We are sisters, young moms on a budget, who wanted an affordable place to shop and sell our clothes and home furnishings. We love the idea of giving gently used items a second life. We have been thrifting and sharing clothes all of our lives. We have always had an appreciation for a good deal, a vintage find, or a reclaimed piece of furniture. As adults we have “shopped” at each other’s homes, trading clothes, shoes, and furniture when we wanted a change. After shopping and volunteering at a local children’s consignment sale we thought there might be a market in Abilene for a semi-annual sale for women as well. And so we began My Sister’s House. We chose the name because we loved the idea of keeping it personal and allowing other women to shop each other’s closets like we do.
One of our favorite things about the sale is the sense of community it has created among Abilene women coming together to share what we have, updating our wardrobes and homes on a budget, earning some money consigning items we don’t need anymore, and donating what’s left to nonprofit organizations. We recently read a book called 7 by Jen Hatmaker that addresses this idea of recycling and giving:
“Why don’t we do this among friends and neighbors? You know that scarf you hate because the color makes it appear your liver is failing? It looks awesome on me. These pants that fit until I discovered how to mix the buffalo and blue cheese sauce at Chick-fil-A? They’re the bomb on you. What is tired for you might be the piece I adore. My trash could be your treasure…We could freshen up our wardrobes and not feed the consumer machine more than it has already been fed. Clothes and accessories could be reincarnated into their second lives. Whatever isn’t claimed can be donated to women’s shelters and nonprofits.”
REDUCE, REUSE, and RESELL . . . That sums it up.
Kate is the coolest person I know. She really is. She is well read, witty, fashion forward with an eye for eclectic, vintage pieces in both her wardrobe and her home. She has great taste in music and loves to laugh. Kate is a devoted friend, a loving wife and mom of two, and a truly amazing sister. I would not even attempt to run a business with anyone else. She is level headed and efficient…able to manage computer kinks, check out lines, and customers with grace. She personifies “calm, cool, and collected.” I am grateful to have such a close relationship and business partnership with my sister. We used to play “store” as kids and sometimes it’s hard to believe that we are actually running our own sale now. It’s crazy busy, always changing and growing, and sometimes pretty stressful, but there is always a moment each sale where we are laughing until we cry. Those moments make it all worthwhile.
I am married to Chad, a physical therapist at Hendrick Hospital. We met at ACU, married in 2000, moved to El Paso, Fort Worth and then chose to come back to Abilene. I am very grateful he chose me… for a million reasons that are too cheesy to list here for the general public. I love him. That’s all you need to know. And if you are in need of a therapist, he’s a good one. I am also the mom of three sweet kids: Ava, Pierson, and Sadie. They keep me busy and laughing. You might see them up at the sale. That’s pretty much the only time they get to see their mom during the two weeks of My Sister’s House so if one of them is crying or having a complete meltdown, please forgive them. They are usually fun, silly, inquisitive little people. The greatest joy of my life has been being their mom and I am grateful.
I’ve always looked up to my sister. She’s four years older than me which is just enough of an age difference for me to grow up wanting to dress like her and hang out with her. When I was young and playing with Barbie dolls, she would turn an old cardboard box into an elaborate dollhouse complete with curtains and furniture and artwork. Then I would play with it for hours. She is creative, artistic, visionary, and compassionate. She comes up with these ideas (that usually involve trying to help people in some way) and then is so enthusiastic about it she can convince other people to get on board. She’s also an amazing decorator. Her house is beautiful. And you should’ve seen what she could do with a cardboard box and some fabric scraps back in the day.
She’s a dreamer and I’m a realist, so it’s pretty surprising that I agreed when she came to me with this idea to start a business together even though neither of us had much experience in the business world. We did, however, have a lot of experience sharing clothes, furniture, swapping, repurposing, and reusing each other’s things, so in a way, it seemed pretty natural. And she is really convincing. I love her very much as a sister and a friend and wouldn’t even consider attempting this without her.
I married my husband, Brandon, in 2003. He is opposite of me in many ways, so we are a good balance. And he knows how to make me laugh when I get sad or upset which is both helpful and frustrating. He is a baseball coach at ACU, so many spring days you will find me at the baseball field. I used to be sitting in the stands scoring along, but now I am usually trying to get a glimpse of the game while corralling/cuddling my kids, Eydie and Gavin. Eydie still gets confused about why we can’t go to our store all the time and about the difference between Summer’s house and My Sister’s House.
We have to mention our parents and extended family as well. There are several women (and a few men) in our family who might be seen around the sale at any given time. We could not even attempt this endeavor without the help of our families who babysit, move racks, hang clothes, work the register, sweep, keep us fed and support us emotionally. Thank you, family, for all you do. We love you.