You don’t have to travel far to see signs of a down economy—a home sitting empty or a business closing its doors. While times are tough for many, the slow economy has actually helped improve business for some!
You may have heard news that shoe repair shops are enjoying a surge in business lately. I stopped into Hakky Instant Shoe Repair at Castleton Square Mall, and Gino Mina (behind the counter) said business has never been better.
“You not only save your favorite shoes,” explains Mina, as if he has answered this question a few times before, “but you are also recycling, and you are helping out local businesses instead of buying new shoes that were most likely made overseas!” By the time he had finished speaking, a line had already formed behind me.
The same seems to be true for consignment shopping. Consigned by Design at Geist (11659 Fox Road) is another business doing well. Lynn Beaty, Dana Johnson and Jean Beaty have been with the Geist business for just over four years and have seen an increase in traffic lately.
“People are looking around the house and thinking about finally giving away those items they no longer need,” says Beaty. “We take quality furniture and all kinds of home accessories, and there’s no messing with garage sales!” And no haggling over prices. Consigned by Design offers a 50-50 split.
Other thriving businesses include remodeling and cabinet refinishing. JoAnn Barsten of Joann’s Impressions Decorative Painting is expanding her business with a new partner, Kathy Rump, and a new name: Impressions Decorative Painting and Furniture Restoration. Joann says a number of her clients are asking to have the kitchen and bath cabinets redone.
“We recently refinished the cabinets in the kitchen of a Geist area home,” says Barsten. “We took the cabinets from a dark wood to a new, updated white with a soft glaze, giving the kitchen a whole new look at only a fraction of what it would have cost to replace the cabinets.”
And at a recent stop into Tanya Foster’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Hair Salon (8395 E. 116th St.), every chair was taken.
“Business is good!” says Tanya. “People don’t completely stop taking care of themselves during slow times. They may come in a little less often, but they still come back.”
Tanya points to the Depression era to make her point. “During the Depression, sales of red lipstick actually went up,” says Tanya. “ It was something that made women feel good about themselves without spending a lot of money.”
So the economy may be down, but apparently things are looking up for some….those who repair shoes, refinish cabinets, style hair and, well, maybe sell red lipstick!