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The Artful Shopper: Evelyn Longa / news-press.com

Once Again Boutique

Location: 12721 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
Contact: Call 482-5445

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Talking shop with Bonnie Wiles, owner of Once Again Boutique in Fort Myers.

When did Once Again open?

Danielle Palmer and I have been the new owners officially for ten weeks. The store has actually been around for 27 years and we bought it from the gal who opened it, Carol Donaldson. I was a consigner of Carol’s for 20 years. I came in here dropping items off and Carol mentioned that she was selling the business. Danielle and I are two moms coming to that point in our lives where we can do something else now. Neither one of us has done a business like this before.

What do you sell?

We have all kinds of fabulous merchandise. We are a high-end consignment store; not a thrift store. We sell clothes for ladies, lots of bags, shoes and home decor. People love the store. It’s very quaint. It’s eclectic and they can’t believe the high-end finds here. We have consigners send us stuff from Pennsylvania and Texas. They mail it to us because they have done so well over the years here. Some items still have the tags hanging off them. Labels include Chanel, Coach, Michael Kors, Cole Haan, Elie Tahari, Kate Spade and Lilly Pulitzer.

Do you have any sales planned?

We’re wrapping up a winter sale right now and we’re only taking spring and summer items. For Easter, if you spend $25 or more you get to pick an egg that specifies a percentage off your sale. We’re kind of taking it one step at a time. We have been so overwhelmed with season and the fact that Danielle and I are just learning the business.

What are your most popular items?

People are just so tickled with the prices and having high-end labels. They are just pleased as punch for getting a great deal. Everything has to be in giftable condition so that you can wrap it up and give it to your best friend. People may not be able to find a top or bottoms that fit, but it seems they can always find jewelry. Our jewelry starts at $12 and goes up from there. That’s what people like — the fun, inexpensive jewelry. It’s a great Easter stocking stuffer for the grandkids or a Mother’s Day gift.

How is your business doing, with the economy?

With us being brand-new, we are comparing sales to last year’s numbers and we’re doing well so far. I hope people will stop by and check us out. We’ve made a lot of changes to the store and people are really enjoying the changes. We have more surprises coming down the road.

Know of a great local store? Let us know about it! Email Evelyn at theartfulshopper@yahoo.com.

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