, about the selection.

While most clothing is offered on consignment, Ryan said sometimes she will make purchases outright to add to her well-stocked racks.

"People need to know you can dress your children in name brand, nice clothing for a reasonable price," she continued, adding the store carries not only clothing for youngsters but for teens as well.

But Ryan didn't stop at one expansion - she just keeps going.

When her children were small, Ryan said, she often sewed clothing for them and would receive compliments on her creativity. What's In Your Closet has given her the opportunity to take up her hobby again and turn it into a thriving business.

Some of her work is displayed as customers walk in the door from multicolored tops with matching bloomers to overalls appliqued and given a whole new look.

"Anything people want, I can do," she said. Some of the popular creations are John Deere-styled overalls or what Ryan describes as her birthday outfit which features a cupcake on the front with the number of candles matching the child's age. Overalls with Dora the Explorer are among the youngsters' favorites and parents have had her create unique overalls for their little pageant participants.

Orders should be placed at least a week in advance, Ryan said. She estimated each custom-made outfit takes eight to nine hours to complete.

The cost of each outfit reflects her personal creativity along with the supplies and the overalls. Ryan said she believed the cost per pair is reasonable considering the time and effort each require.

To complete an outfit, Ryan can make special hairbows and matching flipflops, too. Also a selection of hairbows is available at the store or can be custom-ordered "to match anything in your closet," she noted.

But Ryan still hasn't stopped adding to her business. Most recently she began purchasing bolts of material to sell by the yard. While the selection is small currently, Ryan indicated she will expand her lines to meet local demand.

As the word is getting out about the selection from name brand consignment clothes to the unique boutique outfits, Ryan said business has picked up bringing a steady stream of customers in to check out the selection. Because her customers seemed pleased, the business owner smiled and said she is pleased, too, adding there are still more plans ahead.

Business hours for What's In Your Closet and Wallpaper for Less are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.